Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

     Amanda hummed to herself as she worked. It was wonderfully satisfying, doing what she loved, and she was confident of her product’s success. Judith and Sarah were telling their friends about the “marvelous creams, used in England for years by all the court ladies!” and Madame Bernard reported eager customers were inquiring as to the availability of Brooke’s products, responding to the discreet sign in the shop window.
     The soap equipment was ordered, and the initial contacts made with the vendors she would need to work with in Savannah. A city the size of St. Augustine would have access to olive and coconut oil, and enough waste fat from animal slaughtering for her to set up with local vendors there. If necessary, she could start out as the first Amanda started her soap business-trading the finished product for the fats used in households. She wrinkled her nose. Soapmaking was a smelly, messy, dangerous undertaking. Many of the fine ladies who used the finished product had no idea of what truly was involved in making each pretty little ball or bar.
     Amanda had modified a few of her closely guarded recipes to use the new techniques of the Frenchman Chevreul, and the results were encouraging, better product and cheaper to manufacture. As she filled her pots, she daydreamed about vast factories springing up across America, all making Brooke Soap for everyone.


 Today is Labor Day in the US, a day when we honor the hardworking women and men who keep our country prosperous, and if they're soapmakers like Amanda, clean and fragrant.  Enjoy your holiday, pack up your white shoes, and take a moment to savor the end of summer while you pause from your labors with a good book or two.

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