MiVT: Snipe Ireland Soaps

RICHMOND, Vt. (WCAX) A Richmond woman has 35 years experience working as a nurse at the UVM Medical Center. But helping people at work isn't enough, she's doing it at home too with her Made in Vermont soaps that could help ease skin issues.

Eight years ago, Pam Brouard saw a soap maker at a craft show.

"I had never even realized people made soap until that point," Brouard said.

The mother and UVM nurse had chapped skin and her kids had eczema, so she decided to make a purchase. Within a week it was making a difference.

"I thought maybe I could do this and improve on it," Brouard said.

After doing some research, she started just making soap for her immediate family. Next thing you know, it blossomed into a business that's now in its seventh year. Snipe Ireland Soaps, named for the street where she and her family live in Richmond.

"I love adding color and swirls to my soap because I feel like, especially this time of year when everything is dark and gray, I just want something that's uplifting," Brouard said.

She says there's nothing more uplifting then what comes after the soap hardens in the mold -- the cutting process. "Because I never know what it's going to look like inside. It's almost like a gift," Brouard said.

Those gifts then sit on a shelf anywhere from several weeks to two-months. There's three butters Brouard uses in her Snipe Ireland Soaps -- mango, cocoa and fair trade shea butter from Africa. "I am careful about what goes into my soaps," she said.

There's three different lines of Snipe Ireland Soaps based on there scents. There's soothing, inspiration, and beer, which is actually made with Vermont local beer.

"I've never been creative until I started doing this so, it's been a lot of fun," Brouard said.

There are 12 bars she sells year-round. Others are seasonal. It's $6 a bar and they can be found at various craft shows throughout New England and Snipe Ireland Soap's website.

She donates 10 percent of her soap making sales to the Burlington-based group Steps to End Domestic Violence. "It's meant a lot to me to be able to do that -- to use my soap making to, I don't know, do some small part to make the world a better place, if that's makes sense," Brouard said.

Yes, Brouard is making sense with the scents and swirls of Snipe Ireland Soaps.