December 2017: Jeannine Webster 

December’s Featured Artist is Jeannine Webster of Wylde Rose Handmade Soaps, a local artisan who has been making handmade soaps and other bath products for over two decades.

Webster has had a passion for everything bath and body related since a very early age. Her sensitive skin needed special products, and she soon became tired of paying $8 for a single bar of soap (which was 20 years ago!) She created her first batch of handmade soap made specifically for sensitive skin, and her addiction grew from there; she gushes that she’s just as passionate today as she was “back then” when cutting into a freshly made loaf of soap.

All of the products at Wylde Rose Handmade Soaps are made in small batches using 100% vegan ingredients. Webster uses various colourants from natural clays, herbs, extracts, and infusions, as well as synthetic colourants specifically designed for bath and body product use. Although Jeannine is the head artisan at Wylde Rose, it is a true family business, and input from her direct and extended family has always played a role in product development. “Some of our bestselling essential oil blends were created by my children,” she notes.

Wylde Rose sells handcrafted artisan soaps (over 170 varieties!), skin products, and bath care essentials. They make scented and unscented vegan milk soaps, soaps with coconut or olive oil, and sea salt soaps. They are also well known for their bath bombs – including a 1 kg Bombzilla, Epsom salt cakes, bubble bars, body lotions, muds and masks, deodorants, lip butters, and nail polish. You can even work with Jeannine to design your own artisan loaf soap, which would make the perfect party or wedding favour!

She ensures that her products are affordable, saying that she has “kept my philosophy of not charging an inflated rate for my goods, and I am a firm believer that high quality products can be affordable for all.” She’s noticed that bath products have become more popular with men as well. “About 40% of our clientele are men. It’s not just for the ladies!”

Over the past two decades, Jeannine has worked tirelessly to build her business, recently opening a retail shop right here in Brantford. This family business continues to grow, and its success is likely due to not only the high quality products, but Jeannine’s drive as well. “Follow your passion,” she says. “Even if it doesn’t happen overnight, stay with it and grow with it. Be willing to adapt and change.”

Wylde Rose Handmade Soaps’ products are sold online, to various retailers and resellers, and at local artisan shows. They also have two brick and mortar spaces – at the Cambridge Farmers Market and at their retail store and studio in downtown Brantford, pictured above (27 and 29 Darling Street, at the corner of King and Darling Streets). Recently, they developed a partnership with Goodness Me, and developed a product line specifically for the retailer – look for their products on the shelves soon!

For more information about Wylde Rose Handmade Soaps, click here.