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From www.Send2Press.com


Chef and Naturalist Team Up to Create Natural Hand Crafted Soap
Edited by Liisa Sullivan
Wed, 28 May 2008, 10:31:20 EDT

RALEIGH, N.C., May 28 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- What do you get when you combine a chef and a naturalist?

No, it's not a trick question. The result is beautifully handcrafted soap from Natural Handcrafted Soap, a Raleigh, N.C.-based company. "Making soap is a lot like cooking," Nick, co-owner of Natural Handcrafted Soap, explains. "It requires blending ingredients and getting just the right balance."

Caption: Natural Handcrafted Soap in LavenderNick's partner, who hails from Brazil, was handed down recipes from her grandmother that included natural ingredients from the rain forest for soaps that really make a difference on one's skin.

"It was a natural relationship for us to come together to create these wonderfully-natural soap products."

All soaps are handmade. "Some even include herbs from our personal garden," Nick adds.

These old-fashioned, handcrafted natural soaps are created in small batches using a variety of natural oils, butters and botanicals from many of the world's regions ranging from the rain forests of Brazil and the hills of Italy, to the Provencal countryside of France and ancient Egypt.

The soaps are different from many others on the market in that they are "super sudsy" and leave skin feeling velvety soft. This feature is attributed to the 100 percent natural essential and fragrance oils that are used.

Generally, commercial soaps found at a local grocery store, are filled with chemical additives that not only dry out skin, but can lead to rashes and other irritations. This, in part, is due to synthetic additives and the removal of glycerin.

When using natural soaps, people will enjoy moisturizing, healing benefits, and exfoliating properties. This is made possible through the use of herbs, butters, spices and natural botanicals. Each bar of natural soap is hand-cut and hand packed.

"We do it all," Nick says.

These natural soaps are crafted using natural herbs, spices and clays; they contain no artificial ingredients. Ingredients include, but are not limited to: olive oil, grape seed oil, mango butter, lavender oil, Egyptian geranium, cinnamon, and rose clay. Naturally occurring glycerin is also present.

Approximately 40 different choices are available from an array of categories - citrus fruits, plant and flower extract, from the tree, oatmeal, goat's milk and buttermilk, espresso coffee, from the sea, clays, herbs and triple-milled French.

For more information, visit: www.NaturalHandcraftedSoap.com or email: naturalhandcraftedsoap@gmail.com.



From Wake Living Magazine

A NATURAL Nick DiTomasso makes squeaky-clean foray into handcrafting soaps

by Kurt Dusterberg
Photography by Allison Davis, Sandfoot Photography


DiTomasso’s handmade soaps, which are free from chemicals and perfumes, are derived from olive, palm, and coconut oils.


Nick DiTomasso has dabbled in several business ventures through the years. Now he’s coming clean.
With soap, that is.

Four years ago, DiTomasso wanted to break free from his investments in Florida, where the real estate market had gone soft.
When his longtime business partner, Elis Crismanis, returned home to Brazil for a visit, DiTomasso asked her to bring back some family recipes. Instead of culinary delights, Crismanis returned with her grandmother’s old soap recipes.
“Elis tried to make some soaps, and I decided to do some research,” DiTomasso says. “I was enjoying it, actually. It was like cooking and baking.”

DiTomasso tinkered with his new idea and set out to relocate, eventually settling in North Raleigh.

“I started doing my homework on North Carolina,” he says. “I’ve dabbled in everything, mostly in the entertainment business — restaurants and clubs. But you get tired of that. It wears you out. The club business will kill you. I had to get out of that. Bad hours, bad life habits.”
His most prominent investment was a nightclub called Club Vinyl, a trendy Manhattan hangout that attracted some of New York’s most ardent party people.

“It was kind of an underground club,” DiTomasso says. “We had everybody there. We had the Spice Girls come in during their prime. It didn’t open until midnight, and it stayed open until eight in the morning.”

