Lora's Beauty Website


For handcrafted soap visit the online store or the Etsy Store!

Lora's artisan soaps, an affordable luxury.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Meet The Maker and The Workspace

Wow! It's taken me 11 years to write this post. Actually, to WRITE it only took a few hours, to get the courage to START writing it took 11 years! The main reason for that is I work in technology (when I'm not making soap) and I know full well that every time I click 'Publish', 'Post', or 'Submit' it's permanent. Every fleeting opinion, feeling, or comment will be forever part of my permanent record when that button is clicked. Therefore, I've tried to keep what I post here a little less personal, plus I'm probably not that interesting, truth be told.

It wasn't until I started reading other people's meet the maker posts, mainly on Instagram, that I changed my mind. I found those posts to be refreshing, genuine, fun, and they gave me the courage to attempt one myself.

So meet the maker of Lora's Beauty! Hi, I'm Lora. Lora is my first name but I go by my middle name of Deann. I've been making soap since 2009 out of my home in Portland, Oregon. I've moved my workshop a couple times since I started and finally invested a little money to upgrade my basement laundry room to my laundry room/soap workshop.


My remodel included installing a good fan to vent fumes, added counter space, a sink, and lots of shelving. It's not beautiful, I could still paint and will when I have more time, but it's clean, safe, and functional and I really enjoy working in it.

As I mentioned earlier, by day I'm a software engineer. Although I've never said this before, one of the main reasons I started making soap was because I was playing around with creating a website years ago. Once I got it working I felt compelled to sell something on it and Lora's Beauty was born! I didn't know at the time that I'd prefer the soap making process to the website (and software) making process but that's where I am now!

I sold my soap for many years on just my website before I finally opened my Etsy shop in 2019. Since opening on Etsy, my sales have really grown. I've always felt my products were great and I use them myself, but it was hard to drive traffic to a small website. My business regret is that I didn't open sooner on Etsy.


I live with my longtime boyfriend, Audrey the cat, Ed (pictured right) and Olive the Cockatiels, and Harlan the Grey Parrot. 

I talk on the phone to my mom several times a day (yes, I typed day.) I have a wonderful son who lives in Alaska right now. He is in the Coast Guard. Because of the global pandemic, I haven't seen him for over a year. I miss him but am immensely proud of him. He's a good, kind, smart, and happy person and that makes me happy and satisfied.

In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, which I haven't done in several months due to the pandemic and surgeries, bike riding, cooking, and reading. I also rediscovered how much I love swimming and will be taking that back up when the pools open again, and sewing. Yes, I was one of the many people who bought a sewing machine this year and have already made several Christmas gifts. 

I have many pet peeves but I won't list them here because I've discovered over the years what bugged me once no longer does and vise versa. I love my sleep and often get 10 hours of sleep a night. Mornings are my most productive time of the day so I guess I'm a morning-person. My favorite season was unabashedly summer, but lately because of wild fires and climate change, it's autumn.

The thing I like most about running Lora's Beauty is sharing what I made with my customers. I feel strongly about making an eco-friendly, useful product and take pride in it's quality. Therefore, it's always a joy to share it with like-minded people.

Thank you for reading and I hope this post was a useful introduction to me, the maker at Lora's Beauty!

PS. The cyber sale on my Etsy site is still active until December 2! Shop now for 10% everything in my store!


Friday, November 20, 2020

Etsy Cyber Week Sale

 

Looking for a beautiful, useful gift? I've got my online store and Etsy site all stocked for the holidays! 

Handcrafted skin soothing body soaps, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, and even dog shampoo for all your loved ones are available. 

In addition, starting this Sunday, Nov 22 thru Dec 2 I'm offering 10% off in my Etsy shop!


Gift wrapping always available in a reusable washcloth.

Shop small and socially distanced! 

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Welcome Autumn & New Products!

I've never been so happy to see a summer end as I am this year. In fact, I've NEVER been happy to see summer end but this year it couldn't happen quick enough and now I'm looking forward to fall and even, hesitantly, to winter and to the prospect of dealing ONLY with a global pandemic. 

Here in the Pacific Northwest we ended the summer-that-wasn't with forest fire smoke and not being able to leave our house for 6 days because the air was too hazardous to breathe. However, right now as I type this, the rain is coming down and it feels more like the end of October rather than the end of September and we can once again breathe the air.

So to celebrate the turn of the season I'm debuting a couple new items and a variation of a popular product.


First up, let's rejoice because now your dog can bathe in all the glorious ingredients that you've enjoyed from Lora's Beauty. My new dog shampoo is just the boutique dog product that every pampered pup should have without the boutique price.

These bars are made with neem oil to help control fleas and colloidal oatmeal to relieve dry itchy skin. The essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint are also added and a reusable, recyclable tin with a screw on lid is included.

For the humans out there, new to the line up is the Eucalyptus Peppermint Goats' Milk Bar. I've been wanting to try my hand at a naturally colored blue bar of soap for sometime and ordered blue mica a few months ago. I'm pleased with the color and the essential oils of eucalyptus and peppermint make for a refreshing combination.

