Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Latherati is closing its' doors...

It is with deep regret that Latherati Soap Foundry, as we know it, is closing its' doors. The Going Out of Business Sale will kick off this Friday, October 14 with 20% off of everything in the shop. The discount will continue to increase as the closing date of December 30, 2011 approaches.

The future...

With optimistic hope, Latherati will be taking a new direction in the New Year. Tentatively renamed Libris Fragrances, a new product line is being developed that will initially include spray perfume, solid & roll-on perfumes and will expand to include candles and other home fragrance products. Many of the current Latherati fragrances will still be available while others get reformulated and all will be relaunched in new upscale packaging.

I want to thank all of you for your support and loyalty. I truly appreciate every one of you. While it saddens me to close Latherati, an exciting new venture is underway!

- julie

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Moving into Fall

And so here we go again....moving, that is. After a crazy busy summer spent at my beloved lake house, the time has come to move yet again. While I will miss the lake and the sunsets and the sweet cows at the farm next door, I will be returning to my childhood home where my dear mother of 84 is in need of care. It's to benefit us both I think and perhaps improve a relationship that has needed tending for some years now. Getting a bit personal now...my relationship with my mother has always been tumultuous. Still seeking the motherly approval I so desperately wanted growing up, I'm at a point (finally!) where I'm able to let go of her expectations and start living my own. And now we must get used to living with each other, let subtle insults roll off my back, ignore the judgments and disapproval of a life I'm trying to create that I truly believe in but she will never understand.

Perhaps this will be a lesson to make me a stronger woman. I have no regrets, no resentments. This is to be a true test in my ability to understand the woman who raised me. How many of you struggle with your relationship with your mother?
one of these things is not like the other :-) and he's my favorite!

In Latherati news, Gypsy is about to be launched! Inspired by The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, Gypsy is a complex blend with base notes of amber, vanilla, honey, incense and musk with top notes of jasmine and orange blossom. The florals kick off the scent but the dry down is so warm and intoxicating. Look for the roll-on perfume and body cream at the Latherati shop by early October.
Also ready to hit the shelves is Moxie, inspired by A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. First, let me say that I am in love with the scent name! If you don't think Francie Nolan has moxie, read the book again! I absolutely adore Francie, not only because of her love of books but she has a strength of spirit you don't find every day. Moxie is a mosaic of old wood tenements (sandalwood, mahogany and oak), musk, cherry penny candy, raspberry and grapefruit.

xoxo, julie

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Epitome of Summer...and soap too :-)

Long awaited supplies have arrived and the soap making has recommenced! A batch a day for the next eight days. Gloom was made yesterday and will be available in the Latherati shop soon. Alter Ego, Blossom, The Cobb, Curiouser, Fanciful, Sinister and Tara are next. Also, La Mar, inspired by The Old Man & the Sea, is on the agenda to be soaped. I've had many requests for masculine scents and this one should do the trick. I'm thinking this should be an upcoming Challenge! So, stay tuned and be ready to offer up some "masculine" reads.

On a personal note, this lake house is proving to be one of my saving graces. It has brought more peace to me that I ever thought a place could provide. And for that, I am grateful. Here's how we are enjoying it.

dipping of toes in the lake

a roaring fire

watching a full moon rise over the hills

jumping off the water trampoline

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Today is my Birthday!

Hop on over to the Latherati shop and celebrate my 41st birthday! Use coupon code: HAPPY41 to save 41% on EVERYTHING in the shop! Valid June 25, 2011 only!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jane Eyre...Thornfield

The much anticipated Jane Eyre soap is on the curing rack! A gorgeously complex blend of bergamot, pine and wild violets with hints of tangerine, neroli, green moss, florals of heather, hyacinth and jasmine and a touch of pear and chamomile. Base notes of fall leaves and Mr. Rochester's cigar make this an intriguing scent.

I'm tentatively calling the new Jane Eyre-inspired fragrance Thornfield. A number of you suggested it so those that did will be getting a free bar! (I'll email you soon). I truly appreciate those that took the time to respond to my quest for a name.

On to make the companion products in this fragrance. I'll keep you posted :-)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bust & Tattoos & Mountains, oh my!

The line formed down and around the block! Goody bags to the first 300 shoppers was enticing!

