Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A talented new photographer

I was very blessed to meet Jessica Merkel at the Sea Cliff Mini Mart in October.  Jessica took some photos of my soaps that I just love. Thank you for sending them to me and for allowing me to use them Jess!

So many people comment on my scrabble piece. I guess Jess liked it too!

I love this picture with my "Vampire Soap" in it!

I asked Jess if she had a website I could send people too and she told me is working on one. She is in graduate school for speech pathology and hasn't had time lately to focus on her photography.  I'm so glad she had a few minutes to snap these pictures for me!

Yours in Gratitude,

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Lange Eylandt Market

The Lange Eylandt Market is held every Sunday from 10-4:30 at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho. It's my new favorite event. Why is it my fav? Besides the quaint village atmosphere of the Cottages at the Milleridge Inn and having a place to sell my products every Sunday, I get to be with some amazing vendors.  Check them out.

Mullein and Sparrow

Sweet Muse

East Coast Roast

Pelzer's Pretzels

Blossom Meadow

The Well Dressed Nut

Donna Barret Jewelry

Mulry Jewelry

Beach House Baking Company


Alegna Soap

I'm in pretty good company, right?
Yours in Gratitude,

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Customer of the Month

Meet Rebecca, my November Customer of the Month. Rebecca is very close with all of her sisters. They all went swimming with dolphins in Mexico. Sounds like fun, don't you think?

Rebecca and her sisters

Tell me about yourself-
I am a 31 year old single woman, living on Long Island and regularly commuting to the city. I made a career change about two years ago and I am now a full time student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I am majoring in Fashion Merchandising Management. I will graduate with my Associate Degree in December and I have already acquired credits to maintain my BA.
How long have you been using Alegna Soap products?
I have been using Alegna Soap since I first met Angela at a craft fair a couple of months ago.
Which soap is your favorite?
It’s hard to choose a favorite but if I had to, I would say the peppermint scrub soap
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have three sisters and I love sending time with them. I volunteer at my church and I love entertaining old friends and meeting new friends.
Do you have any pets?
I have one dog. A 2 year old 110lb Rottweiler named Porscha.
Who is your favorite movie star?
My favorite movie star is Al Pacino
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
If I knew I couldn’t fail I would play the lottery of course! J Not failing to me (in regards to this) is two-fold though: 1. I would win the lottery, 2. I would spend the money wisely.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day would start off as a cool and sunny Fall morning. I would start my day off by showering with my Alegna peppermint scrub soap (of course). Then I would invite my immediate family and a few of my close friends to my favorite diner and I would pick up the check for everyone. I would then go to Starbucks with my best friend and get a pumpkin spiced latte. We would then pick up our dogs and take them for a nice long walk at the park. We would drop off our dogs, have sushi for lunch in Babylon Village and then go out to the city for a fun night with my sisters and closest friends…ALL ON ME! J

Yours in Gratitude,

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Many large tree limbs in our backyard.  A ton of shingles blown off our roof. A leak in the ceiling. Internet out for three days.  We were the lucky ones.  Over 80% of Long Island is without electrical power. The school building I work in is being used as a shelter for the Red Cross. My brother-in-law still can't get to his home in Mastic. Friends in Lindenhurst say their neighborhood is gone.  Everything in their house was destroyed but their house still has a foundation, many of their neighbors houses don't. Friends in Freeport lost everything, the water came up to the second floor of their home. This is the third day after Sandy wreaked havoc with us and it doesn't look like things will be getting better soon.

One of the tree limbs in my backyard

So today I am grateful for my husband who already has re-shingled the roof, the Internet that I usually take for granted, the empty bedrooms I can offer to my friends, heat, hot water, hot food, electric, and the fact that although there is a lot of property damage here, everyone I know is safe and healthy. I hope you are too.

December Customer of the Month

Alegna Soap's December Customer of the Month is Donna.

