Our Story

How Our Soapmaking Journey Began

Soapmaker in the herb garden

I didn’t start out to make soap! In fact, the thought had never crossed my mind.  I was a gardener, an herb gardener and I was happily learning how to grow and use my herbs when my best friend sent a Christmas gift.  The gift was a melt and pour soapmaking kit. After the madness of the season had passed, I eagerly went about creating my first soap. The entire process took about 15 minutes. Fun but not very challenging! However, the kit contained a book describing cold processed soapmaking. That book combined with my fascination of a bright, happy flower (Calendula officinalis)  was all it took to unlock a deep seated passion for soapmaking that I never knew I had!! Twenty-four years later, I am just as excited to make a batch of soap as I was the very first time.  Don’t be afraid to try new things! You never know where they will lead!!

What We Do

The Kulturology Soap Company is committed to making the finest quality handcrafted soaps incorporating organic herbs and flowers, pure essential oils, and exotic oils and butters.  We developed a formula that utilizes a high percentage of olive oil because of its superior soapmaking qualities…it produces a long lasting gentle soap that won’t clog pores.  We add just enough coconut oil to provide a rich, sudsy lather but won’t dry out your skin.  Each soap variety is a synthesis of ingredients combined to enhance its intentional effect…nothing willy nilly here!!  We don’t use micas, dyes, or palm oil in our soaps.  Our soaps are still hand-stirred, hand-cut, and hand-wrapped.  For that reason, each bar is slightly different…and we like it that way!!  We don’t control Mother Nature…sometimes she makes the lemon balm a little darker or the calendula petals a little more orange…we are happy with what she provides.

Where Did You Get that Name?

My degree is in Cultural Anthroplogy.  The term “culturology” was first coined by prominent anthropologist, Leslie White who defined it as the scientific study of culture. I see it a little differently. I use the –ology suffix in its alternate sense as defined by Webster’s—to express something, in this instance to express culture through the act of creating because so much of what defines our human culture derives from those things we create and use in our daily lives.  Not to be one to anger my disciplinary forefathers (or mothers) I spell the words with a “k”.  So you see the name is a simple play on words that I find oddly entertaining.

Our olive oil soaps

Soapmaking Process

The soapmaking process is really quite simple—take a fatty acid, add a strong base, and voila, you have soap! Well it’s a little more complicated but that’s it in a nutshell.  The fatty acid can be either animal, vegetable or a combination of the two and the strong base can be sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide more commonly referred to as “lye”.  Natural soaps are made with one of 2 processes; hot or cold.  In the cold-process method the heat produced by the lye water drives the saponification process while hot processed soap is heated externally.  All soap requires the use of lye.  Though a properly cured bar of handcrafted soap no longer contains lye, the saponification magic simply won’t happen without it.  Handcrafted soap can be made to be as complex or simple as the soapmaker desires. So many herbs, flowers, essential oils to choose from and so many techniques such as swirls and layers to play with…the possibilities are truly endless. We’ll keep playing as long as people keep enjoying our creations!!

Meet the Team

Jan--Owner and Soapmaker

Jan is the owner and soapmaker at the Kulturology Soap Company. If it needs to get done, she’s the one to do it!!

Shane--Mr. Fix It

Shane is our Mr. Fix It. If it needs fixin’ he’s our go-to guy!!

Baxter--Top Dog

Baxter is the top dog around here and lots of days he is running the show–deciding break time and dinner time and play time!!