Our Vision, Our Life
Soap Entrepreneurs

    

2017

2013

2009

 Founded in 2009, Moon River Soap Company is owned and operated by formulator and soap makers Elizabeth and Carlos Aprea. Our mission is to help those with sensitive or troubled skin and those who chose to avoid synthetic chemicals while respecting our earth.

   Elizabeth is the formulator for the soap, oils, and balms. Learning about the constituents of essential oils, botanical oils and butters is an ongoing process and there is always more to learn. Each oil has many characteristics including safety level, phototoxicity, etc. The healing properties of botanical oils, essential oils, concretes, and absolutes continue to inspire us and we are excited to be working on many new products.

     Moon River soap maker Carlos currently pours about 800-1400 bars of soap a week. From lining the molds to measuring the oils, mixing, cutting, trimming, storing, organizing, boxing the soap, and finally stocking the shelf. Most of this process is done before we open the store at 10 am.

    In April 2019 Moon River Soap Company reached our 10 year anniversary. This is a big milestone for us as we opened in an economic down turn (2009) and we financed our small business on our own. Well over a decade ago we were simply making a skin loving bar of soap. At that time we were not exactly aware of all the requirements necessary to succeed in this particular type of small business.To be honest the first 3 years were both scary and encouraging at the same time. It took 3 years to finalize formulations, increase the size of our soap mold and finally turn our first profit. Once we were confident of the exact physical size of bar we needed to find the right box, design a label, trademark, etc. Bath and body products require math, chemistry, business, computer, marketing, writing skills, photography, branding, legal work, accounting, property management, packaging and retail skills. Trying to keep up with technology is ongoing as well. Making soap is also very physical as the soap pours are 50 lb. each. Space is always a tricky issue as every time we add a new product, we need more space for the new ingredients and containers, etc. We strive to be extremely organized and utilize every square inch of space so that we can continue to grow. In 2018 we expanded to an extra work space a few blocks away allowing us room to make bath bombs and additional products. We continue to improve products by working on the best consistency, etc. As natural products are dependent on the quality of the ingredients we use, it can be very frustrating when a supplier changes one of our staple ingredients. We had an issue with our mango butter 2 years ago causing a batch of lip balm to turn out dry and flaky forcing us to change suppliers on the mango butter. These type of issues are what most every manufacturing business may have to deal with. Time (10 years) gives us the knowledge and experience of finding the best possible sources for our ingredients and there is no short cut to what we all know as tried and true experience. Climate conditions can also affect our products as essential oils change every year due to seasonal rain, temperature or natural disasters of any particular crop. Lavender in particular has doubled in price over the last 2 years and we are trying to hold the price on our soap as Lavender Shea Butter Soap happens to be our #1 seller. We will see what this year brings regarding the market price of Lavender Essential Oil and hope the climate conditions return to a favorable season for lavender. 

    Moon River recycles all of our cushioning supplies for packaging, we rarely have to purchase these supplies for the orders we ship out. We continue to recycle and reuse cardboard boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, etc. 

     At Moon River, we are thankful to have the very best customers, our Moon Friends tend to be earth friendly and kind customers.Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. 


      http://www.instagram.com/moonriversoap/

 


    Moon River Soap Company was founded by myself -Elizabeth Aprea. It is a second act in my life after working out of our home for 20 years as an artisan ( I painted porcelain and glass). I used to work the art fairs on weekends allowing me to stay at home week days while raising both of our daughters. After the kids went off to college my husband Carlos and myself decided to make a few changes......
   Along with many of you out there, we became more aware of the toxins in our food and skin care. We had always ate somewhat healthy with organic foods, but the skincare was an area we had never given too much thought to. Our daughter attending college currently would come home and point out all the toxins in our cleaning supplies, soaps, and skin care products. It wasn't long before we began to switch out products one by one to the more natural or organic versions. I absolutely LOVE to spend hours researching the properties of essential oils and organic botanicals. I was able to make my own eye creme with carrot seed essential oil and noticed my skin looked much better than the fancy department store brands I had been using. Eventually  we made our first batch of cold processed organic soap together- sweet orange and lavender olive oil soap. I formulated the recipe myself and accidently added too much olive oil- this is a mistake we keep in our proprietary recipe to this day. The very first batch came out super gentle because of the extra olive oil. It was around this time when we decided to try our new soap on our grandson who was suffering from dry chapped irritated skin. He had been using a national baby wash. After using our gentle soap on him, his chapped skin immediately healed and was no longer irritated. We realized if this is what was happening to our grandsons skin, it was very likely causing many other kids chapped skin as well. I began to sell my products out of the house as friends would call for the eye cremes and soap.  
Moon River Soap Company was founded by myself -Elizabeth Aprea. It is a second act in my life after working out of our home for 20 years as an artisan ( I painted porcelain and glass). I used to work the art fairs on weekends allowing me to stay at home week days while raising both of our daughters. After the kids went off to college my husband Carlos and myself decided to make a few changes......
   Along with many of you out there, we became more aware of the toxins in our food and skin care. We had always ate somewhat healthy with organic foods, but the skincare was an area we had never given too much thought to. Our daughter attending college at this time would come home and point out all the toxins in our cleaning supplies, soaps, and skin care products. It wasn't long before we began to switch out products one by one to the more natural or organic versions. I absolutely LOVE to spend hours researching the properties of essential oils and organic botanicals. I was able to make my own eye creme with carrot seed essential oil and noticed my skin looked much better than the fancy department store brands I had been using. Eventually  we made our first batch of cold processed organic soap together- sweet orange and lavender olive oil soap. I formulated the recipe myself and accidently added too much olive oil- this is a mistake we keep in our proprietary recipe to this day. The very first batch came out super gentle because of the extra olive oil. It was around this time when we decided to try our new soap on our grandson who was suffering from dry chapped irritated skin. He had been using a national baby wash. After using our gentle soap on him, his chapped skin immediately healed and was no longer irritated. We realized if this is what was happening to our grandsons skin, it was very likely causing many other kids chapped skin as well. I began to sell my products out of the house as friends would call for the eye cremes and soap.  
 

 

Moon River soap, salts, balms, oils and scrubs are formulated and made downtown Rochester, Michigan. Every batch is hand poured and made daily. We are proud to use Non-GMO, organic and natural botanicals. Although Moon River can make no medicinal claims, many of our customers tell us they have improved their troubled skin, eczema, acne, psoriasis or dermatitis.

Moon River Soap Company 339 East Street, Rochester Michigan

 email moonriversoap@gmail.com