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An Interview With Soap Lady Janet Quackenbush of Handmaiden Store Talks About Her Natural Homemade Soaps

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My sister-in-law, Janet, is a busy homeschool mom and runs her own business from her home.  I don't want to spoil the interview for you, but if you like natural, real soap, hand crafted by somebody you can trust, then you will enjoy the following conversation:

Me:  How long have you been making soaps?
Janet:  For about a decade.

Me:  And what got you started with making soaps?  (or How did you get started?)
Janet:  Would you believe the smell of your brother? Actually, my skin was so dry and friends had brought in some soap made by Mennonite women. I thought cool you can make your own soap. So I researched the process and walla.

Me:  So how long was it after you started making your own soap that you decided to sell your homemade soaps?
Janet:  That happened after I quit freaking out about somehow hurting our daughter's home-school education with a commitment to a home-based business. So about two years ago. It actually has really helped our homeschooling efforts as she sees how to put knowledge to use in business.

Me:  Wow!  I never thought about running a home-based business being beneficial to homeschool kids.  So, does she help with the soap making too?
Janet:  The soap making process involves a caustic ingredient that must be handled carefully, she will learn how to make soap soon. But with great care. The financial management, customer service and responsibility are a good place to start.

Me:  There is certainly much to learn.  Do you make anything other than soap?
Janet: Yes, we make whipped butters, which do not contain water so they are very concentrated and healing for dry, chapped skin. We also make solid lotion bars for cracked heels.

Me:  Where do you sell your handmade soaps and lotion bars?
Janet:  Thank you for asking! Our website is up and running, We also frequent local farmers markets, craft shows and festivals. To date we have stock in 3 area stores.

Me:  That is quite impressive!  Your website has a good layout and the graphics are great.  I see you have shampoos too!  You make all of this stuff in your kitchen?
Janet:   Yes, the products are cut, whipped and bottled in our kitchen. I even design all the labels. It's a blast!

Me:  I must say, I'm really impressed!! Your product looks like something I might find in Bed Bath & Beyond some day.
I also like your name, Handmaiden Store.  How did you come up with such a neat name?
Janet:  Thank you, if BB&B starts stocking my products, you'll need to come work for me because I'll be BUSY!.
The name was given to me years ago when I was seeking God with all my heart. He laid the name 'Handmaiden' on my heart. Then when my husband and I were talking about a name for my company he said something about hand-made-n, and at that instant I remembered what God had impressed on my those many years earlier.

Me:  Oh wow, that is so cool!  So God gave you the name in advance, before you ever knew you needed it.  No wonder I like it so much and I bet other people like that name too.  Do you sell on any sites other than your own website?
Janet:  Yes, we do get comments on the name and it's a joy to share the personal touch that our divine God blessed us with. We often meet others and pray for His personal touch on their businesses and lives.
We have sold product through Facebook, and we really enjoying social media for communications too.

Me:  Please do share your social links so that my readers can follow you, like you, or whatever the term is for the sites you are on.
Janet:  Of course, your readers can find us on

Me:  Great!  Is there anything else you would like to say about yourself, where you sell, or your products?  I may not have asked something that you would like to share with my readers, so I want to be sure not to leave anything out.
Janet:  Our goal is to provide quality products that you would enjoy using again and again. Please let us know if you have a hard to find favorite that we might be able to help you with. Blessings.

Me:  I believe you are reaching that goal very well.  Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.  It has been a pleasure interviewing you.  It's been fun, thank you.
Janet:   Debbie, thank you for thinking of me and you are a terrific interviewer.

Janet's products would make nice gifts, either alone, or buy a few items and put them in a gift basket.  Be sure to visit her website and save it so you can find it every time you are looking for your good homemade soaps and things.

Please leave your comments.  I enjoy reading them.  Thank you for reading my blog and sharing it with your friends.

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Reader Comments  (8)

Donna's Stuff & More
Donna's Stuff & More | May 31st 2013 at 1370000861

Great interview! Wish she sold on Addoway too!
Digital Designs and More
Digital Designs and More | May 31st 2013 at 1370006784

Great interview, love how she got her name for her business.
Royal Presence
Royal Presence | June 1st 2013 at 1370111709

Lovely interview, love the store name and its history also. | June 4th 2013 at 1370373594

Lovely blog. How did you know I'm addicted to hand made soaps??? Can you believe that I have not bought a bar of soap in a store in over 20 years??? New customer here.
Indizona Variety
Indizona Variety | June 4th 2013 at 1370383585 - in reply to catsmom

Hey, that's great! Be sure to tell Janet that you found her from my blog, ok?
Indizona Variety
Indizona Variety | June 4th 2013 at 1370383645 - in reply to RoyalPresence

Thank you. I didn't know the story about the name until I asked her. Some of the questions I already knew the answer to, but that one I didn't.
Indizona Variety
Indizona Variety | June 4th 2013 at 1370383712 - in reply to DonnasStuffMore

Thank you. I forgot to put my referral link at the end. I think I'll have to add that.
Indizona Variety
Indizona Variety | June 4th 2013 at 1370383736 - in reply to DigitalDesigns

Thank you so much.

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