What inspired me to start

As a lover of all things handcrafted and sustainable, I began soap-making about 4 years back. From very humble beginnings with cardboard boxes for soap molds to our current custom-made wooden ones, the journey has been nothing short of healing. I took up soap making shortly after losing our baby girl, Sunny, the process of soap making came at a time when I desperately needed a way to process the weight of my families loss. It brought light, and creative energy into our home and more than anything, something to look forward to. It seemed like a useful skill to learn and share with my family and friends when we needed them the most.

For us, The Hobbyist embodies a comforting and uplifting energy of healing, love, and support. It intertwines us within our community, and allows us to share thoughtfully.

NEW When I started, I remember slicing soap bars with a kitchen knife - any kitchen knife! With my husband being a professional chef, this didn’t go over very well.. Fast forward to now, and we've graduated to a professional soap cutter that looks more like a musical instrument than a soap slicer. With this ‘upgrade’ came an enhanced final product and a more efficient way of processing these botanical bars of goodness while holding true to our beloved handcrafted touch.

After getting caught "contaminating" all the kitchen knives, I splurged on this soap slicer. I use a multi-bar metal slicer now but this one signal handly saved my marriage.

NEW It's what's inside that counts

NEW At the heart of my soap-making process lies a unique blend of ethically processed plant oils, each offering distinct skin-nourishing properties. Spanish olive oil, known for its moisturizing properties, and Italian sunflower oil, celebrated for being rich in Vitamin E, are key components. Raw unrefined cocoa butter contributes deep hydration and helps form a protective barrier over the skin. Coconut oil adds its cleansing properties to the mix, while organic and ethically sourced palm oil brings a stable lather and hardness to our botanical soap bars.

This olive oil is infusing with wild botanicals. It's best to store these potions out of direct sunlight but the window still seemed like a great spot for the photograph!

In my early days of soap making, I played around with a lot of different aromas but found myself drawn to and excited by creating my own custom coastal blends of pure essential oils. Essential oils are nature's treasure trove of therapeutic benefits, from mood-enhancing to skin-healing properties. They provide our botanical soaps with natural fragrance from mother earth, free from hormones disruptors, and synthetic preservatives. 

For colorants, the Hobbyist's botanical bars only feature plant-powered clays, as well as herbal and floral powders to create a wide and varied spectrum of vibrant colors. By opting for plant-based colorants it allows me to stay true to our eco-conscious values, aligning with my ethos of providing our customers with all-natural, safe, and non-toxic soaps.

Each botanical soap bar, holistically handcrafted, is a testament to our commitment to sustainability. I shave and stamp our soaps, a process that lends each bar its unique character and handmade touch. Packaging decisions mirror our eco-conscious mantra. By using recycled paper for our labels and choosing not to box our soaps, we reduce waste and minimize our environmental impact.

Gaia's beautiful orange color comes from blending orange peel powder with annatto seed powder and turmeric root powder.

A little tidbit about our botanical soap bars – I have began to incorporate Vancouver Island Sea Salt into every bar! I love love LOVE working with what's growing seasonally and using regional elements so this was a no brainer.

While waiting for a ferry to Cortes Island with a good friend, she mentioned the Vancouver Island Sea Salt Company to me. Without hesitation, I promptly placed an order for 10 kg. After our time at Hollyhock learning institution, the salt had arrived at my door step in Tofino and I got to work - I haven't looked back!

What truly captures the essence of our coastal region better than sea salt sourced from our very own waters? It's a genuine representation of the West Coast in every soap bar. But there's more to it than just geographical significance. This mineral-rich sea salt boasts the remarkable ability to naturally enhance the soap's firmness – no need for synthetic preservatives or hardeners, unlike the big players in the industry. Additionally, it offers a delicate exfoliation for your skin, revealing a healthy and radiant glow. The icing on the cake is its abundant magnesium content, which contributes valuable anti-inflammatory properties.

In essence, Vancouver Island Sea Salt has become more than an ingredient; it's a testament to our commitment to quality and a genuine reflection of the natural beauty that surrounds us.

All our soaps are made using the cold process method. This traditional slow soap-making method allows me complete control over the ingredients - like the addition of Vancouver Island Sea Salt and many other regionally specific flora and fauna while maintaining the integrity of the beautiful plant oils.

Shop like a local

You can find our all-natural soaps in Tofino at these wonderful local businesses:

Gaia Organic Grocery

Tofino Coffee Roasting Co.

Driftwood Gifts

Habit Clothing

Two Tress Home + Gift

By shopping small, you're not only getting your hands on our unique botanical bars but also helping to foster a vibrant local economy here in our little remote surf town!

Each botanical bar of soap embodies a commitment to natural ingredients, eco-conscious methods, and a deep respect for our Earth. Moving from using cardboard boxes as soap molds to refining the process one step at a time - while always staying true to our handcrafted ethos has been one heck of a rewarding ride.

As I reflect on this journey, I'm filled with SO MUCH gratitude for all of you.

If you feel called to please visit our Botanical Soap Collection and find a soap that resonates with you. Whether you're drawn to the invigorating scent of essential oils, the nourishing properties of our handpicked ingredients, or the ethical ethos of our brand, there's a Hobbyist Botanical soap waiting for you. 

Welcome the wilderness into your daily life with my line of mindfully made botanical soaps!

Sending love from Tofino,
Tam