The business of soap

After what DiTomasso calls “political battles” with officials in the Tribeca neighborhood, he closed the club in 2000 and moved to Florida. Now his days are spent in pursuit of the perfect bar of soap.

“I learned on my own, just like I learned to cook on my own,” says DiTomasso, who takes pride in his culinary skills.

Whether making soap or spaghetti sauce, the process is similar. He makes batches of soap almost every day, setting out pots on the stove and working in the ingredients like a chef. One pot is for combining oils, while lye and water are brewed in the other.

“Then you have to mix the soap by hand for about an hour,” he says. “And it depends on the weather. If it’s humid, it takes longer.

“You have to get it exactly right, from the lye to the oils,” DiTomasso adds. “If you use too much lye, your soap will come out like a brick. If you don’t have enough lye, your soap is going to have no lather and be soft.”

DiTomasso, who uses no perfumes or chemicals, begins with the three most common soap-making oils: olive, palm and coconut. Next are the essential oils, which give soaps their unique scents. These highly concentrated extracts come from all over the world.

“We get some of our essential oils from Brazil,” he says. “We use something called copaiba, which is from the Amazon rain forest. It comes from the trees there. It’s just remarkable for your skin.”

Once the soap is properly mixed, it is ready to set in a mold. DiTomasso prefers to work in small batches, cutting each bar by hand.
Soaps must cure for six to 10 weeks in order to set properly. To that end, DiTomasso devotes an entire closet to the task, where shelves are lined with every color, shape and size.

“That’s when the glycerin forms inside the soap, which is made from the lye and the water,” he says. “Glycerin makes that nice lather that you get. It only forms over time. You have to let it sit.”

The results are unique. No two bars are exactly the same shape or size, and each one has the name of the scent etched lightly into the surface of the bar.

With 55 varieties, there’s a scent for even the most discriminating sniffers. For the fancy coffee lover, Espresso Coffee with Pearberry provides a nice wake-up call. For those who prefer a citrus-tinged aroma, there is Grapefruit with Moroccan Clay, while those who like garden scents can choose from exotic mixtures such as French Jasmine Lilac.

Finding a market

DiTomasso is still taking his first steps in finding a market for his soaps. He handles orders directly through his Web site, www.naturalhandcraftedsoap.com, and has placed the product in several boutiques throughout the Triangle.

But similar to other businesses, the world of high-end soaps is fraught with challenges. Originally, he had hoped that retail shops would appreciate the intrinsic appeal of a hand-cut bar, with its natural color and characteristics. But shop owners wanted fancy packaging, so DiTomasso has experimented, using fancy paper with hand-tied ribbon. He’s even created a wrapper with a little handle.

And while the fragrances of each Natural Handcrafted Soap are subtle, some potential retail clients have been surprised that the scents aren’t more potent.

“If it doesn’t knock the socks off of you, they don’t want that,” he says of many retailers.
“You just want to be able to get a burst while you’re using it,” DiTomasso notes. “You don’t want to feel like you’re showering with perfume.”

While the marketing hurdles have provided a few challenges, DiTomasso has received positive feedback from customers. And his own daily test marketing fuels his enthusiasm; DiTomasso no longer relies on the traditional get-in, get-out shower.

“The first time I used it, I couldn’t believe it … I actually stayed in the shower,” he says with a laugh. “It doesn’t make you oily, and it doesn’t make you greasy.”

Now DiTomasso has a clean slate when he begins his day, hoping to raise the bar — of soap — to a new level.

Kurt Dusterberg is a freelance writer based in Apex.

