Oats, milk and honey may sound like something one would pour into a bowl for breakfast but to Roberta Busher it’s the recipe for success.
Busher owns Clear Creek Soap Co. in Happy Valley where she makes handmade, organic soaps that she sells at farmers markets, various Northern Calif. retail stores and all over the country online.
It all started when Busher took a trip to Hawaii over 10 years ago and brought back some handmade soap, she said.
She fell in love with using the soap and knew she could never go back to the brand name bars that are mostly full of detergents, she said.
“It’s such an experience,” she added.
This is when Busher decided to make her own soap after finding a homemaking tutorial. Little did she know that her ‘hobby’ would become her full time job.
Busher uses only organic and natural substances because that is what’s best for the skin, she said. The type of fragrance and additives depend on the scent of the bar but all of them are made with a base of olive oil, coconut oil and palm oil.
“A lot of people don’t get why soap is so important,” Busher said. “Once you use one of these you’ll never go back and you will understand.”
Busher makes almost any scent one could think of. However, many of her most popular ones are cucumber melon, sandalwood vanilla and lavender. Depending on the scent she adds different organic products like oatmeal, flower petals, spices, herbs and honey.
A lot of her businesses expansion can be attributed to word of mouth, she said. She goes to all of the different farmers markets in Shasta County as well as traveling to different events. Her soap is also featured at Enjoy the Store and around a dozen other stores in Calif.
“It’s a nice aromatherapy. It’s enjoyable, but also good for your skin. It’s like an everyday treat.
Her husband Chris, a volunteer firefighter in Happy Valley even agrees, adding that his favorite is the oatmeal, milk and honey.
“Surprisingly we have a lot of male customers,” Roberta Busher said.
Busher’s large ‘soap following’ allows for her to stay at home and concentrate on her soap business full time, which she is so thankful for.
“I love it. I am not one to wake up to an alarm clock,” she said with a chuckle. “It’s comfortable. I get to wear slippers every day.”
It takes her a couple of hours to make four, 15 pound batches which results in 216 bars.
She uses the ‘cold process’ to make her soaps which helps to keep the nutrients and essentials at their highest organic state in the bar of soap. The soap is then air-dried for a minimum of three weeks to ensure a mild, gentle long lasting bar of soap
“Once I start mixing a batch up you have to keep going. There is not stopping. There is no watching TV or answering the phone. I must keep going,” Busher said.
Recently, Busher started a line of dog products that have really been taking off, she said. She offers doggie soap and a paw salve that can be used for any type of dry, irritated area.
“Supposedly we have a following. The Enjoy Store tells us that we have people that come in specifically asking for our stuff. It’s kind of funny.”