Focusing on creating soaps by hand that foster understanding about the power of herbs, medicinal plants and world sustainability, Emma works to incorporate intentional self-care into her creative process.
“Learning the craft came as a sort of spiritual calling. It sounds funny, but it’s true! The back up plan for theater had always been to own a bakery, but her interest in herbal medicine, and holistic healing found a place in soap – a process, it turns out, that’s not far from baking!”
Emma learned soap making during quarantine after losing her job as a theatrical house manager in March of 2020. After having watched hundreds of hours of ASMR soap making videos to reduce her anxiety in the early months of Covid, she woke up one morning and decided soap making was her destiny.
Rose Moon Soaps has a strong focus on keeping it natural! Using ingredients such as olive oil, coconut oil, rosemary, and oatmeal, Emma works hard to make her business a place for education and understanding. If the soaps can teach every customer about the power of the herb, or medical plant with which it has been infused, it has done its job. At the end of the day, Emma’s work is about creating a more sustainable world – one soap at a time.
Is this your first creative space and if so, how has being here at Rockella Space helped your business grow?
Rockella is my first studio space ever and it’s been helpful to have a place for inventory because previously, I was curing soaps on my entertainment center in my apartment! It’s been especially helpful (and validating) to have designated shelving for rows and rows of soap and see all my little soap babies curing.
How has the studio space at Rockella affected the work you do?
Having everything in its place and place for everything has allowed me to have a clear headspace, a space to sit and think about what intention I want to put into each soap. Not being forced to spread out all over my apartment has been great.
How have you seen yourself grow as a person or business in the last year?
Well, this is my first year but it’s grown really fast. It’s been really overwhelming at times. It started as an experiment during quarantine (I was tired of making brownies!) and soap is a lot like baking, so I thought I would give it a try. People were interested in the process and I’ve developed a little following. I’ve been able to sell online through Etsy, and having a physical studio space , has made it feel like I have a real business.
What routines have you developed working for yourself?
My morning starts with unmolding and cutting the soaps that I let cure overnight and put the stamps on. Then I move onto marketing stuff, taking photos and engaging with my instagram followers showing processes like soap cutting. It’s been great to have a regimented time schedule.
What goals are you trying to accomplish right now?
I’d like to solidify the branding surrounding the soaps I make and how to continue to tell my story and intention. I am very invested in the packaging and aim for the soap making story to start with the physical action of opening the box. I think we’re attracted to stories as a people and it’d be cool if I could create that within the soap products and branding.
When you feel fearful or anxious about your creative path, what do you do to overcome that?
Generally I just focus on the creative process of soap making. Making the soaps creates a mindfulness space, so I often listen to that feeling and sometimes soap will come out if it. I made a soap that was very much all about protection, and it was at a time when I was feeling really overwhelmed and my anxiety was very loud, so I listened to that feeling and made a soap about protection.
Do you have habits that help or hinder your work process?
Sometimes I’m hindered by the need to constantly produce creatively, instead of making a business plan. I also struggle with computers, so any work that requires it, is something I have to push through.
What are the most difficult parts about being an artist for you?
As an herbalist product, it’s difficult in terms of the business side of it because there are a lot of claims about what things can do. There isn’t a lot of trust with the consumer because they’ve been sold products that didn’t provide what they needed it to. It also takes a lot of time to produce the soaps. It takes at least a month to make. The biggest challenge of living in a really fast-paced consumer world, is getting the consumer to understand the slow process of creating anything by hand.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Fuck the box that they put you in! This year has been about me breaking down all those walls. Making the soaps has been a huge part of this because it’s outside of what I thought I’d be doing. So I would tell my younger self to be yourself and don’t worry about what they told you to be.
Is there anything you would change about the art world?
I’ve been living in a completely different art world. There are a lot of things that I would change about theatre, but the soap making world has been great so far. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been a really welcoming and supportive community.
Tell us your favorite art medium besides your own?
Theatre. I really like theatre as an art form and it’s my first love. It’s helped me to create a world around the soap and become a part of the marketing for my brand. My studio space is very much this little witchy kitchen-den place, so theatre has definitely influenced this whole process.
What era do you wish you were from and why?
I feel like I live in a lot of different eras. I’m very attached to ancestors and past lives, in that sense, of where I come from. But I actually feel really grounded in this current time because this past year seems like we’ve been living in so many different eras, it’s been interesting to sit in it.
What things from your childhood have made it into your work?
Nature. I grew up in Florida so as a child I was in nature a lot. An interest in herbalism and using plant-based medicine has been a huge part of that.
I would really like to have lightning speed; to get to places quickly would be so much fun. Or teleportation, I was a huge fan of Nightcrawler when I was a kid.
A baby barn owl.
Favorite cartoon as a kid?
Dexter’s Laboratory, I think it’s hilarious.