Donna and her husband Mike

Tell me about yourself-
I'm a retired flight attendant married 34 years (to the same person LOL) mother of 2...1 son, 1 daughter...  no grandchildren yet :(

How long have you been using Alegna Soap products?
using Alegna soap almost 2 yrs

Which soap is your favorite?
My favorite is def the patchouli scented!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Being married to a Drummer,  Music is the most popular hobby

Do you have any pets?
We have 1 dog & 2 cats

Who is your favorite musical artist?
Stevie Nicks, Heart

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Be a Rockstar!!...

Describe your perfect day.
Being with all my Family & Friends on a Beautiful Sunny Day on vacation...(or all of them on my deck in my yard.)

What was the last movie you saw in a theatre?
The New Planet of the Apes Movie

What would you do with the money if someone gave you $5000?
Go on Vacation  (after putting just a little away for?)

What inspires you?
People with disabilities

Yours in Gratitude,

Monday, October 22, 2012

My soap-less weekend

This past weekend I spent soap-less (except for my showers) in Maryland at a family reunion.  No Internet, no TV, and no soap making (did I already mention that?).  Just family, food and a very relaxing atmosphere.

Some family...

...and more family

The food....

...and more food

And where I spent most of my time relaxing.

I am grateful I was able to spend some time on what is truly important.

Yours in Gratitude,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Earring Tabu

My husband and I decided one day to take a walk through Port Jefferson, NY. I like that the village is on the water, and the ferry to Connecticut is right there. I brought my soaps along (I bring soap everywhere) in case I found a store I thought would be a good fit. As soon as I walked into Earring Tabu, I knew I wanted my soap sold here. The store is classy and stylish. The sales girls are courteous and friendly. And the accessories in the store are fabulous!

I love this display!

Great jewelery of all kinds.

They carry one-of-a-kind clothing.

Some women collect shoes, I collect earrings! Love these!

I gave the salesgirl a bar of my soap and some information about my products and asked her to pass it along to the owner. I was lucky, she said, the owner was in the store and if I waited a few minutes she might be able to see me. (Of course I'll wait!)  After speaking with Kim, showing her my soaps and explaining the benefits of handcrafted soaps, she decided to carry Alegna Soap.  So, if you find yourself in Port Jefferson, stop in Earring Tabu to shop and say hi to the great staff there. Better yet, make a special trip and tell them Angela sent you.

Yours in Gratitude,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Back Porch Soap's NYC teaching assistant

A few years ago, I was on the Internet and saw that Marla Bosworth of Back Porch Soap taught some soap making classes in Boston. I was wishing I could travel there to meet her and take some of them, but my schedule didn't allow it. I connected with her on Facebook and encouraged her to come to NYC to do some classes. Marla decided to come for a weekend to teach. And she came back a few months later.  Each time she came to NYC I would take a different class. We got to know each other and she asked me to be her NYC teacher assistant.  I jumped at the chance to work with her.

Melissa of Naturally Good Soaps and Marla

Marla and Erin of Soapsmiths

Me and Sue of You Scent Me
Marla offers a program called Bath and Body University, which is "an exciting, all inclusive four-day bath and body intensive program", both in NYC and in Boston.  She teaches classes in cold process soap making, liquid soap making, anti-aging classes, creams and lotions, body balms and butters, anything you can think of in the sphere of bath and body.  Her students come from all over the world and as her assistant I get to meet and work with them. It's been such a positive experience for me.  I've grown as a soap maker and a person.  I'm more comfortable speaking to groups and meeting new people. Every time I watch her teach a class I learn something new. I've gained confidence in myself, in my soap making abilities and in all aspects of running my business. Meeting and working with Marla has been such a great experience for me. I look forward to working her classes every other month.  Thank you Marla!

