CLEANING UP NICELY: Wild Waters Soapery’s Ethically Sourced Soaps & Shampoos
by Ted Scheffler
I suppose I’ve largely taken soap for granted. I normally just buy whatever soap is on sale at the supermarket. But having discovered Wild Waters Soapery, that has changed. I learned a lot about soap from Kelly Beumer, owner-founder of Wild Waters Soapery.
Following a 25-year career as a research geneticist at the University of Utah, Kelly changed paths and created Wild Waters Soapery, which she says “was born out of a desire to help people live more sustainably. After making soaps, shampoos and other body and household products for family and friends for the past eight years, we wanted a way to reach out and share the things we have learned to love with our community.”
Wild Waters produces handcrafted soaps and bar shampoos using ethically sourced oils and additives. Says Beumer, “Our soaps are formulated especially for our dry desert air. We hope to lure you away from your liquid body wash to a great bar soap that leaves you feeling clean and comfortable while helping you eliminate plastic!”
Beumer explains the uniqueness of Wild Waters soaps, saying “We use a variety of oils in our bars in order to give this clean, conditioned feel, including coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil and avocado oil. Each oil contributes to the feel of the bar on your skin, and the performance in your hand. We add aloe or coconut milk to produce more bubbles and to be even gentler on your skin. Our salt bars are made with local Redmond REAL SALT, to give a long lasting, extra conditioning experience. And, almost all our bars are vegan. The rest are made with local fats. Our bars are also fun to look at! We color them primarily with clays, herbals and spices, in a variety of fun patterns. Then, each bar is scented with an enticing blend of essential oils in scents that are invigorating, relaxing, or simply pleasing. Finally, we package all this goodness as sustainably as possible, repurposing old sewing patterns for wrapping, and using recycled paper.”
In addition to soaps, Wild Waters produces several varieties of bar shampoos, including a vegan version and one made with local lard from Clifford’s Family Farms. Beumer says that, “Although everyone’s hair is different, we try to help most people find their way away from the plastic shampoo bottle to a more sustainable bar shampoo.”
Utah’s natural beauty even finds its way into Wild Waters soaps. Beumer says, “We love our Utah desert rivers, and many of our scents will remind you of desert plants, dawn on a river bank, sage in the sun. Also, we make a line of salt bars in the shape of stones, colored and scented like the desert. We call them our ‘Moab collection’ - a portion of the salts in each of these bars is Utah’s Redmond REAL SALT.”
You can find Wild Waters soaps at Wheeler Farm farmers Market, University farmers market, The Hive Makers Markets and festivals and maker events around the city, such as the Made in Utah Festival.
Unlike many entrepreneurs, Beumer doesn’t envision seeing her products at CostCo or Walmart. Rather, looking to the future she seems content, saying “We want to stay a small, intimate business with the time to know our customers and meet their needs.” That’s refreshing!
She points to friends and family as a sort of support staff for helping her to start Wild Waters Soapery. “I am very fortunate to have a husband, Martin, who has made props , molds and displays, done much of the heavy lifting, and can be counted on at any time. My two daughters, Bobbi and Amber, help with wrapping and markets, and making hand knitted washcloths, and have been a wonderful cheering section. I also have several friends who help with wrapping, markets, and knitting. I have been very blessed!”