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Getting creative with handmade home goods

One Carriere family is making a splash with their homemade bath products.

For Joey Webb soap making started almost as a joke, trying to make a bar of soap that looked like the hulk. A year later, Webb, his wife Miranda Webb and their daughter Jolie are making soap, candles, bath bombs and shower steamers and selling them through their primarily online business, Soap de Jolie.

Joey makes cold process soap, while his daughter Jolie makes the kid friendly melt and pour soap.

Melt and pour soap is a simple process. A premade base can be melted in a microwave. Then the maker just adds color and fragrance before pouring into a mold.

Jolie experiments with different molds, like gummy bear shapes, fleur de lis or Lego blocks.

Cold process soaps are also simple, according to Joey, although they do take more precision. Cold process soaps are made by combining oils and sodium hydroxide lye.

Joey uses an online soap calculator to determine the proper ratio of distilled water and lye for the oils he wants to use.

Once the oils, water and lye have been mixed, they have to cool to roughly 110 degrees before colors and fragrance are mixed in.

“Then you hope for the best,” said Joey.

Soap making is trial and error, because one small thing like the temperature of the water, can throw off the process and waste material.

Cold process soap has to sit for 30 days before it can be used, which made experimentation with different recipes a slow process.

“When we first started making these, it was like, we’d make it and then wait a month and then go try it and go, ‘is it going to melt my skin off or is it going to work?’ Then start again,” said Joey.

Miranda joined in the family fun when she started making soy candles with fragrances and flower petals or coffee beans on top. Figuring out the ratio of wicks to candle diameter has also required experimentation.

While some candles are in tins or apothecary jars, Joey also makes wooden forms for cypress candles that can run along the middle of a dining table or become the center piece for a coffee table.

He also makes cypress coffee tables, entryway tables and wall lights.

The family will do their first in-person market at TJ’s market later this month and are excited to participate in the spring Picayune Main Street Inc. Street Festival.

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