Family Guest Blog – Crystal
|Family,For many it is just a word, but for me it is the center of my soul. I am the youngest of eight children, my father passed away when I was only 3, leaving my mother with seven children still at home. My mother is a very strong woman, she went to work at the sugar factory and then in the coal mines, just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. That left the older children to take care of the younger ones. Me, I was spoiled rotten of course because I was the baby. We managed, and I have great respect for all of my older siblings, as well as my mother. I learned to cook and clean at a very young age, and to embroider, paint, crochet, latch hook (or I at least that is what I think it is called), and many other creative outlets.
You see, my mom is the craftiest person I know; she can cut doll clothes patterns from a piece of newspaper. Fashion an old tube sock into a Barbie dress. Look at a piece of wood and tell you what she can make out of it. From her we have all etched our creative side into this world. My oldest sister is amazing at sewing, quilts, aprons, dresses you name it she can sew it. My brothers; one runs his own cabinet shop, as well as makes custom furniture, the other has a water jet machine that creates whatever his imagination can draw up. My sister Pat, she is amazing, she gardens, crochets, sews (if she has too), and makes lotions and potions. Dema is also great at sewing, and crochets baby blankets. Bobbie, well she is there for support. She does not sew, or crochet, but she has a great eye for designing brochures, fliers and the computer technical kind of stuff. My sister Gwen passed away from lung cancer 18 months ago, and although she is gone, she is in my thoughts. She liked to cross stitch and sew baby quilts. That leaves me; I am betting most of you know what my creative passion is…… Yep Soap! However, I do know how to crochet, embroider, and create just about anything I put my mind to.
One would think that being from such a large family that I would have married into a small one….. Not a chance. My husband is the youngest of eight as well; yes I have a huge family. I was lucky enough to marry in to a family that brought me in as one of their own. There are always days when one butts heads with their mother in law, but she is just as supportive as my mom. And I am very lucky to have her in my life as well.
Family does not always mean blood, or marriage. I have a few friends that are sisters, because they have stolen my heart many moons ago. They too offer support. I could not leave out my online family, the Forum at MMS; you are all so helpful and supportive. I know just where to go if I need a question answered, or a shoulder to lean on because something (probably soap) just blew up in my kitchen. The tears and laughter we share are like none that are shared with anyone else. Only we are insane enough to have this passion of soap making, a hobby that has a mind of its own!
You would think I would be done; I have saved the best for last, my husband and kids. They are my light, my joy, my soul. I have been married for 22 years, and have three amazing teenagers. My husband supports me, by listening nonstop about soap, fragrances, what sells, and making my molds, again and again, until the right size is achieved. My kids give my soap as gifts, always recommend my product, and are there for packaging help, dishwashers, test subjects and inspiration. And for that I love them deeply.
You may ask yourself what this short history on my family has to do with my current soap business. Support, every one of them supports me in my passion. My mother will come and package, or give creative ideas, or just visit on long days of making product in my kitchen. Pat and I bounce ideas off of each other all of the time. Bobbie lives in the big city and goes shopping for those items that I cannot find locally or are too expensive to ship, as well as helping me with my brochures and fliers. John makes soap dishes for me, and I trade product for herbs from Tom’s wife Kim. Dema and her family buy soap, a lot of soap; she is my business person to go to when I have questions. The Decker side of the family spreads the word about Dirty Water Soap, and little by little my tiny company is growing.
You see, family, is my soul, they have always been there, and are now ever more present in my soaping world. I would not have my life be any other way.
Just for curiosity: These figures include in laws as well. I have 1 husband ( who needs more than one?) 3 children, 2 mothers, 1 father, 23 brothers and sisters, 46 nieces and nephews, 30 great nieces and nephews and one great great nephew. I am not old enough to have that many family members! Most of them use Dirty Water Soap, how great is that?
Enjoy your family this holiday season, pull them close, and hug them tight, you never know when you will get another chance!
Dirty Water Soap Works