Friday, March 27, 2015

A Brown Barn Primer: Bar Soap

We have soap.  We make soap.  We buy soap. We use soap.  We smell soap.  We love soap.

At Brown Barn the bar soap is one of our top selling items.  Each day we get a number of questions about Brown Barn soaps.  I've selected the top questions to answer here for all of our readers.

1. What is the difference between all of these types of soap you sell?

Brown Barn sells more than 110 "flavors" of soap.  They are categorized to make shopping for the perfect soap bar easier for our customers:

  • All Natural - These soaps consist of ingredients that are all natural.  They contain no added sulfates or chemicals.  They are scented with essential oil.
  • Nearly Natural or Handmade - This is one in the same.  We are in the process of changing our name for this category from Handmade to Nearly Natural because we feel Nearly Natural is a better definition.  These soaps have the same "base" as All Natural soaps but they are scented with synthetic (man-made) fragrance oil.  That is the part that keeps these soaps from being all natural.
  • Organic - Made with basically the same formula as our other soaps but 85% of the oils are organic.  That means that these oils are pressed from plants grown without the use of chemicals. These oils are certified organic (just like in the grocery store!) however the product does not have the FDA Certified Organic seal on it because the lab has not yet been certified Organic. Many products at Brown Barn are by all means and definitions, organic products, however they are not advertised or certified as such due to the technicality of the lab needing to be certified organic.
  •  Goat's Milk - Made with added Goat's Milk. Goat milk has a ph similar to that of humans making this soap less drying and more soothing.  This is a great choice for people with skin sensitivities and elderly or infant skin.
  • Hand Poured Soap - These are soaps formed into beautiful and fun shapes such as flowers, dogs, snowflakes.  They are subdivided into types as well including bases of goats milk, nearly natural and Shea butter.
A detailed hand-poured rose soap.
  • Shampoo Bars - These are soaps that are meant to be used as Shampoo. They are sold in tins.  This soap is specially formulated to be used as shampoo (and is quite addicting).  These soaps are considered All Natural.

2.  Do you make the soap yourself?

Yes and No. Sometimes and sometimes not. A little of this, a lot of that.

Brown Barn used to produce all of the soap it sold. Shortly after we opened our first store we found that our soaps sold so quickly and demand was much higher than we could handle ourselves.  At that time we found a fantastic soap maker who makes soaps by hand.  We now sub-contract some of our soaps from this company.  We also make soaps ourselves.  All of the hand poured soaps and shampoo bars are made by Brown Barn.

For years we have fought to get into the position where we can make all of our own bar soap. It has taken us this long to build adequate space to make and cure the amount of bars needed to keep up with Brown Barn sales. Our first in  line of "luxury" Brown Barn soap batches are finally being produced next week in our own lab!! This line will feature Brown Barn's fabulous infused oils made in our own greenhouse from plant materials harvested on our Wisconsin farm.

We will continue to carry the soap our sub-contractor provides as it is different from the Brown Barn recipe and allows us to focus our talents on the more unique soaps our customers deserve.  The customers will just have a much wider selection to choose from that will include soaps such as bar soaps with rose petals scattered thru them and unique swirls and scents. These bars will be available to purchase by Memorial Day!

3. I see the word "Vegan" on many of your soap labels, what does that mean?

Vegan status means that no animal materials are contained in the soap. We NEVER test on animals and do not use animal fat (lard) in our soap making however we do use Goat milk, Beeswax and Honey so that we may share in the wonderful animal products.  We indicate Vegan for those people whose belief system requires only the use of plant based products.

4. I am allergic to Coconut (or Chamomile or Lavender or Apricots), do your bars contain that ingredient? (Or on the flip side "I'm looking for a product that is made with Coconut Oil.")

All of our regular bar soap contain an ingredient listing on the back. Be sure to check all ingredient listings prior to purchase. Another option is to go to to our website and use the search feature to search out which products include the ingredient you are looking for. You can also ask any of Brown Barn's friendly Sales Associates for assistance.

5. I would like a soap made with x, y, z and the kitchen sink and scented in Purple Panic. Can you make that for me?

On occasion Brown Barn has been known to make special order requests. As we've grown and our workloads have become heavier, we've found it increasingly difficult to keep up with our production and provide special request services to customers. We've found the need to limit special requests to orders of 20, 50 or 100 or more depending on what is being ordered. We do not like to disappoint our customers and do have a list of other handmade soapers in Wisconsin who most likely would love these small special orders and always happy to refer if we cannot do it ourselves so please do ask!

6. I have an event coming up I'd like soap for. Can you help me with this?

Absolutely! Brown Barn soaps make ideal favors for weddings and other events. We are happy to work with you to help make your event special. Email special requests to

I will get off my "Soap Box" now.  If you would like to learn more about Brown Barn soaps please visit our web-site at or ask one of our friendly sales staff.

Chris Untiedt
The Brown Barn Company llc

1 comment:

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