The Bust Spring Craftacular was fantastic! Met some existing customers (I LOVE to put a face to a name!), made some new friends and had an overall amazing experience. I loved the venue, the art, the food, the people.

Our hotel was near ground zero and so was this sign. It was four times as long as this pic. Eye opening.

If you squint, you can see the Statue of Liberty :-)

Those that signed up for the Latherati newsletter at the show were entered in a drawing for a gift from Latherati...a signed copy of Samantha Hunter's new romance novel, Mine Until Morning, along with a bar of soap and solid perfume inspired by the book. Kasey was the winner! Congrats Kasey :-) I've notified her and she'll be getting her Latherati package soon. I hope she loves it. I have a couple more bars left and a number of signed books so I'll be coming up with ideas for giveaways soon.

My latest tattoo..."Find your strength". It was the right time recently for me to get a new tattoo and this was exactly the phrase I needed. I feel that when you have a struggle in your life, whether it be about love, friends, family, work, etc., you need to dig down deep and find a strength you didn't know you had to get through it. The human spirit is incredibly resilient and I'm learning that finding that strength is empowering and you come out a stronger person for it. Hope it inspires you to get through whatever challenge you may be facing.

Black Bear Mountain, Adirondacks

Climbing mountains helps too ;-) Here's the view from the top of Black Bear Mountain in the Adirondacks. Breathtaking views, a few rocks to scale and a gratification like no other.

Just noted: Nothing too work-related in this post. But I have news I'll share soon!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Busy, busy...

This week is time for buckling down and gearing up for the Bust show in NYC this Saturday. Today's accomplishment?

- 80 bottles of roll-on perfume
- 40 solid perfumes
- 40 lip glossaries

All made, packaged and labeled. Phew! I've been playing Mumford & Sons all day, on repeat. Here's my favorite song.

Oh and if you come to the Latherati booth and sign up for my newsletter, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a gift basket with a signed copy of "Mine Until Morning" by Samantha Hunter, along with a full-size bar of soap and a promo size solid perfume, custom blended for the book by moi :-) A delicious honey-almond blend. This is the book where the heroine (Tessa Rose) is a soapmaker and get this...I was the inspiration. I was even acknowledge in the book! A very proud moment for me.

I'm also very proud and honored to have been picked up by two stores this past week. I'm still working on the orders but you'll soon find Latherati products at:

- Paper Hat, a new brick & mortar in Minneapolis, MN - "like" their Facebook fanpage!
- The Soapbox Company - an online retailer completely dedicated to offering the very best in indie bath & body.

So, after a long and exhausting (but extremely gratifying!) day, I'm ready for bed. G'nite all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random ramblings...

On my way this past weekend to see local musicians, The Rusty Doves, I took the back roads through winding farmland. How nice to avoid highways and city traffic. I had to stop and take a pic of this farm on the way and then this church on the way back. It was the only thing lit up against the pitch black of miles and miles of farms.
With so much rain lately, the worms were forced to come out and be artists!

You may have guessed that I have a thing for leaves. This one was found encased in sidewalk cement in a little town in central NY.

In show news, MayDay Underground in Rochester was awesome! I was solo for the day so I didn't get a chance to look around much but what I did see was lovely. Now, it's time to gear up for Bust! If you're in NYC on May 21st, be sure to check out this fabulous show!

I'm currently in the process of switching bottles for my dry oil body spray and body lotion. I like the squat, fat shape of these better and I really like the new labels I designed for them. I'm also switching from Kraft soap boxes to classy, glossy black ones. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Settling in

It's been about a month since we moved into our lake house. We are settling in nicely and just waiting for Spring to come to central New York. It's trying and at least the snow is finally gone! Rain has taken it's place and turning everything green. Just a few degrees warmer and we'll be able to dip our toes in!

I'm gearing up for MayDay Underground this weekend in Rochester. This is one of my favorite shows. I see some of my favorite people and their beautiful work. Next month, I'll be heading to New York City for the BUST magazine Spring Craftacular. Very excited for that show and to spend some time in the city.

300 solid perfume samples for the BUST goody bags!

