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Entrepreneur Spotlight: William Terry of Bayou Soap Co.

Written by  LaTesha Charbonnet Gonzales

2012 has started out just right for us here at InthekNOwla! With our 1st Annual Brass Band Celebration under our belts, we’re looking forward to showcasing more of our locals this year.

It gives us great pleasure to present 2012’s first Local Entrepreneur Spotlight, Mr. William Terry of Bayou Soap Co., New Orleans’ very own 100% handmade, all-natural soap company. Move over Dial and Ivory, we got our own soap right here InthekNOwla! And with a name like Bayou Soap, you just know it’s got to be good.

Four years ago, William Terry, also known as the Soapmaster General, started making batches of soap after having thoroughly studied the craft of soap making. He explained, “I knew soap making was a destiny of mine because I was always into natural products. I started studying homeopathic medicine and the benefits of herbal remedies which led me to experimenting and developing my own products.” And William isn’t alone in the soap making business…both his grandmother and great aunt were soap makers!

New Orleans Entrepreneur Spotlight: Bayou Soaps CO. |
Now what’s great about the soaps at Bayou Soap Co. is that they are all natural. That’s right, you won’t find any of those harsh cleansers and detergents in these soaps. Just unrefined vegetable oils, herbs, flowers, and spices. Almost sounds like you can eat them, huh…and when you see and smell these bars, you might actually be tempted to take a bite! Now how many times have you wanted to take a big ole bite out of your Irish Spring soap…

So what exactly is the difference between Bayou Soap and the more popular brands in stores? William said, “The primary difference between my soaps and the soap you’ll find at say Walmart is the chemical makeup. Soap has gone from soap to detergent because of the cost and as a result, big companies are more concerned with being cost effective rather than ensuring that the product is healthy. It’s expensive to make soap with olive oil, coconut oil, corn kernel oil and so on. So to cut costs, these companies hire a chemist to try to duplicate the effect of these oils. But they are synthetic, which means that they can’t do the same things as the natural oils. Therefore, they are now classified as detergents which are very harsh.”

He continued, “People have told me that after running out of their Bayou Soap, they can no longer use their old soap because it’s too harsh. Skin is alive. It is the largest organ of your body and it needs a more gentle touch. Soap can be made so that it cleans thoroughly without stripping the skin. That’s the benefit of a natural soap that a detergent cannot offer. And since all the soaps at Bayou Soap Co. are all natural, your skin will love it.”

Bayou Soaps come in a myriad of fragrances, too: mango, pineapple and coconut, lavender, jasmine, patchouli, Ethiopian tea, frankincense and myrrh, and kush just to name a few.

William said, “I get the inspiration for different fragrances from everywhere and definitely from the locale I'm in! I like to walk in the beverage and tea section in stores or when I travel. Sometimes I might even sit down and think about two opposite things and wonder how I can make that work. With the skill of a soap maker, you become a perfumer by default.”

William is well on his way to becoming the #1 soap maker in New Orleans. In fact, during the Essence Festival, he sold over 1200 bars! Aside from the Essence, William and his bars of Bayou Soap are at markets and festivals throughout the year and different stores, including the New Orleans Food Cooperative, Herb Import, and Maypop Community Herb Shop. And if you can’t make it out to one of the festivals, markets, or stores, you can now order online through Bayou Soap’s Facebook page.

All right InthekNOwlians, support a wonderful local and natural business. Be sure to tell ya mama an’nem about Bayou Soap Co.!

Last modified on Friday, 30 March 2012
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