Everyone has a story to tell.
People often ask me, usually with intense curiosity, “How (on earth!) did you get started making soap?” Well, here is my story…
A while back, while vacationing in the south of France, famous for its lavender and olive oil, my husband and I happened upon market day in one of the many small villages. First, let me tell you that there is nothing better than market day in the south of France! At one of the stalls, somewhere among the cheeses, olives, and fresh breads, there was a weathered, lady farmer selling honey and soap- handmade lavender olive oil soap. That was it. That was the moment. I still remember just how it felt in my hands, and how it smelled. I couldn’t put it down. I had so many questions, but we just kept smiling at each other. I bought 3 bars. There was no label, no packaging, just soap. I was intrigued. And I was hooked. I have very temperamental skin. I sunburn easily and my skin is dry. It was as if I had found the secret to life itself. What I did find was the secret to saving my skin. I bought as many bars as I could for the rest of that trip and again and again on my visits back to both France and Italy. I vowed that one day I would learn to make my own soap! It was many years later that I finally did. I scoured the Internet looking for the best place to learn. I found it – The John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. https://www.folkschool.org/
November 2008. That’s me. I’d just received my Soap Maker certificate at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.
I took time off from work and spent an entire week in a special soap-making class, with the added benefit of an herbalist co-teacher. At mealtimes, I mingled with other students from all over the country who were passionate about crafting- blacksmithing, pottery, basket weaving, cooking, weaving, woodworking, and more. That was November 2008. Having never ever entertained the thought before, I was in business by January 2009. And I have been busy making soap ever since. That’s my story!
That’s me unwrapping my first ever SOAP!!!!!
Why Choose Coventry Body Care?
Welcome to our handmade, simple, and nourishing skin products! All of these wonderful creations are made from natural ingredients meant to soothe and relax your mind and body. Aromatherapy essential oils, herbs, flowers, and moisturizing plant oils are carefully selected to treat your skin to a natural, chemical-free experience. Olive oil is the main ingredient in all of our soaps. It not only locks in moisture, it attracts moisture, too. Commercially made soaps are stripped of their moisturizer, known as glycerin. Our fragrance-free* soaps can be used on your face and everywhere else on your body! We also formulate special soaps to help certain skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. In addition to soap, we sell an exciting assortment of other handmade skin care products- Dead Sea salt body scrubs, Shea Butter hand and body butter made with Fair Trade African Shea butter (better than lotion since it contains no water, only oils), several salves that moisturize, treat muscle pain, soothe burns and itching, and we also make an extraordinary formulated antioxidant-rich face moisturizer with botanical oils and herbs to make your skin glow!
Our products are tried and true. They are the result of a lot of feedback from our customers and painstaking perfection. But, in the end, what we provide for you is quite simple compared to the thousands of choices- and ingredients- you have on drugstore shelves. Compare our ingredients to what’s in commercial soap or to your hand lotion, or to that 1 ounce jar of night creme that cost you $100. In fact, we urge you to visit the #1 ranked consumer information website to find out exactly what’s in your skin products and how they rank in chemical safety. The EWG or Environmental Working Group can be found at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/site/about.php.
Stay educated. Stay safe. Buy local. And buy handmade!
Sue Ann Christensen
Founder, Coventry Body Care, LLC
*Read about the difference between fragrance and essential oil under our Ingredients Disclosure tab
certifications, courses completed, credentials
Member since 2009
Sue Ann has been a member of the HSCG since 2009. She attended their annual conference in 2009 in Denver, 2012 in Portland, 2016 in Tampa and 2018 in Atlanta.
Sue Ann completed the necessary preparation and testing to be awarded Certified Soapmaker status at the Denver HSCG in 2010.
John C. Campbell Folk School Soapmaking Class Certificate
Sue Ann was enrolled in a week-long soap-making class in 2008 at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. She was awarded a certificate of completion.
HSCG Conferences attended
- 2010 HSCG Conference in Denver, Colorado
- 2012 HSCG Conference in Portland, Oregon
- 2016 HSCG Conference in Tampa, Florida
- 2018 HSCG Conference in Atlanta, Georgia
RAM's School of Essential Oils Studies, Vestal, New York
- Introduction to Aromatherapy – 3 hour workshop
- Carrier Oils and Body Butters for Aromatherapy and Massage Therapy – 1 day workshop
- Therapeutic Uses of Essential Oils – 2 day workshop
2016 HSCG Conference Seminars attended Tampa, Florida
- Beyond the Label and Logo: Are You Telling Your Best Story? by Jerrod Sumner, owner of BRANDtabtulous, a boutique branding company
- But Buster! Don’t Let the Big “Buts” Keep You From Feeling the Burn of Success by Charlene Simon, owner of four interactive body care retail locations
- Website SEO for Makers by Amanda Gail, author and founder of The Lovin’ Soap Project, a not-for-profit in Haiti, Uganda, China, and India
- Good Manufacturing Practices by Marie Gale
- Creating the Perfect Recipes: The Secrets of Soap Formulating and Recipe Building by Erica Pence, author and owner of Bath Alchemy and online Soapmaking Academy
- Charge What You’re worth! The Art of Communicating Value and Charging a Premium by Lela Barker, owner of Bella Lucce and Lucky Break Consulting
- Navigating the Rocks and Shoals of Product Regulations by Marie Gale, author and expert on FDA regulations in the soaps and cosmetics industry
- Cream Soapmaking: A Practical Approach by Jackie Thompson, certified Master Soapmaker, speaker, and owner of Gaily Rebecca Soaps
- Crafting with Chemistry by Kevin Dunne, Author of Caveman Chemistry, Scientific Soapmaking, and guest of the Learning Channel and History Channel
- Create Water-Based Serums by Kerri Mixon, author and owner of Pallas Athene Soap, Certified Lye, and the A+Soapmaking Studio in San Diego, California
- Making Natural Deodorant by Kristen Prinzing, owner of Lady Lotion
2018 HSCG Conference Seminars attended Atlanta, Georgia
- Charisma + Drive + Focus = Power presented by HSCG President Charlene Simon
- The Art of Pricing Nice & High by business consultant Lela Barker
- How Thinking About Behavioral Economics Can Help Your Business by philosophy professor Marc Hight
- Bling It! Craft Show Table Design by Michelle Rhoades owner of Mossy Creek Soaps
- Fighting Bac- Keys for Successful Product Preservation Aquous Cosmetics by microbiologist Maggie Ghanem
- Blending Passion with Profit (And How to Keep Them Both Alive) by author David Fisher
- Secrets of Superfatting by chemistry professor Kevin Dunn
- The Secrets to Seducing Store Buyers by business consultant Lela Barker