Astrid owns Pacific Coast Soap Works which makes handmade soap dyed naturally with organic juiced vegetables, charcoals, roots, natural clays, botanicals, for color and scented with essential oils. Little Cricket is proud to now be carrying this local artisan’s full line of soaps, balms and bath salts.
I was born in Dawson Creek, but moved to the Fraser Valley at age 2. I was always a wild child in school and as a teen, always an entrepreneur – even in my tricycle days, I would collect spiders and bugs and make homes for them in baby food jars and sell them for .25 each! As soon as I turned 17 I moved to Jasper, then Kelowna and Vancouver Island. I even tried to back pack and live in Hawaii! I always found myself coming back to the Fraser Valley though… Eventually, I became a para legal and worked in Surrey Provincial Court for 14 years and MCFD in Mission for four. I am also a certified Hatha Yoga instructor, a certified aesthetician and a certified paramedical tattoo artist.
When my son was just 2 years old, I became horrified when he started having nightmares and would wake up in a frantic state, crying. I tried everything…. and as a last ditch effort a friend of mine advised me to try using a diffuser with essential oils like lavender, neroli and frankincense an hour before bed time. It worked! A few months later I stopped using them and the nightmares returned. I was convinced! This experience sent me on my path to learn everything I could about these natural oils.
As a single parent, I would be home in the evenings and on weekends, researching and learning. I started making products for my face, for anxiety, for acne, for baths for restless leg – everything you could imagine. People started asking me to make them products and before you knew it, I became the proud owner of an Aromatherapy Store and Spa! One of the products that I ordered in was Pacific Coast Soap Works. Unfortunately, the lady who created this company and all the recipes passed away, but the demand for the soap at my store did not stop. Eventually, her husband and I came to an agreement, and I bought the company. As time went on, my store got busier and busier but my son was growing up and my priorities were changing. I decided to sell my beautiful shop but I didn’t give up my soap!
Although making soap is hard work, it is really my passion. It is exciting to watch the oils turn into soap right before my eyes; to see the colors that the soap turn when I put in herbs, roots or veggies, and to smell the essential oils all day is intoxicating!
My soap is environmentally friendly (which means it produces grey water) so you could have a bath using my soap and then use the bathwater to water your garden or house plants. You could even use my soap in a creek or fresh water lake and not worry that you are harming the wildlife or the environment!
It is so satisfying, after waiting my 72 hours of incubation period, to find these solid bars of soap! From there it gets sliced and laid on a cure rack for 6 to 8 weeks. I love to see my shelves being emptied, knowing that people are purchasing my soap and using it in their homes.