Thank you for visiting.  My name is Bonnie Howard and I am a soapsmith.  My company’s name is The Village Soapsmith LLC.  and we are located in Pinehurst, NC.  As with many people in Pinehurst, I am retired and moved here for the golf.  The first few years I lived here, I played golf nearly every day but I have always needed to be challenged by new things.  I have an independent and self-sufficient spirit but while I was working I didn’t have the interest, time or energy to explore the self-sufficient life style.  The one exception was my love of cooking that I can trace back to winning a ribbon in the State Fair for making a simple sandwich – I really don’t remember much except how thrilled I was to get a ribbon.

I spent my first eleven years on a small farm in West Virginia.  My grandfather also had a saw mill.  He believed that everyone needed to work – he would often quote a Bible verse that says “let a man work so that he may have something to eat.”  He could always find something for us to do – we worked around the house, in the garden, slopped the hogs and feed the chickens.  Sometimes we were even called on to work at the saw mill.  I loved the smell of saw dust.  So it is no surprise that I would think of gardening now that I have some time on my hands and a nice sized backyard.  I started out with a 4 x 8 foot raised bed made from a kit.  But that wasn’t enough – I wanted a big garden with lots of variety.  My self-sufficient personality came out and I bought a miter saw and a load of cedar and started building my own raised beds.  Now I have a workshop with that saw, a table saw, a router and lots of hand saws and look for ways to use them.  I bought a few acres out in the country and just put in a traditional garden.  I am praying the wild life finds others plants more desirable.  We only plowed a small part of the new area – need to make sure I can handle working both locations.

Eating healthier made me think about ways I could improve other areas of my life.  I thought about all the chemicals we put into and on our bodies and decided to take a soap making class.  The first time I used my own soap I was hooked.  I couldn’t believe how much better my skin felt and looked.  My first soaps were very simple plain bars.  But of course I had to learn everything I could about making soap and I discovered some wonderful creative soap makers whose soaps look like works of art.  Now soap making is not only good for my skin but it is a creative outlet.   I am also making all natural lotions, balms and scrubs.

My goal here is chronicle my experiences with these varied endeavors and maybe entertain some readers.