Handcrafted...artisan...natural...and what does it all mean? In the soaping business these are common terms used often but what exactly is the significance to you - the consumer. An artisan is defined as 'a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand' - a crafts person if you will- hence, handcrafted. Natural is a term that's a little more tricky. Natural is a not a term regulated by the cosmetic industry however the inference is any substance that is free of synthetic or manufactured material and sourced from natural elements (i.e. plants or trees) with little to no alteration in its processing for consumption. For you the consumer, that means a soap that has been created with natural ingredients like shea butter, palm oil, coconut oil, goats milk, essential oils and the like. Much different from the commercial soaps so many of us have become accustomed to where fillers and detergents are used as a standard. It also means an opportunity to support a small business and very likely someone who has taken the time to learn the art of crafting a wonderful bar of soap that cleanses and is nourishing to your skin. Even better these bars are often quite artistic with various colors, embeds and scents that take your senses to another level. Next time you are in the supermarket and soap is among the many things on your list, take a moment to look at the ingredients in your favorite bar. Recognize any of them? And then when you're out and about and near your local farmer's market, a crafts fair or Whole Foods look for the hand crafted soap products or perhaps even google online for 'handcrafted soap' and you will see a difference that can be the start of a natural and well crafted relationship.