Speaking of refreshing, there's a new scent available for the very popular Solid Dish Soap! The essential oils of lavender and basil combine for a sweet and slightly spicy scent. With this addition, I'm now offering four scent combinations of the Solid Dish Soap; rosemary mint, cinnamon orange, lemongrass, and now lavender basil. For those people who have a hard time deciding, my etsy shop has a listing for 3 bars of any combination for a special price of $20. 

I should also mention new color combinations of my exclusive Dunner Ceramic soap dishes are available on the etsy shop as well. Choose between blue turtles, purple dragonflies, green leaves, terracotta flowers, or black flowers.

These dishes pair nicely with the Solid Dish Soap and would make a beautiful, practical gift!


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Website Updates and New Products!

 I finally got around to updating my Lora's Beauty website last week! I've been so busy with the Etsy site that I've been neglecting my real website, well no more. 

I've rearranged the Home page by organizing the products in groups; Body & Face Bars, Shampoo & Conditioner, Foot Bars, Shave Bars, and Dish Bars. 




I've added a table of contents to the top for quick navigation and to limit the endless scrolling.

I'm also working on new products for your furry four legged friends that bark! Soon there will be a Dog Shampoo AND Conditioner Bar available on both websites! I've been deciding on the best formulation for these products and have settled on the shampoo containing neem oil, olive oil, coconut oil, colloidal oatmeal, honey, goats' milk, and essential oils of lavender, peppermint, citronella, and eucalyptus! I'm excited to debut these products in time for the holiday season because your pooch deserves the best!

New products for humans include the already popular Rosemary Mint Menthol Goats' Milk Soap! French green clay and purple mica are used to color this beautiful bar.

I love the scent of Rosemary Mint so much I'm now offering it in a Conditioner Bar on my Etsy site as well.

Another new bar currently on the curing rack is the Peppermint Eucalyptus Goats' Milk Soap. This bar uses blue mica and yellow clay to create a delightful color combination scented with the essential oils of peppermint and eucalyptus. Look for this addition in another few weeks on both websites!

Enjoy the rest of summer and stay healthy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Let's Talk Dish Washing

One of my best selling products lately is my dish washing bar and it was a review I received on this item that got me to thinking.

The review wasn't exactly glowing, which is fine, I learn a lot from all my reviews and really do try to make changes when I see suggestions. Anyway, here's the review:

"Smells great but doesn't go terribly far and had a tendency to make the fat sit on the surface of the water instead of emulsifying. Everything will need rinsing."

There were a couple things I pondered about this review but the last sentence stopped me in my tracks, "Everything will need rinsing."  Doesn't everyone rinse their dishes after washing them? To answer that question, I did the next logical thing and googled it and I learned something!

Come to find out, no, not everyone rinses their dishes after washing them and it appears to be a cultural difference as pointed out in this article:


Home debate: Do you rinse the soap off your dishes after they've been washed?


I always knew people had their preference when it came to washing dishes. Some like to fill a tub of water with soap and wash all the dishes in that water while some (myself included) wash dishes under running water. A person could argue the environmental benefit to washing dishes in a tub of water, but I'm not going to judge, I just never knew there was ever a debate as whether to rinse the soap off or not so I thought I'd share and ask, have you heard of this before? Are you in the rinse or no rinse camp?

I have got many great reviews on my solid dish bar even though I decided not to share those,  all the same I've included a video of how I use the bar to wash dishes, I think it works best this way.


I've now added a new listing to my etsy store for 3 bars of Solid Dish Soap (one of each scent) for $20!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Soap Dishes Stocked!

I'm happy to report that the handmade soap dishes designed for the solid dish washing bar are now in stock and available in my Etsy shop!

There are a few varieties to choose from:


Black turtles


Terracotta turtles















Terracotta leaves















Terracotta dragonflies

Black flowers
















Black dragonflies















Blue turtles















Blue leaves















Black leaves















Terracotta flowers














Each dish sits on silicone pads to prevent slipping.

These dishes are so beautiful and functional and went fast last time they were in stock!


Thursday, June 4, 2020

More Soap Dishes On The Way and the World Today

Hello and welcome, I want to start this post by saying that yes, there will be more of the handmade pottery soap dishes on my etsy site soon! I've been told they'll be ready 'the middle of June' and I will be sure to update this space once they're available.

I'm not surprised they were popular as they're very well made and beautiful but don't take my word for it, read the reviews!

Finally, I want to end this short post with a comment on the protests going on across the US as I think it's important for people and businesses (even very small ones) to speak out and let the world know where they stand.

As the daughter of a retired and recently deceased police officer, I feel and I know my Dad would feel, that police brutality is real and is NEVER ok! For far too long African American men have been targeted and it is my hope that these protests will finally move us to a more equitable, hospitable country for ALL.

Although I don't feel comfortable right now joining thousands of people in the streets (#Covid19), I will instead be donating to the NAACP and as always, to the ACLU. If possible, I encourage you to do the same!