A Word from Lisa
The Woman Behind Splendid Bee
“I grew up on a small farm in Kentucky and was intrigued by personal sustainability and self-resourcefulness before it was in vogue. I rode horses, milked cows and goats, made my own dairy products, and kept a wide variety of animals while I was growing up. I collected and dried wildflowers and grasses for craft projects and imaginary play, too. At my childhood home, we had a large and productive garden and preserved foods for the winter months. Some of my fondest memories are of walking barefoot through cool, freshly-plowed soil, dropping pieces of seed potatoes into earthen troughs. Some of my less fond memories include shucking endless mounds of sweet corn for freezing, and snapping bottomless bushels of green beans for canning on humid summer afternoons. My father was a bee-keeper as well, so we always had fresh honey and beeswax. Thus began my interest in bees and the fruits of their labor.
Both of my grandmothers started making soap during the Great Depression out of necessity and self-reliance. This was my first exposure to the irregular and simple perfection of handmade soap and continued until they passed away. It didn’t smell good like store-bought soap, but it had a primitive and rustic quality that drew me in. While in college, I studied the French language and traveled there. While in Europe, I learned about the extensive and rich soap-making history of France and, again, was attracted to this simple, but noble, commodity.
After college, I married and started my own family. While at home, raising my three kids, I felt the need for a creative outlet. One of my cousins had learned to make soap from my grandmother before she passed, so I decided to revisit soap-making as an art form. In my research, I discovered that beeswax has beneficial skin-care qualities and can be added to soap.
Thus began the story of Splendid Bee…”