Our indie expert Amanda has discovered a little bit of soap heaven in Breckenridge. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…
On a recent trip to the majestic ski resort town of Breckenridge Colorado I found a gem hidden in plain sight. If you follow my columns here on The Little Beauty Guide, or over at my blog Polish& Plates, you’ll know that I am a connoisseur of indie (independent) bath and body products. Why settle for boring, dull, plain white bars of soap that dry your skin when you can indulge in so much more!
While shopping on Main Street in Breckenridge I stumbled upon The Fresh Soap Company on the upper level of the Four Seasons Plaza. This artisan soap shop is one of a kind in Breckenridge – and just happened to be closed when I found it. As I peered in the windows and checked the schedule I couldn’t wait to come back when it was open. When I came back the next day I was welcomed by a sweet black Labrador and met two of the most lovely women (with amazing accents and learned that they were from South Africa). In this midst of this beautiful shop, which smelled amazing, I wondered what their story was.
The owner is Kim Nieuwoudt, a South Africa native who became a US citizen in 2003. While she has a professional background in wedding videography, whilst living in London in the 90s she became a loyal fan of The Body Shop. She began using their fruity glycerine soaps and body products. When she and her family moved to Colorado in 2003 there were no Body Shops (or soap shops) nearby. Disappointed with the soaps offered mainstream, she decided in 2007 to learn how to make her own soap. Her first batch was a simple, pale blue glycerine soap that smelled like clean laundry and it was AWESOME! Excited by the results she kept making soaps, always with a new fragrance, colour or texture. She graduated to making cold process soap also (that is the ancient method of making soap from scratch, whereby controlling the ingredients that go into it and the final outcome of the soap).
She started selling it at summer markets all over Colorado under the name “Soaps by Kim with Love” and in 2011 she decided to take her beautiful soap creations to the next level, so she opened a store on Main Street in Breckenridge. Fresh Soap Company was born, and has had steady, positive growth. She gets her inspiration from just about anywhere, a line in a song, pictures, designs on a blouse, the sky, a person, a gesture, a book she’s have read. Something she sees or hears will trigger an inspiration for a fragrance blend or a soap design. Sometimes, just seeing a colour palette will conjure up an inspiration for a scent or design. See their Lavender Lime soap (opposites – one lifts you up, one makes you sleepy, but what a knock-out blend!), and also Scarborough Fair (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme – get it?) to name just two, but they have many more signature fragrance blends. The Lemongrass & Eucalyptus (with Pink Himalayan Salt and Shea Butter) is their best seller. Also popular is the Beer Soap, and their “Naked” range of soaps (no colour, no fragrance). But you can’t ask her if she has a favorite, that’s like asking a mother to choose her favourite child. We can talk about my favourites though.
When I visited the store I bought a variety of their “guest sized” soaps. This was something I thought was amazing. You could also buy full size bars, but if you like to use new scents frequently like I do then the smaller bars are amazing. They even sell bags of “slivers” of soap for 1-2 uses and are great for travel, camping, or just having soap on the go.
My favourites are the cold process soaps especially the Almond and Vanilla Bean which is filled with poppy seeds for gentle exfoliation. Or how about Grandma’s Blueberry muffin -or a slice of Cherry Almond Love Cake? I’m still talking about soap here. This scent has sweet cherries blended with notes of warm nutty almonds, it’s totally addictive. You can also find this scent in an amazing sugar soap scrub that’s great for soft, clean skin. I also adore the colourful bars of Lovestruck over Tiffany and Little Angel soaps which smell heavenly. Now let’s not leave out the soaps that started it all, glycerine soap. These soaps are vegetable based and are therefore a natural way to cleanse your skin. They are detergent free, but lather to a rich foam and are also works of art – which you can keep as a fragrant ornament in your bathroom before you actually use them. My daughter adores her bar of Bubblegum soap and I quickly used an entire bar of Memories of Hawaii.
So what makes these soaps so special? Take a look at their label and compare it to store bought soaps. Fresh Soap Co. only uses the highest quality plant based oils, and butters from sustainable sources. They never use animal fats and tallows. The only animal by-products used in some of their soaps is goat’s milk and honey. They also use beeswax in their lip balms. There are no hardening chemicals in any of their soaps. Soaps are coloured with herbs, seeds and real fruit and vegetables; no dyes here. They use pure essential oils to fragrance them too, or phthalate free fragrance oils in soaps where an essential oil is not available (like their Clean Cotton Sheets soap). These soaps are as close to natural as you can get. Don’t worry guys, there are scents for you too. The Shades of Grey soap mingles leather with citrus, while the pear and ginseng as well as the salty sandalwood scents are also masculine too.
For those who love a soak in the bath, Fresh Soap Company has a huge selection of bath bombs available in three sizes; giving customers options depending on budget and bath size. There are a few regular fragrances, like Lavender, White Tea & Ginger, and Rosemary & Mint, but they rotate fragrances all the time. Their bath bombs contain nourishing cocoa and mango butters, which make your skin feel soft and moisturised after a fizzy soak in the bath
They also sell wonderful sea salts, each for their individual therapeutic benefits. They sell four kinds of salt, each for their amazing benefits from their mineral and bromide content. Dead Sea Salt and our Epsom Salts are left un-fragranced because of their unique benefits, but they colour and fragrance Pacific Sea Salts and their Pink Himalayan Salt. These salts are sold in cute pre-priced bottles (the price on the bottle is the filled price) or by weight. Just fill a bag with as little or as much as you like from any of our salt buckets, and we will weigh it at checkout.
There is also a glorious Goats Milk Bath Tea, which they leave un-fragranced. This is for those with very sensitive skins. Goat’s Milk is extremely beneficial for dry, itchy, sensitive skin. This tea bag is filled with chamomile flowers, pink Himalayan salt, cocoa butter and of course, goat’s milk. If you’ve never used a bath tea bag, all you have to do is toss it into your bath while the water is running. Allow the warm water to melt the ingredients, then give the tea bag a gentle squeeze to release the precious infusion into your bath, then relax for at least 20 minutes to get the best, nourishing soak ever. Your skin will feel amazing afterwards.
Fresh Soap Company puts a lot of thought, love and understanding into each of their soaps and products. I promise you that if you try these soaps you will see just how very special they are.
Fresh Soap Company ships worldwide to their loyal customer base so be sure to check out their website for all of these fabulous products. Don’t see something on their website? Be sure to send them an email or call the store. They are always happy to help you. You can stay up to date with what’s fresh at Fresh Soap Company on Facebookand Instagram too.
I hope no matter where in the world you are that you will jump online and check out this fantastic little gem. I’d love to hear from you over at Polish & Plates too, or in the comments below.