Sweetland Soap

A word from the owner of Sweetland Soap, Jennifer Wagester…

Sweetland Soap began back in 2012, when I made my first batch of soap.  My head was intrigued by the science, my heart in making a wholesome luxury item for my family.  I was a stay-at-home mom then and put my hobby on the back-burner when I returned to full-time work.  One relocation later and back to stay-at-home mom status has been the blessing needed to ask myself where my time and energy is needed and what fuels my passion.

Every time I give my soaps as gifts or donate them to charity, the reaction is the same – this is the best soap I’ve ever used, do you teach classes, how can I buy more…  After years of hearing this, the timing is right to make Sweetland Soap all it can be.

Why do I want to make and sell soap? 

Because there is no better way to begin or end a day than with the luscious, scented lather of handmade soap.  Soap is a gift that can be used and enjoyed over time.  It’s a timeless way to say I thought about you, you are important to me, I want you to be joyful.  The lather is lush and silky, infused with essential oils that soothe and refresh the senses.  Life is simply better with a bar of Sweetland Soap.

There is also great satisfaction in making a high quality product that improves someone’s life.  I believe in what I make.  I know it’s the best soap money can buy, and that it is more healthful, effective, and gentle than manufactured soap.  I also know that its simple ingredients yield a long lasting bar that is good for skin and enlivens the soul.

What makes Sweetland Soap different?

Sweetland Soaps are made using the cold process soap-making method.  Soap batter is made by mixing the ingredients with water and lye (sodium hydroxide), which is then poured into molds to set.  After a few days, the soap is removed from the mold, cut, and cured for four weeks before being wrapped and made available for sale.  This time intensive process requires small batches, but yields a refined bar of unmatched quality.  Shea butter is combined with vegetable oils of olive, coconut, palm (sustainably harvested), and castor and then essential oils, clays, milk, oatmeal, and/or botanicals are added to create Sweetland Soaps.  Simple ingredients yield the best soap.

Olive oil is superior to sunflower oil, safflower oil, etc. in soap.  It hardens as it ages to yield a long lasting bar that is gentle and conditioning.  It is more expensive than many other conditioning oils, and therefore often partially substituted in soap.  Olive oil produces a slimy lather that can be unappealing.  Pairing it with castor, coconut, and palm oils improves its lather while maintaining its conditioning properties.  The bars remain solid to the last sliver, ensuring every ounce is enjoyed.

The soaps I select for my home are the simple ones, made without additives that can irritate or overwhelm the senses.  My favorites are Sweetland Soap Signatures.  These are soaps you can fall in love with and come back to again and again.

Why Sweetland?

The name comes from one of my favorite movies, Sweet Land, which portrays the complexities of agricultural communities in the 20th century.  With a move to Colorado’s front range, it has taken on greater meaning.  My back porch looks out to Pikes Peak, the inspiration for America the Beautiful.  Our sweet land of liberty is my country, my home.

Why me?

I’m a fourth generation farmer’s daughter with a heart for creation.  Whether growing herbs, raising Boer goats, or baking cinnamon rolls, I find purpose in nourishing my family and friends.  I also love science, teaching, and writing and earned a B.S. in Crop and Soil Sciences and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural & Extension Education from Michigan State University.  When not making soap, I’m tending my family, growing our goat herd, judging goat shows, and volunteering with 4-H.  Life is busy, but good.