Though a recent revision to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warnings about COVID-19 indicates that the virus does not live on surfaces for as long as originally feared, many have still become hyper-aware of what they touch.
And with the CDC advocating for increased hand-washing, items such as hand soap and hand sanitizer have become hot commodities.
Cheshire resident Deborah Davidson and her business partner Jonathan Martin have been making soaps for approximately eight years out of Davidson’s garage in her Cheshire home. Davidson began her soap-making journey when she realized that she was allergic to most soaps that are sold in stores.
Ever since then, Davidson and Martin have been cranking out bricks of soap for a small profit.
“When I first started, I just had so much soap that I started giving it away to family and friends, and then once they all had enough I had the idea for the online store,” Davidson explained.
The online store, called Sunny Bungalow, sells everything from handmade soap and lotion to shampoo bars and bath fizzies, and they’re all made by Davidson and Martin.
Davidson works full time as a registered nurse, but her passion for helping people has spilled over into her soap making.
“I am just addicted to making soap! I really love what it can do for people,” she added.
While Davidson and Martin have been in business for a while, the COVID-19 crisis and a renewed concern over hygiene has meant a boom in sales. After a few recent Facebook shout-outs, Sunny Bungalow has nearly sold out of all their hand soap.
“A few weeks ago, one woman posted about us on the Cheshire Woman’s Facebook group and we got almost 25 orders just from that,” Davidson mentioned. “But we have been seeing an increase in orders because of COVID-19 and that a lot of bigger stores are selling out of things.”
Most of Davidson’s handmade soap bars cost about $6 and each bar is roughly 4.5 ounces. She uses ingredients like lavender, kaolin clay, and aloe to ensure that her soap is not only easy on the wallet, but good for the skin.
Davidson assures that her soap is safe to use during the pandemic, and she and her partner are working hard to ensure that what they do sell is packaged and delivered in accordance with the social distancing precautions set out by the CDC.
“We still run our business pretty much as normal; our shipping and delivery have changed a little since I only go to the post office once a week now, but we are still filling orders and processing them,” Davidson said.
For Davidson, the business is more about creating a good product than it is about making money.
“We don’t make a huge profit, but it’s something I enjoy, and if I can share it with others that makes it even better,” she added.