The Luxury of Simplicity
My name is Cristy Ramos and I specialize in hand-making natural products. I love drinking coffee during any season of the year. I have four playful and joyful children. I enjoy spending quality time with my family and traveling. My favorite activities to do at home are to play Monopoly and make crafts with my kids.
Just as my children, I was involved in crafts since a young age. I loved making crafts and was always looking for something creative to do that I could benefit from. Some of the things I remember making were things like piñatas, crochet, embroidery, and jewelry.
I studied to be a nurse in my late teens. I took care of many people, specially at a nursing home. Hygiene has been something extremely important to me since then. I used chlorine bleach to clean everything in my house, liquid detergents for dishes and laundry, commercial soap bars for face and body. I thought of these products as integral to my lifestyle and never cared about the toxic ingredients in them.
Never in my life I imagined all of those products mentioned to be replaced with something eco-friendly, or even further, to make them at home! Two years after my third child was born, in 2010, he was having allergic reactions to many of the baby products we used on him, so I stopped using them. I sought for substitutes and as I was heading to my nearest retail store, I drove by a herb store and found handmade soap. It caught my eye because I didn't think soap could be homemade. I purchased a few bars for myself and noticed the difference right away - so I tried on my baby.
The handmade soap did not cause any allergic reaction to my baby's skin. I was very happy and surprised! I compared the ingredients of the handmade soap with the commercial "soap" and the list was shorter and just by looking up the components, I knew the handmade soap was much better. I then integrated handmade soaps in my household.
I started reading about natural products and why they are important. I was living more simple by using handmade products with natural ingredients and being more conscious about what I was putting on my skin. I was changing my lifestyle, product by product. It was a luxury to me living that simple so I call this lifestyle The Luxury Of Simplicity.
Later on, I got curious to read about soap-making. My creative self instantly became obsessed with the idea of it, so I gave it a go. I experimented with a bunch of different soap formulas and was left with soap bars all over my kitchen and dining area! If a formula did not turn out the way I wanted, I would always try to make it the right way by looking back at the formula and changing percentages. It was fun trying out many ways to make soap. My favorite method was using the cold process method, so I sticked to it. (Read about the cold process method in our ingredients page).
When I finally realized there were too many soap bars laying around, I started giving them away to local friends and family. After I received great feedback on them, my son Israel encouraged me to open an online shop. He explained I could continue my soap-making hobby and at the same time provide eco-friendly products to people who want to live The Luxury Of Simplicity.
Late December in 2012, as a family we made the decision to open a shop on Etsy. Soon enough, what was my hobby became a full-time job I enjoy a lot. We became more and more busy over time and my two teens voluntarily helped me in what they could. I appreciate them very much and just as this business is mine, it is theirs too. Shortly after New Year's in 2013, we became members of the Alabama Soap & Candle Association and my son opened up our website.
Growth is always a great thing, as a family and business we are all growing together! Our business goal is to offer the best products to our customers and our dream is to have a mortar and brick store, with room to create and sell our products.
Behind The Making of an Artisan Soap
In these five photographs I am showing how I made this artisan soap called Lime Zest. The first photo shows the mold and the tools I am using. The second photo shows the pouring of the saponified vegetable oils with its natural colorants added. I then make a swirl design to give the soap an artistic look, shown on the third photo. Final swirl on top of the soap is done with another tool. I show what the swirl on top came out like on the fourth photo. Finally, on the fifth photo, I am cutting a loaf of soap into bars.
We have been to a few Pop Ups in 2016 and it is always fun to sell in person. I like watching reactions to certain scents and colors. It's amazing how our senses differ from person to person. We'll be at Pop Up shops around Las Vegas, if you're interested you can sign up to our newsletter for notifications on upcoming ones.
We can guarantee every single of our products is made with loads of love. Everything we put in our products is carefully selected. Our materials and work-space is clean and we proudly make our products in North Las Vegas, Nevada.