Wareham woman finds fulfillment in sudsy small business
A whiff of lemongrass, some notes of eucalyptus and a definite scent of lavender: there’s no doubt about it, Elizabeth Arone’s house smells amazing.
It’s been that way since September, when she started making her own soap, and she’s so used to the smell she doesn’t even notice it anymore, Arone said.
Arone is the owner of Pumpkintown Farm Soaps, a small soap business operating out of her home. She started making soap as a hobby, but it’s grown faster than she imagined. Part of the reason is in the ingredients, which are all natural and moisturizing to the skin: goats milk from her own goats, organic coconut oil, pure canola oil, pure olive oil and therapeutic-grade essential oils.
“I truly do keep it pure,” Arone said.
Sometimes, she adds cranberry seeds, oats or petals to the bars of soap, but she keeps it simple for the most part.
The soap doesn’t contain drying chemicals and the oil base does wonders for skin, hands, face and as a shave bar, Arone said. Her customers tell her they don’t have to use lotion anymore because the soap does that job for them.
“It’s a product I would buy if I wasn’t making it myself,” she said.
Lloyd’s Market in Rochester and Fieldstone Farm Market in Marion carry the soap and Arone also sells it out of her kitchen. One of her loyal customers, Jodi Richards-Auld, stops by frequently to pick up soap for herself and as gifts.
“It makes your skin soft, it smells good and she’s a nice person, very honest,” said Richards-Auld, adding that her favorite scent is the lemongrass soap.
Since Arone is a work-at-home mom and homeschools her son, Pharaoh, the soap making business provides her with steady income. She charges $5 per bar (“I’m definitely not getting rich off of it,” she said) and the money goes back into caring for her goats and chickens.
“I like to live off the land a little bit,” Arone said. “I like knowing the animals, the worker and the environment are being treated with respect and dignity.”
Arone said she’s always dreamed of sustaining herself naturally, but she never knew how to get there. The soap’s success has given her pride and helped her connect with the community.
The Wareham community has embraced Arone and started sudsing up with her bars of soap.
“People are into natural, local, small businesses,” she said. “It feels good to be a part of that mini revolution.”
As part of giving back to the community, she donates soap for town fundraisers and raffles and donates a portion of her proceeds to CHAMPs Animal Shelter in Wareham.
Thanks to word of mouth and her Facebook page (“Pumpkintown Farm Soaps”), she’s shipped soap all over the country to people she doesn’t know who are excited about the product. Arone made 160 bars of soap every week during the holiday season, and she’s making Valentine’s Day bars now.
“I’m really surprised by the response,” Arone said. “But it shows I’m really, truly making a product that works.”
Those interested in checking out the one-woman show and her soaps can visit her on Facebook and message her there.