Yours in Gratitude,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Absolute Yoga

Absolute Yoga

There three things I love to do, make soap, read and yoga. The order of those things change, depending on my mood, but they are all a constant in my life now.  I started yoga about 5 years ago, taking classes at my local library and soon realized I wanted to learn more.  I found Absolute Yoga through a friend and have been going there ever since. The staff is friendly and the instructors are knowledgeable and helpful.  There are classes in the morning, afternoon and evening. Three levels of classes are offered. But what I love most about the studio is the variety of different types of yoga classes that are offered. There is truly something for everyone here.

Leslie, who always reminds me to "Breathe"
Leslie is the owner and director. Besides having three rooms for classes in the studio, she has a shop with some very unique items for sale.  When she heard that I make soap, she asked me if she could have some for her store.

Alegna Soap at Absolute Yoga

I know when I walk in the door at Absolute Yoga, I will be greeted with a smile and a warm hello. I know I will have an hour and fifteen minutes with no distractions, no cell phones, emails, nothing but attempting to be in the moment.  And when my mind wanders, as it usually does, Leslie and the other  instructors will gently guide me back to my breath. Try it, it works for me.

Yours in Gratitude,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October Customer of the Month

My October Customer of the month is Lorraine.  Lorraine, like Kaitlyn last month, is also camera shy.  But she sent me a picture of her Halloween craft fair table.  Lorraine is known as "The Chocolate Chick" and makes amazing chocolates!

Tell me about yourself- I work as a recreational monitor at an elementary school in the mornings and at the Boys & Girls Club in the afternoons every day.  Children are my passion and making sure they make the most of their day is my goal.  I love baking and cooking and of course, chocolate creations.

How long have you been using Alegna Soap products? 2 years

Which soap is your favorite? The peppermint soap with crushed nut shells.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy making chocolates and goodies.  Making children smile is my favorite thing to do. 

Do you have any pets? I have two English Bulldogs, Zeus & Brutus.  My daughters have a bunny and a lizard and a bunch of fish.

Who is your favorite movie star? Johnny Depp

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? I would create a system that would help get all children a good, safe  home to live in .

Describe your perfect day. Wake up. Eat a yogurt. Walk the dogs.  Make chocolates.

Yours in Gratitude,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Clarke's Garden

I was introduced to Pete and Anthony of Clarke's Gardens by Leueen of Harbor Knoll Bed and Breakfast.  Their garden shop is located in the quaint village of Greenport, NY. With restaurants, boutiques, and lots of salty, fresh air, Greenport makes a great weekend trip. If you are shopping for plants, decorative garden accessories, unique gifts, or Alegna Soap, stop into Clarke's Garden.  Spend some time talking with Pete and Anthony, they know all there is to know about gardening and what's going on in town.  While you're at it, book the weekend at Harbor Knoll B&B. You won't be disappointed.

Clarke's Garden

Colorful flowers
Lush plants

Stylish decor

Beautiful accessories

Yours in Gratitude,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Customer of the Month

September's customer of the month is a beautiful young girl named Kaitlyn. She is uncomfortable having her picture used in the blog, but has allowed me to post a picture of her beloved dog Dixie instead.  There is something I want you to pay attention to as you read her answer to question number 7. When we are young we don't let our fears limit us, which is why I believe Kaitlyn answers as she does. She just doesn't think about failing and that's why she has no idea how to answer.

Kaitlyn's dog, Dixie

1-Tell me about yourself- my name is Kaitlyn.  I go to Middle school.  I have interests in the outdoors. 

2-How long have you been using Alegna Soap products?  I have been using Alegna products for two years.

3-Which soap is your favorite?  I use the creams. I have eczema and I found the creams useful. I have tried others but these worked the best.

4-What do you like to do in your spare time?-I like to sketch and read.

5-Do you have any pets? I have a dog, 2 lizards, a turtle, and and some other animals that might surprise you if you saw them.

6-Who is your favorite movie star? I listen to music more than I watch moves. My favorite song writer/singer is Adele.

7-What would you do if you knew you couldnt fail? I have no idea.

