Genita became interested in this craft two years ago. At that time, she was purchasing soap from several sources and her husband Wayne suggested she make her own.
He did not know the idea would catch her attention. She began a lengthy period of reading and research. Gradually, she gained confidence in her knowledge and decided the time was right to accept the challenge.
“It was not as difficult as I imagined and I was truly proud,” she said.
The process takes time.
Genita uses essential or herbal oils like rosemary and lavender, which have therapeutic properties.
These are best mixed with fresh milk instead of water. A gallon of milk makes about 60 bars. To get a lighter soap, she places the mixture into the freezer for about 30 minutes and then in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Although the soap can be used within 24 hours, she tests her product and lets cure about 2 weeks.
At first, she made small batches since she only had one mold.
Later, she purchased more and now makes her soap twice or three times each month.
In the beginning, she made soap for herself, family and friends. After receiving so many requests, she decided to expand and began selling her product.
Gypsy Flower Soap Company is the name she chose for marketing. She makes her own labels and individually wraps each bar in black and white paper.
Genita selected the name after seeing so many wildflowers along the roadsides. She identified these plants as herbs, not weeds.
She credits her love and knowledge of nature to her father, Doyle Lepard. “He can go into the woods and identify most of the wild plants,” she said. “He passed most of this to me, especially during my childhood.”
Although she is pleased with her efforts, Genita continues to try new oils such as rosemary. She recently used the properties from dried rose petals. These were infused into olive oil and incorporated into the soap.
Meanwhile, her hobby continues to be a work in progress and she hopes to move into a building behind her home.
“Soap making can clutter up your living space,” she said.
Genita is also thinking of blending ingredients in a lotion, but admitted this is still a plan for the future.