  OUR SOAPS

African Grapefruit {Handmade Soap}
Florida Citrus tangerine Lime Soap 100% Natural
Gift Basket Natural {Handmade Soap}
Lemongrass Soap With Cocoa Butter Handmade
Beer Artisan Soap Stout and Oatmeal
Brazilian Oil Soap with Acai Butter
Egyptian Geranium Crushed Flowers Handmade Soap
Four Bar Variety Organic Soaps
French Jasmine Soap & Rose Oil
French Lavender / Shea Soap
Gift Basket Natural {Handmade Soap}
Jasmine & Coconut Milk Soap
Jasmine Lilac Bar Soap
Lavender with Dead Sea Mud
Lemongrass Soap With Cocoa Butter Handmade
Peppermint Bar Soap Clay and Kelp
Peppermint with Sea Clay Soap
Provence Lavender Geranium Soap Bar
Provence Lavender Jasmine Soap
Almond Hazel Nut Face and Body Soap
Australian Tea Tree Soap with Cocoa Butter & Leaves
Australian Tea Tree Soap for Acne and Oily Skin
Brazilian Oil Soap with Acai Butter
Castile Olive- Palm
Castile Olive Soap with Organic Coconut
Copaiba - Coconut Milk for Eczema, Psoriasis or Acne
Four Bar Variety Organic Soaps
French Cafe au Lait Soap
Greek Olive Oil Mediterranean Sea Salt
Greek Olive Oil Soap...
Oatmeal Soap with Organic Shea Butter
Palm Coconut with Cocoa Butter
Rainforest Copaiba Soap
Sea Kelp with Cocoa Butter Soap
Sea Moss with Shea Butter Soap
Volcanic Ash With Patchouli Soap Bar
Beer Artisan Soap Stout and Oatmeal
Mother and Baby Bar Soap Gift -- 12 Bar
Oatmeal Soap with Organic Shea Butter
Organic Oatmeal Soap with Mango Butter
Buttermilk and Goat Milk Soap
Buttermilk with Honey and Mango Butter Handmade Soap
Copaiba - Coconut Milk for Eczema, Psoriasis or Acne
Four Bar Variety Organic Soaps
Gift Basket Natural {Handmade Soap}
Goat / Coconut Milk Soap Natural
Goats Milk Soap
Goats Milk with Golden Honey
Jasmine & Coconut Milk Soap
Mother and Baby Bar Soap Gift -- 12 Bar
Brazilian Coffee Soap
Coffee Soap (Luxury-Soap)
Espresso Scrub Soap with Coffee Butter
Four Bar Variety Organic Soaps
French Cafe au Lait Soap
Hawaiian Kona Coffee Soap...
-Twelve Piece Gentleman's Gift Set
Dead Sea Mud Soap - Anise
Dead Sea Mud Soap with Dead Sea Salt
Greek Olive Oil Mediterranean Sea Salt
Sea Kelp / with Chamomile Herb
Sea Kelp with Cocoa Butter Soap
Sea Moss with Shea Butter Soap
Volcanic Ash With Patchouli Soap Bar
African Grapefruit {Handmade Soap}
Dead Sea Mud Soap - Anise
Dead Sea Mud Soap with Dead Sea Salt
Egyptian Geranium Crushed Flowers Handmade Soap
Four Bar Variety Organic Soaps
Jasmine & Coconut Milk Soap
Lavender with Dead Sea Mud
Peppermint Bar Soap Clay and Kelp
Peppermint with Sea Clay Soap
Provence Lavender Geranium Soap Bar
Provence Lavender Jasmine Soap
Volcanic Ash With Patchouli Soap Bar
Brazilian Oil Soap with Acai Butter
French Jasmine Soap & Rose Oil
Sea Kelp / with Chamomile Herb
Soap on a Rope
4 Handmade Natural Soap Bar Gift
Artisan Soap Gift Set
Gift Basket Natural {Handmade Soap}
Artisan Soap Gift Set
Mother and Baby Bar Soap Gift -- 12 Bar
Soap on a Rope
-Twelve Piece Gentleman's Gift Set
Twelve Piece Skin Care Soap-Gift Set
Brazilian Oil Soap with Acai Butter
Buttermilk and Goat Milk Soap
Goats Milk Soap