Still on the blending shelf: a manly soap, inspired by The Old Man & The Sea by Ernest Hemingway - musk and ocean scents made into a spa salt bar. Having trouble with this one as I find many of the ocean fragrance oils are too floral and that is definitely not what I'm going for with this blend. I'll keep working.

Also working on a Jane Eyre scent, a light floral with jasmine, rose & hyacinth blended with a bit of musk & vanilla. I want to incorporate Mr. Rochester's cigar without it being too smoky so that sits on the shelf for a bit.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Discontinued Fragrances 40% off

If you are a fan of Latherati's BEGUILE, CIENTO, ETHEREAL or ORCHARD, head on over to the Latherati shop for savings of 40% off the original retail price. These fragrances are being discontinued so supplies are limited.

I'm making room for new fragrances for Summer. A new Challenge (coming soon!) will bring in some LIMITED EDITION Summer fragrances, perhaps along with some new scent lockets :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Moving along...

While I've enjoyed my year in this beautiful old Victorian apartment, the lease is up and it's time to move on. I'll miss my wraparound front porch, tall ceilings, old creaky wood floors, french doors and unsurpassed attention to detail common to the era this house was built (1890).
The detail on my mantle

The magical glass door knob

My front doorknob and tiny keyhole

But we are moving into a stunning lake house with a back deck begging for a party, beautiful lake views (can a sunset on the lake be beat?) and a dock for lounging with a good book and jumping in the lake to cool off. We'll have air conditioning (YAY!), an unbelievable kitchen with all new stainless steel appliances and a garage (I'm so tired of brushing snow off my truck!)

So, on to the next phase of my life. I find moving very cleansing and reflective. Sorting through treasures, tossing what no longer fits my life, keeping my favorite possessions.

On a Latherati note, I'll need to close up shop for about a week (probably the last week in March or first week in April) until I get settled in but there is a new Challenge right around the corner. Stay tuned :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Random Photos

A few of my favorite pics :-)

This awesome tree was found while aimlessly driving in the middle of nowhere.

My friend took this one. The epitome of Fall.

My brave cat, Charlie

Someone lost their balloons.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Training for a 15K

photo courtesy of jrenphotos

I'll admit it, I have some weight to lose. I've lost it in the past but it always seems to find me again. So, this time around, I'm taking the focus OFF the weight loss and putting it on my health and training for a 15K! Makes sense, right? And who's not up for a little challenge every now and then. The big 4-1 will hit me in June and I will not waste any more time being overweight and feeling sluggish.
photo courtesy of soulgraffiti

Officially known as the Boilermaker, this 15K takes place in Utica, New York and brings in runners from all over the world. Best part? It ends at the Saranac brewery where a frosty beverage awaits you when you cross the finish line. If that isn't enough motivation, I don't know what is!

I've always enjoyed running and pick it up when I feel I need to drop a few, but really, it's something I want to continue on a regular basis. Keep challenging myself...good for the body and amazing for the mind.
photo courtesy of BigAnt

While a 15K is certainly daunting, I have until July to train. I'm up to about 3 miles and then I lose steam...and boredom sets in. No worries...a few new tunes on the ipod should help me push through that. Any suggestions??? And of course, I have to work on my stamina. Baby steps.

I hit the gym at least three days a week for a run on the treadmill; then the Nautilus machines to build some muscle and then a good stretch (my favorite part :-). I prefer to run at the high school track or the streets for a change of scenery but until old man winter decides to leave town, I'll head to the gym where I've never felt comfortable...it's just not my scene. Can anyone relate?

I've also been drinking a protein shake a day. Not only does it fill you up without a lot of calories, but it helps build muscle. More muscle = more fat loss! The rest of my diet is fairly healthy. Lots of fruits & veggies, chicken, salmon, Greek yogurt, oatmeal and brown rice.

Protein Shake Recipe:

In a blender, combine 1 cup light soy milk, 1 cup frozen berries or fruit, a few ice cubes and 1 scoop of whey protein powder. I also throw in some ground flax seeds (adds fiber, antioxidants and heart-healthy omega-3s). Kick up the blender and enjoy. :-)

In honor of my training, I'm offering a coupon code for 15% off your entire Latherati purchase, now until February 25. So, run (pun intended!) on over to the Latherati shop and enter coupon code: RUN15 at checkout.

