That Vermont Mystique

I remember years ago, when I was living in the LA area, someone asked me where I was from. When I said “Vermont”, they promptly replied “What state is that in?”  No, that’s not a joke, it really happened. Since then, I think awareness of this little state has increased. What with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, a number of well-regarded Craft Breweries, and, of course, Bernie Sanders, most people have at least heard of this quiet place tucked away close to the Canadian border. 

So, when you hear the name Vermont, what images come to your mind? 

Despite having lived here for over 40 years, I am what real Vermonters call a flatlander. That term applies to ANY and EVERY one who was not literally born here. When I think back to my first impressions after arriving here from (gasp) Long Island (Lawnguyland), I remember peace, quiet, fresh air with a hint of pine, walks in the woods, and…….CRAFTS

My mother and I become obsessed with buying handmade items from small local shops and craft fairs. These objects were more organic and down to earth than what we were used to buying at the mall. They possessed a higher level of quality than what we found in mass produced goods. And, they were unique

My mother and sister would go on to build a pottery business. They shipped their creations to customers all over the country. For myself, I become quite fascinated with weaving (my loom still collects dust to this day). What drew me to the art of weaving, was the artistic use of colors and textures. What didn’t draw me in so much was the amount of space required and the thudding of the treadles.  I also couldn’t quite figure out how to use the quality ingredients I demanded and still get paid more than $1.00 / hour…….But I still love a beautiful handwoven piece! 

Fast forward to 2020, Covid and my 65th birthday. Like many, I spent a good deal of quality (and some not so quality) internet time while quarantining. Hey, what’s that lady doing with those pretty colors and those essential oils? Cold Process Soap? I like that process. It’s interesting, creative and oddly soothing. It looks like something I could MAKE.

  • I can do it in a small space (my kitchen).
  • I don’t need to buy a lot of equipment.
  • It’s something I can be passionate about. It satisfies by right brain (creativity) AND my left brain (scientific).
  • And ohhhhh, those essential oils. I love them in my diffusers. Now I can mix them to create scents that invoke pleasant experiences and use them in my soaps.
  • While I’m at it, why not use the colors to mimic some of the natural beauty of Vermont?
  • And now that I am closing in on retirement (I think I can make it), I don’t have to make a full living; just a supplement
  • And other people will LOVE these as much as I do……………..
    • Quality Oils that moisturize
    • Hand crafted instead of mass produced
    • Attractive designs
    • And Ohhhhhhh, that smell (more on that in another post but YUM)

It’s an art that has everything that attracted me to weaving without all the gotchas.

So, from me to you, some self-care in troubling times from my little paradise in the mountains of New England……Vermont. Visit OutsideIn Soaps LLC at and bring a little piece of peace into your home with my Cold Process Soaps.

Spring Showers Cold Process Soap from OutsideIn Soaps LLC


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