Soap & Paper Factory: Meet the creators of Soap & Paper Factory: Lisa Devo, Shannon Burch and Elizabeth Grubaugh. In this interview they talk about how was the concept for Soap & Paper Factory born, what makes their candles so different than the rest, what inspires their Soap & Paper Factory collections, and reveal their philosophy about beauty.
How was the concept for the Soap & Paper Factory born?
We started as two separate companies; Brickhouse Soap and Dewey Howard Paper. We all met at a trade show and as it turned out, we all lived right outside of New York City. Beth came down to our studio and it just so happened, there was another studio for rent just down the hall.  After a lot of running up and down the hallway talking with one another, we decided to do some small projects together, such as using Dewey Howard paper to wrap soap and one thing led to another and that was it!  Conceptually speaking, we were all raising our families, (most of us are moms) and it seemed like a no brainer to go into business together as we have a blast together and love doing what we do.

What is the Soap & Paper Factory’s philosophy?

We do feel our priorities are nature, beauty, and working together as a team.  We believe it is important to make really beautiful, functional objects/patterns/boxes/paper and equally as important to make
sure that all of the beauty products including the fragrances, is green and does what it promises to do.  We have just moved our studio, and now most of us can ride our bicycle to work. We try to eat locally and organically as well as it is important also, that what you put on your body or smell is natural and clean.  We love that everything we use for our ingredients are made here in America. That has been something that has been getting harder for us as we grow as a lot of recommendations come our way to go to China, but it is important for us as a company to be here.   We like that everything is made by hand (for now) and that it is handled by one of the three of us at one time or another.   We are pretty passionate about what we do!

“The most enjoyable part is the whole thing! We love doing interviews like this because it reminds us of why we are here. We are so lucky that we get to be here with one another who we love and have our kids and watch all of this happen and take place. We laugh all day long, we work around beautiful products that smell really good that we make and around people we love!. “

What are some of the ingredients we would find in your products?
Some ingredients we use include beeswax, baking soda, sea salt, turbinado sugar, macadamia nut oil, organic verbena from sally’s farm, pomace olive oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil.

Each Soap & Paper Factory product is hand-made and created from scratch. What is involved in this process?
For the Scented Drawer Papers, the paper is first designed by and then offset printed.  The perfume is hand made in small batches and then applied to the paper by hand and the soap is the most labor intensive but a labor of love we would call it.  We make 280 soaps at a time. It is hand stirred (we use a drill with a paddle) and make sure all of the ingredients put in at just the right time. It is left set to rest over night and we then cut the next day. The soap cutter uses guitar strings to get through the soft soap, then it is spaced and set for a 3-4 week drying time and then comes the wrapping! Each item is hand wrapped and then given a sticker and a ribbon.  The Body Scrubs and Fizzing Bath Powder are also done by hand. All of the candles are hand poured.  The wax is melted on top of the stove in a double boiler and it provides our entire studio with the most luscious smell. All of the glass containers must be “prepped” and “wicked” and then the wax is melted slowly all day, as to not overheat it.  We pour usually in the late afternoon, let them sit overnight and then we provide them with ribbons, stickers and boxes the next day.

What makes the Soap & Paper Factory Pure Beeswax Candles so different?
We think the candles are very different for many reasons. First of all, we just love using beeswax as we feel there is nothing else like it, it is unscented and it smells so sweet and pure. The  color of a beeswax candle is warm, golden and welcoming; nature at its finest. We really try to work with the natural sweet smell of the beeswax and not over fragrance it so that they are elegant and subtle….not boisterous and in your face. When someone walks into your home, (candle) fragrance should not be a wall you hit, yet hidden ambiance that welcomes you into a loving environment.


Soap and Paper Factory

You started the brand with 2 collections: Fig and Green Tea. How do you go about deciding on which new scents to expand your product line with?
It is a very intuitive process.  Sometimes we are inspired by travel, the season, or a new bloom in the garden.  It is a pretty organic process actually.  With the current patterns, the verbena fragrance was inspired by a drawing we saw on Beth’s desk (the current verbena pattern) . We feel like something new (such as fragrance) will be coming soon. Beth has just finished her winter patterns inspired by her drive to our studio through Harriman State Park.  They are so totally beautiful and seasonal, we may just have to come up with something pine to go with the gorgeous pinecone pattern!

Where do you get the inspiration for your exquisite paper packaging?
The paper works a lot like the fragrances, very intuitively! Beth takes a lot of photographs where ever she is.  She will also take lots of creations that Lisa is working on home with her and draw her inspiration directly from the scents.

Which skills and expertise each of you bring to the brand?
Lisa brings her energy and enthusiasm to try just about anything. She can formulate recipes and create magnificent fragrances. Shannon has the business knowledge and the drive to keep us on track! Beth designs all the patterns and packaging. The three of us work in conjunction with one another.

Which Soap & Paper Factory collection is your own personal favorite?
Beth has two favorites: Fig & Rosewood. To her, fig is more unisex, fresh and modern and rosewood, has a real romantic, more old world feeling.  They are very different from one another and nice to flip flop between. Right now Lisa is into layering scents. She uses the orange blossom first and then green tea so she can get the best of both worlds!

What is new this year at Soap & Paper Factory?
The Harriman Collection is new as far as the stationary goes. We think something wintery will ultimately come out of that such as fragrance, but it will be last minute!

What was your most enjoyable element in the creation of Soap & Paper Factory?
The most enjoyable part is the whole thing!  We love doing interviews like this because it reminds us of why we are here. We are so lucky that we get to be here with one another who we love and have our
kids and watch all of this happen and take place.  We laugh all day long, we work around beautiful products that smell really good that we make and around people we love! It is nice to be at a gift show and listen to people say (as they walk by, or come in to our booth)….”….ooooh, what is that??/ it smells so good?!

In your opinion, what makes one beautiful?
That is an interesting question. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We are beauty. Nature is beauty.  The wind is beauty. We make beautiful beauty and home products and we feel like they will add beauty to one another’s lives. They are designed to guide you to open your senses and slow down when you soak in a tub, or simply apply some cream to your skin…..or write scented letter to a loved one!

It was a pleasure to interview Lisa, Shannon and Elizebeth you can find out more about Soap and Paper Factory at the official website:

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 204 user reviews.

There Are 7 Responses So Far. »

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