So, if you have any training tips, advice, etc., let me know! Want to join me?? Grab your sneakers and let's run!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Adirondack Soap, a collaboration

Adirondack soap

A new project has been in the works here at the Latherati studio. A collaborative effort with Dave & Shelly of the Get Out & Learn Foundation, a non-profit that provides environmental education for at-risk youth. The programs focus is on building self-esteem, community service and team building skills.

Dave and Shelly were inspired by the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. They asked me to design a custom blend for their organization. They wanted a fresh, unisex fragrance incorporating eucalyptus and/or citrus scents. The final blend is warm cedarwood, crisp eucalyptus and citrus scents of lemon and orange. I used all essential oils for the blend and no color. The result is a simple bar that smells amazingly fresh and clean.

Along with the batches I made for them, I will be selling Adirondack at the Latherati etsy shop and donating 5% of every sale to the Get Out & Learn Foundation.

This was a wonderful project and I wish Dave & Shelly all the best in their very heartfelt and rewarding endeavor.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Valentine Giveaway CLOSED - Winners have been chosen!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED - Winners have been chosen and notified. With 334 unique entries, I used random.org and numbers 49 and 172 were the winners. Thank you for all the participation and support. I truly appreciate it :-) ~ julie

In my previous post, I mentioned a new Giveaway (actually I mentioned a Challenge but this one's a bit different) here at the Latherati blog...so, without further ado, here are the details...
First of all, the scent: Inspired by the book "Valentine: A Love Story" by Chet Raymo, Latherati's Limited Edition Valentine fragrance kicks off with bottom notes of musk, incense, cedarwood and just a whisper of clove, followed by rich, warm honey and breathing in notes of jasmine and orange blossom. A sophisticated, lovely scent that captures the essence of Valentine.
What you win (2 winners!): A vintage style heart "vinaigrette" locket in an aged copper finish with a single pearl bead. Comes with two squares of linen and two vials of Latherati's Limited Edition Valentine perfume. Comes gift boxed in an elegant black satin-finish box.

Note: A vinaigrette comes from the Victorian era when personal hygiene wasn't as stringently observed and women wore their favorite perfume soaked in linen in a locket.

There are a number of ways to enter. The more you do, the better your chances :-)

How to enter:

1. Leave a comment below
2. Twitter this contest
3. Facebook this contest
4. Subscribe/Follow the Latherati blog
5. Become a Facebook Fan of Latherati
6. Follow Latherati at Twitter
7. Favorite the Latherati etsy shop

Giveaway ends: January 24, 2011 at midnight EST

Two winners will be chosen via a random number generator. Winners will be contacted via email so please remember to include it in your comment. If it is not included, I will use the number generator to choose another winner.

Thank you and Good Luck :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And the world was blanketed in snow...

As much as I do not like the cold of winter, I'll admit that my heart is at peace when I see that overnight, the world has been covered in a blanket of snow. Sounds are muffled, the trees, with their branches cradling snow, look like works of art and the air smells pure and clean and crisp.
I'll also admit that the thought of bundling up in my winter garb, grabbing my shovel and clearing my sidewalk upsets that peaceful feeling. I was preparing to do just that but wait...what do I hear? A very generous neighbor and his snowblower coming up the walk. Oh thank you, thank you. I get to stay in my cozy house with a hot cup of coffee for just a bit longer. I did send him a big wave of thanks however.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Valentine is on the blending shelf

The first day of the new year, I laid on my couch and devoured "Valentine: A Love Story" by Chet Raymo. An engrossing read, full of tension, superstition, history and religion, Valentine kept me turning the page well into the night. A great way to start off the year...a little love, a little torture (!) and an ending that left a few tears in my eyes.

This book was a sensory delight! Especially for the olfactory. I'm starting with a blend of sweet honey, musk and heady incense, followed by florals of orange blossom and jasmine. I'll let it sit a few days and take a whiff. I may be adding a bit of sandalwood, rose or clove but this process is not to be rushed so I patiently sit and wait as my fragrances meld. This is always the hardest part for me and I always want to get it right the first time. We shall see.

Once the blend is finalized, I'll be posting the "Challenge" and the prize this time will something new for me. I'm keeping it under wraps for now ;-)