Sammysoap: More Than Just Soap

Rich scents like citrus oat, lavender patchouli, and Icelandic oakmoss fill the air inside Sammysoap (314-287-7020, 123 W. Argonne), a local business committed to producing all-natural, vegan bath and body products.A lot of people are still using a detergent product to cleanse their skin because they dont know the difference, says Sammysoap co-owner Karen Copeland. And a lot of the ingredients in skincare products in the U.S. are illegal in other countries. We are part of this all-natural movement to get completely away from harmful synthetics.Instead, the Kirkwood-based company makes its products by hand, using simple chemistry and high-quality essential oils and emollients, says Copeland.Its all about the essential oils and clays and salts and roots and leaves and flowers and all sorts of different products that have therapeutic benefits, she notes.Bar soaps start at $6, while boxed gift sets of three or six full-size soaps start at $26.But Sammysoap is about more than just soap.Each bar of packaged soap comes with an aromatherapy guide to help customers learn about the ingredients. Plus, Copeland calls the business a job creation machine for adults with intellectual disabilities.Copeland and her two partners opened the business about a year ago to provide gainful employment to adults like her son, Sam Shortal, who has an intellectual disability. When he graduated from high school and his only option was adult day care, Copeland made it her mission to provide something better for Sam and for others like him. Currently, six of Sammysoaps 15 employees have some sort of disability.Its a new paradigm: commerce serving the community, Copeland says proudly.Sammysoap also offers the community a chance to see how its products are made. Individuals, school groups, and others can book an appointment to tour the soap factory, located directly behind the store. Drop-ins also are welcome. href='http://www.stlmag.com/home/sammysoap-more-than-just-soap/' - http://www.stlmag.com/home/sammysoap-more-than-just-soap/ -