Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Smells Like Love

Today I have someone I would like you to meet. Her name is Andree Terry and she is a local soapmaker in Athens, Georgia. She is also part genius (she graduated from UGA at 19 went on to obtain 7 or so degrees), wholly philanthropic (she donates her products to hospitals) and happens to make the most soothing, sweetest smelling soap (trust me). She's a woman after every woman's own heart and skin.

Remember that scene in Macbeth where Lady Macbeth is feeling guilty? She is sleepwalking through the night, trying to scrub her bloody hands and plagued conscience clean. When she cries in despair, "Out, damned spot", I wish I could appear like a fairy godmother and, with a little wink, toss her a bar of Andree's Essential Soaps. That would have been just the trick for her hands. If I gave her a bar of the Juicy Pink Grapefruit, it might have scrubbed her conscience clean, too.

Andree’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's, Cancer and Glaucoma: horrible diseases that wreak havoc on skin. When she saw that commercial soaps weren't helping her mother's skin, she ditched them and, backed by endless research and world-wide travels (think Egypt, France, England etc.) decided to make her own. She mixed and poured away in her own kitchen until her products became so popular she outgrew herself and opened up a store on Prince Avenue. When I visit her I am reminded of how radiant her beaming skin is, and when I complimented it, she agreed, saying "My skin looks better now at age 55 than it did when I was 40. It's softer, too." I didn't stroke her cheeks, but I didn't need to. The woman is glowing.

Her products are special. Most commercial soaps, like Dove, use animal fats (sodium tallowate) and/or harsh chemicals that can do more damage rather than repair to your skin. Animals are now ingesting chemicals, hormones and antibiotics at a distressing rate. Since soap is made from their stored fats, the chemicals are transferred from the stored fats into commercial soap. Andree does not use any animal fats. All of her products contain plant based botanicals and are certified organic. She uses the most luxurious oils: palm, rice bran, avocado, olive, and coconut, just to name a few. Since we don't yet know all the cancer causing agents, precautions need to be taken when purchasing products. Soap is something you use (or should, anyway) every day for your entire life. I could be wrong (I often am) but I’d venture to guess it isn’t too safe to bathe in animal hormones.

If you should decide to stop by her store, you'll be greeted by her two adorable adopted Pugs: Abbie and Mya. If you stay awhile, you might get to watch Andree make frothy bath salts, carve scented soaps from the wooden mold and whip up lotion as light and airy as a kiss. Forgive me for this big, cheesy line delivery, but her store also smells like love.

And love is exactly what keeps her going. Her life's passion is helping people's skin ailments: whether it be a teen's acne or a loved one's radiation burn, she personalizes her products to soothe and mend. If you have allergies, she will make your product allergen-free. If you have a friend whose skin is dry or chapped, just say the word and Andree will customize the product to fit the purpose. She has people pining away to buy recipes but she will not sell out because she knows that doing so would cost her products' quality and reputation. If that's not worth fawning over, I don't know what is.

*UPDATE* Andree is also a cancer survivor, officially confirmed today! CONGRATULATIONS, ANDREE! Help her celebrate by grabbing a bar of soap! She has offered a 10% discount on any purchase by a TwinYolks reader. Isn't that wonderful? (I highly recommend her Foaming Bath Salts. O ooh la la.)

She has a wide variety of scents. I know you can't smell them through the computer, so let me recommend a few: Sweet Georgia Brown, Almond & Oatmeal, Lavender, Juicy Pink Grapefruit (John's favorite) and Lemon Verbena are all wonderful.

Don't forget to mention you're a TwinYolks reader and don't forget Mother's Day is right around the corner!


Stephanie said...

Well, I just ordered some soaps. Some for mom, and one for me :)

A.Kelley said...

You'll love them like I love you!

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