You may not think of soap when you hear the words acorn harvest, pumpkin spice or coconut cream, but that will change after you visit Queen B Soapery in Soda Springs.
The local business that specializes in cold process artisan soaps makes getting clean an indulgent experience. As one woman posted on Queen B Soapery’s Facebook page, “Oh that all looks so beautiful! It smells absolutely wonderful from here.”
Owner Billikaye Sims personally makes all of the soaps, bath bombs and body products sold at the shop at 129 E. Second S. in Soda Springs.
“I feel like handmade soap and bath bombs are such a luxury. I use high-quality ingredients and put care, thought and creativity into each item,” Sims said, adding that there aren’t many places where people can get handmade products produced on a small scale. “You just end up (with) a great product that your skin will love. Not to mention the amazing fragrances.”
The soaps come in a variety of colors, scents, shapes and holiday themes. People can buy soaps topped with skulls or ghosts around Halloween or soaps shaped like a piece of pumpkin pie during the fall. There are also honey- and bee-themed items based on the name of the business.
“I get inspired by nature, events and the fragrances I use,” Sims said. “I try to think outside the box and push myself creatively to create unique and beautiful products.”
Sims says she started making bath bombs and exploring cold process soaps approximately a decade ago.
“My daughter was heavily involved in many extracurricular activities throughout high school and wanted to find a way to help raise funds to pay for her many school trips and events. Together, we began making and selling bath bombs in larger quantities than ever,” Sims said, adding that she also continued experimenting with and improving her cold process soap making over the years. “Finally, in the fall of 2018, I felt confident enough about the soaps that I was creating to attend craft fairs and open my own little shop.”
Sims says her soaps begin with a blend of oils mixed with sodium hydroxide (lye) water. The combination becomes soap through a chemical process called saponification.
“Shortly after the oils and lye are mixed, the liquid goes through varying stages of thickness. During this time, there are many different ways of expressing your creativity through color and design and adding embellishment,” Sims said. “Once the liquid soap is in the mold, it begins to harden. Within 24 to 48 hours, the soap is ready to be removed from molds and cut. Once cut, the soap goes onto a drying rack and goes through a curing process where the water evaporates and saponification continues. This process takes four to six weeks, after which the soap is ready for use.”
While Sims focuses primarily on artisan soaps at her shop, she says her bath bombs are very popular with customers. She also sells lotions, facial masks, body scrubs, shaving cream, lip balm, shampoo bars and other items.
“I have a cute little shop that is just full of unique items and gifts. It’s an experience just to walk in the door,” Sims said, adding that customers who stop by will walk away with something they love.
Queen B Soapery is typically open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and occasionally on Fridays and Saturdays. Sims keeps her hours updated on the Queen B Soapery Facebook page and on Instagram (@queenbsoapery). She also sells her items online at etsy.com/shop/queenbsoapery.