8-Describe your perfect day. A perfect day would be when things actually go according to plan.

9-What was the last movie you saw in a theatre? The Hunger Games.

10-What inspires you? When I see people just like me do something great.

Yours in Gratitude,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My first pallet

With the holiday season coming up I needed to order more organic oils for my soap making.  After I placed a very large order, a company rep emailed me to say they were sending the oils on a pallet.  I decided to take pictures, because, hey, this is a milestone, right??

The truck pulls up near my driveway.

The nice driver says it's ok with him if I take some pictures.

He unloads my order.

I loved this "elevator" on the back of the truck!

He even smiles for the camera!

And delivers it right to my garage!

Me and my pallet!!

Yours in Gratitude,

Friday, August 10, 2012

My first soap making class

I had been making soap about 10 years when I received a catalog for The Open Center in NYC.  I was looking through it and saw there was a class on cold process soap making.  When I wanted to learn how to make soap, I went to my local library and took out a book on the subject.  There were no classes that I could find in 1998.  But even though I knew how to make soap, I signed up for the class.  I figured there was always something new to learn.  The class was from 10-4 on a Saturday. I walked into a room of about 30 people. In the room were three people who would become good friends, although I didn't know it at the time.  Deloris of Daisy May Natural Soap, Rosie of Brooklyn Bath, and our instructor, LaShonda Tyree the Handmade Soap Coach.

Delores, me, Rosie and LaShonda

Once I was seated I looked over the class outline.  We were also going to learn how to make lotions, creams, bath bombs, bath salts and body scrubs. Can I tell you how ecstatic I was? I knew this class would change my life. LaShonda was a wealth of information and was willing to share it. Her attitude was infectious, and I enjoyed her class so much I took more with her. The most important piece of advice she gave me was "Don't be afraid to say "No, I don't make that" to a customer".  It's easy to burn out once you start a business, trying to make everything for everyone. She has a new way of saying it now, Build Deep Before Expanding Wide.  Now that I have so many friends in the business, if I have a customer who wants something I don't make, I can refer them to someone who can help them. But in the beginning, it helped to remember LaShonda's words.  Thanks LaShonda!!

Yours in Gratitude,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Customer of the Month

Meet Sophie, Algena Soap's August Customer of the month.

Tell me about yourself. I am a wife and a mother to two college-age kids.  I am also a Secretary to the Principal in a high school.
How long have you been using Alegna Soap products? I have been using the soap products for 2 years.
Which soap is your favorite? My favorite soaps are the Lemongrass and Peppermint soaps.
What do you like to do in your spare time?  I enjoy reading and taking longs walks with my dog.
Do you have any pets? I have an 11 year old Cocker Spaniel named Lily.
Who is your favorite movie star?  My favorite movies are the old “black and whites” so I enjoy watching Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford movies.
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?  If I had to do it all over again I would have become an English teacher.
Describe your perfect day.  A perfect “summer” day is relaxing at the beach.
What was the last movie you saw in a theatre?  The last movie I saw in a movie theater was “Moonrise Kingdom”.
What inspires you?  My children inspire me to be the best person I can each and every day.

Thanks Sophie.  It was nice to get to know you better. I know you will love the new bar of Lavender Lemongrass soap I sent your way!
Yours in Gratitude,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seaweed/Seawater soap

I was sitting on the beach and I saw some beautiful green seaweed. I thought it might be fun to try to make soap with it, and while I was at it, use seawater to do it.

Seawater, filtered twice, boiled and then frozen.  Seaweed, washed twice and dried in the oven

Crushing the seaweed into powder

The lye mixed with the seawater

Pouring the lye-seawater into the melted oils


Adding the powdered seaweed

In the mold...

...cut and on the curing rack!

The soap is still green in color and has a slight scent of seaweed.  What do you think of it?  I'm looking forward to trying it out!

Yours in Gratitude,