Categorized | Local, Scene

Simmons Natural Bodycare Company

 

Social Responsibility and Fine Soaps are a Bridgeville Family’s Passion

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Dennis and Dottie Simmons have both a passion and a
mission:  the Simmons Natural Bodycare Company.  They
make soaps– and a fine variety of other skin and health care
products in their small off-the-grid shop in Bridgeville.

 

We like their soaps very much.  They’re handmade, pure, of wonderful quality, and delightfully packaged.  Their soap rinses clean in hot or cold, hard or soft water without leaving a residue often found in other soaps.

We also like Simmons soaps because they’re a socially conscious and responsible family business caring about our Humboldt environment and community.

The following is from the Simmons family website.  We’d like to share with you what makes them and their company uniquely special:

“We’ve been making a lot of soap lately.  It is, after all, our business. And while it keeps us indoors on lovely summer days, it is still a labor of love.

We have been making soap since 1979, when we began as a way to provide natural & nontoxic soap for our own special needs.  Sensitive to synthetic fragrances and colors, we could not find commercial soap locally that worked for us.  And since that time we have never tired of creating the best soap we possibly can.

It’s our mission to provide for the basic needs of our skin and bodies in the best possible way.  That is why the body care products we make are carefully handcrafted in small batches using high quality natural non-toxic ingredients, with formulas that are simple and honest, incorporating only what is needed to create safe and effective products that are a pleasure to use.

We have always chosen pure, quality oils & other botanical ingredients for their simple natural benefits.  The basic care we provide works by assisting the natural processes of renewal and protection that keep us healthy and beautiful; care for everyday needs as well as for special needs common to the seasons such as dry skin, congestion, and biting insects.  We also work to accommodate the basic needs of those special customers with allergies and sensitivities that limit their choices.  Our products speak for themselves with quality you can feel.

We start by mixing organic oils of olive, palm, and coconut together.  We choose these oils for their individual benefits.  Olive oil is the best for the skin. Palm creates a harder, longer lasting bar.  Coconut oil is the source of rich, copious lather, without it bubbles are small and thin.

Our soaps are made in rectangular columns. Once the liquid soap is ready, we pump it into molds, cover it with an insulating layer and let it sit up to 48 hours before it is ready to cut into bars.

Our soap cutter is a machine of our own devising, custom made by us for our soaps. Once cut we place the soaps on trays, then on ventilated shelves, where it cures for at least 3 weeks before we wrap it to sell.

At Simmons Natural Bodycare, what we make is only half the story.  We believe, practice, and promote a philosophy of sustainability.  This encompasses the use of renewable energy sources and ingredients to create our products, and doing it in a way which does not degrade the environment or cause harm to us and its other inhabitants.

It is not so much the idea of ‘doing the right thing’, but simply that it is the right thing to do.

This is why we use minimal packaging incorporating as much recycled and recyclable materials as possible.  Why our invoices & labels are 100% PCW paper, including the adhesive mailing labels.  Even the beautiful handmade Thai papers that wrap our soaps are from trees harvested in a sustainable manner, limbed, so the tree keeps growing.  This is why our ingredients are biodegradable, food grade, and mostly organic, and why we do not test on animals.

We wrap the soap by hand.  Each bar is wrapped in ecologically sustainable Thai mulberry paper, then labeled with a recycled paper band. You’ve probably noticed we color code our soaps: each variety has its own specific color paper.

Simmons Natural Bodycare is part of a self-sufficient family homestead in the rural mountains of far northern California.  Our soap shop has evolved a lot over the years.

Starting by making soap in our kitchen, our original shop was built from trees we fell and milled ourselves (5 big buggy Douglas fir that were dying).  We outgrew that in a few years and expanded it into the shop we have today.  The electricity for our home and business is self-generated using solar (PV) panels, a 1kw wind turbine, and a small hydro-power system.

Our goal is to live and run our business with as little impact on the planet as possible.  The business began by crafting natural, nontoxic, soaps & body care products to ensure the mildness needed for our own family’s sensitive skin.  It now provides for our family as part of a working homestead in conjunction with our large organic vegetable garden, orchard, and poultry.

We contribute to our local community and the world community through volunteer work and donations.  We have donated 2% of the sales of our bars soaps to Heifer International since 2004 and support other small businesses through our website.

Since 2006 we have been 100% Carbon Neutral as we planted enough trees worldwide to offset our carbon emissions through Trees for the Future.  In addition, we double our offsets annually by donating to CarbonFund.org to support renewable energy and energy conservation projects.  We continue to plant trees, 1 for every 12 of our 4 oz. bar soaps sold.

By working in and for our community and environment, serving our customers the best we know how, reusing, recycling, and generally trying to conduct our lives and business conscious of the impact our behavior has on the people and planet around us, we bring into action the beliefs upon which Simmons Natural Bodycare was founded.

With over 30 years of soap making experience, it is our pleasure to provide you with the finest natural organic soaps.  It makes us even happier to be able to do it in the most environmentally conscious way we know how.

~Dennis & Dottie Simmons

* * * * * * * * *

The Simmons family have put down long and strong roots in Humboldt County.  They’ve made a go of a home and business and family.  We wish every company were as responsible as the Simmons’.  We like everything they represent.

We hope you try some of their great soaps this holiday season, and help support the wonderful mission they do.  We wanted to share this story with you, and not because they asked us to.  They didn’t.  We chose to share this because we like their products and practices and what they do for our community.  We hope you do, too.

You can view the Simmons Natural Bodycare website here.

You can view their excellent products here.  They also carry other products beyond soap, too.

Their blog is here.

And you can purchase their fine soaps in these stores.

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