Goats Milk with Golden Honey
Greek Olive Oil Soap...
Sea Kelp / with Chamomile Herb
Artisan Soap Gift Set
Australian Tea Tree Soap for Acne and Oily Skin
Copaiba - Coconut Milk for Eczema, Psoriasis or Acne
Dead Sea Mud Soap - Anise
Dead Sea Mud Soap with Dead Sea Salt
Espresso Scrub Soap with Coffee Butter
Florida Citrus tangerine Lime Soap 100% Natural
Greek Olive Oil Mediterranean Sea Salt
Organic Oatmeal Soap with Mango Butter
Rainforest Copaiba Soap
Volcanic Ash With Patchouli Soap Bar
--Aged (Large Set) Sea kelp & Milk Soap...
Aged Large Castile Olive Palm Soap
Aged Large Greek Olive Oil Soap 12oz.
Artisan Soap Gift Set
Brazilian Espresso Coffee Scrub Soap Large Aged
Dead Sea Mud Soap Extra Large Limited Edition Aged
French Lavender Egyptian Geranium Aged Soap -
Geranium Large Soap Bar Artisan Aged
Handmade Soap Almond Hazelnut Aged Extra Large Bar
Jasmine & Lilac Soap Artisan Aged
Large Bar -Thai Lemongrass Soap ..
Large French Organic Coffee Soap
Large Goat and Organic Coconut Milk
Large Peppermint- Soap Kelp Clay
Lavender Jasmine Aged Skincare Soap Bar -
Limited Edition Large Soap Goats Milk with Golden Blossom
Limited Edition Large Tea Tree Soap Bar
Limited Edition Organic Oatmeal Aged with Shea Butter Soap Bar
Limited Edition Soap . - Volcanic Ash with Patchouli
Provence Lavender Handmade Large Aged Limited Edition Soap
Rainforest Copaiba Soap Aged
Special Limited Edition Guinness Extra Stout and Oatmeal Soap
X-Large Aged Castile Olive Coconut Soap
--Aged (Large Set) Sea kelp & Milk Soap...
Aged Large Castile Olive Palm Soap
Aged Large Greek Olive Oil Soap 12oz.
Brazilian Espresso Coffee Scrub Soap Large Aged
Dead Sea Mud Soap Extra Large Limited Edition Aged
French Lavender Egyptian Geranium Aged Soap -
Geranium Large Soap Bar Artisan Aged
Handmade Soap Almond Hazelnut Aged Extra Large Bar
Large Bar -Thai Lemongrass Soap ..
Large French Organic Coffee Soap
Large Goat and Organic Coconut Milk
Large Peppermint- Soap Kelp Clay
Lavender Jasmine Aged Skincare Soap Bar -
Limited Edition Large Soap Goats Milk with Golden Blossom
Limited Edition Large Tea Tree Soap Bar
Limited Edition Organic Oatmeal Aged with Shea Butter Soap Bar
Limited Edition Soap . - Volcanic Ash with Patchouli
Provence Lavender Handmade Large Aged Limited Edition Soap
Rainforest Copaiba Soap Aged
Special Limited Edition Guinness Extra Stout and Oatmeal Soap
X-Large Aged Castile Olive Coconut Soap
4 Handmade Natural Soap Bar Gift
Artisan Soap Gift Set
Gift Basket Natural {Handmade Soap}
Jasmine & Lilac Soap Artisan Aged
Twelve Piece Skin Care Soap-Gift Set
4 Handmade Natural Soap Bar Gift
Artisan Soap Gift Set
Gift Basket Natural {Handmade Soap}
Greek Olive Oil Mediterranean Sea Salt
Mother and Baby Bar Soap Gift -- 12 Bar
Twelve Piece Skin Care Soap-Gift Set
Beer Artisan Soap Stout and Oatmeal
Coffee Soap (Luxury-Soap)
Dead Sea Mud Soap with Dead Sea Salt
Espresso Scrub Soap with Coffee Butter
Greek Olive Oil Mediterranean Sea Salt
Soap on a Rope
-Twelve Piece Gentleman's Gift Set


www.naturalhandcraftedsoap.com