Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eczema and soap

Since my TV debut on the Channel 7 news, there's been a lot of interest in Edgewater Soaps.  It's kind of amusing that, having seen and heard me on TV, many of my new customers seem to feel they know me.  And I'm sure that feeling is reinforced by the fact that they also know something personal about me.  They know I've had problems with eczema.  And knowing that enables them to talk freely to me about their eczema and other skin issues, or to seek my advice on behalf of a friend or family member with skin problems. 

What I hear from so many of them is frustration.  I share it.  It's frustrating to deal with a chronic condition that may not be life-threatening, but definitely interferes with quality of life.  It's frustrating to research the condition you have and find, as with eczema, that the causes aren't very well understood and the remedies are limited.  And it's frustrating to have to use prescription products -- especially when, as I know from my experience and many others', they're often not very effective -- for something that ought to be treatable or controllable another way. 

I didn't start making soap because I knew it would help with my eczema.  I had no idea that it would.  But I know that ever since I started making and using natural soap products, I've never had a problem with eczema like I used to. You'll find the reasons why on my FAQs page.

Others have also found it helpful.  One of the people who saw the Channel 7 feature bought a Sensitive Skin Formula and a Lavender Oatnilk bar online a day or two after it aired.  She called me earlier this week and left one of the most remarkable voicemail messages I've ever received.  She had been using my soap for the past ten days, she said, and already her skin was starting to clear up.  She was thrilled.

It turns out she's had an eczema-like skin rash that she thinks was brought on by some medication she was taking.  She's seen five or six skin doctors about it and gotten a number of different prescriptions, and so far nothing has really helped.  But since she's been using my soap, it's starting to improve. 

"The places where it already existed are still there," she said, "but it's stopped spreading!  I'm not developing any new patches, and the old ones aren't getting worse." 

"Even my husband has noticed I'm doing better," she said.  "The other night when we went to bed, he said, 'Debbie, you're not itching!'  And I said, 'I know!'"  I could just picture her with her fingers crossed, hoping the improvement continues.

I know that a lot of my new customers are like Debbie, and I'll be following up with all of them to get their feedback and comments.  I'll share them with you here in future posts.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Living Green with ABC 7

"Hello, this is Sylvia Jones from ABC Channel 7, and we're interested in filiming you making soap for ______ . . . " 

Wow!  How cool!  And completely out of the blue.  The top-rated TV station in Chicago wants to feature me on something!  I didn't hear a thing she said from that point on, except that she wanted to schedule it in two days' time and I knew that wasn't going to happen.  Fortunately she was willing to schedule it a couple weeks later.

And when I say fortunately, I mean it!  TV cameras in my house?  Bright hot lights exposing every bit of dust, random scrap of paper, and smudged fingerprint?  Let's just say major housekeeping ensued.  Including washing windows and walls, and repainting woodwork. 

When the big day came, however, I was ready.  And everything went smoothly. 

We started with the interview, and then the cameraman filmed me making soap.  The producer had been very specific about wanting to film the entire process,from start to finish, and that's exactly what happened.  The cameraman frequently asked me to stop what I was doing for a moment -- measuring oils into the pot, for example -- so he could change positions and film it from a different angle.  Sometimes three or four different angles.  Fascinating. 

The result is pretty impressive, I think.  You can see it here: "Edgewater Soaps uses natural ingredients" on Living Green With ABC 7.  Enjoy!