Lindsey and Mikel Stone, the wife-and-husband team behind Clean Getaway Soap Co.
, started making small-batch soap in 2008. About 10,000 bars later, it's "nearly full-time," says Lindsey.
"It was a hobby that evolved, but it evolved really quickly," says Lindsey of the company's beginnings. "We had a glut of soap and we had to get rid of some of it."
The couple was inspired by the ethos of urban homesteading. "I've always been impressed by the thought that pioneers could do this with little more than beef tallow and ashes," explains Lindsey. "I thought we could do it."
Another inspiration: Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. Before he was the city's crime boss in the late 1800s, Smith was known for grifting folks with a con involving bars of soap wrapped in dollar bills.
Clean Getaway offers no such con, just small-batch soap at a time. The Stones use ingredients like coconut milk, hemp oil, shea butter and of course lye to make soaps like Happy Camper (with avocado oil and shea butter) and the orange-flavored F Bomb. "We keep trying to make something that tastes good if you get your mouth washed out," says Lindsey of the latter.
Clean Getaway Soap is available for $7.50 a bar on Etsy and at local markets and festivals, where the bewhiskered Mikel takes on the persona of Mr. Clean Getaway and offers eye-catching hashtags like #mustacherides on a photo-friendly chalkboard as promotion.
"He's the brains," says Lindsey. "I'm the brawn."
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