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Newton soapmakers to visit festival

May 17, 2011

Outside of a green workshop on N.C. 10, there's a pleasant, light fragrance that fills the air. The sweet aroma isn't spring flowers in bloom, but the smell of soap being made.

Jim and Dorothy Samson, both 65 and of Newton, started O My Soap in a garage sitting beside their home. Now, the garage is full of essential oils, fragrances, various butters for mixing and numerous designer fabrics used for the company's products.

Jennifer Toney, 37, and the Samsons' daughter, said the business started 10 years ago as Dorothy's hobby. A job at a plant nursery in Vale, along with tons of leftover flowers, led Dorothy down a path of researching and creating soap.

About five years after Dorothy's hobby grew to a business, the job became a family company. Now, Jim makes the soap; Dorothy is the sower; and Toney does marketing for the company.

"It's perfect the way the three of us work together," Toney said. "Each of us has our own roles."

Now, O My Soap offers 40 types of scented soaps, which are made from a blend of various vegetable-based oils, cocoa butter, shay butter and aloe, to name a few.

On average, Jim said for 48 bars of soap, he spends about an hour mixing the ingredients. Once the mixture is ready, it's poured into a mold and sits for 24 hours. Then, the soap is cut into bars and sits for two weeks to make the bar hard and mild for use.

Toney said the benefits of using homemade soap is more moisture draws into a person's skin because there are no chemicals to leave skin dry.

"The soap is not harsh at all, and we don't put chemicals in them," Toney said. "We make (soap) from scratch."

Toney said the basic ingredients found in mother nature make their soap safe for all skin types.

But the merchandise doesn't stop with soap. The family is busy making lotions, lip balms, massage oils, foot soaks, insect repellants, deodorant, eye pillows, heat therapy pillows and neck and sinus pillows, among many other items.

To learn more about O My Soap, visit their booth from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Saturday's Music and Mud festival at the Newton-Conover Auditorium.

The festival is free to the public. Various vendors will be selling items they create with their own hands, which range from personal products to pottery. Also, don't miss various musical acts throughout the day.

Sponsors for this year's event include The Observer News Enterprise and Outlook, Medicap Pharmacy, Newton-Conover City Schools, Outlaw Pottery, Jim and Peggy Templeton, Hyperformance Graphics, The Trott House Inn, Matthews Construction, Special Events Services, BB&T Newton-Main, United Arts Council of Catawba County, Woodlief Electric, The Cove Church and Pin Station.

The O-N-E will highlight various artists in each edition leading up to Music and Mud. For more information, visit

www.newton-conoverauditorium.org or call (828) 464-8100.

To learn more about the products offered through O My Soap, go to www.omysoap.com.

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