February 13, 2014

Brush Soap

The Limited Edition van Gogh color palette is going gang busters at the shop! Thank you to everyone for the support with that--stopping in to see them, to high five me for picking them, pre-ordering quarts or just oogling the pieces Ive painted with them. "ReVived Vintage" and "Wheat King" are my very favorite, with "Carter" and "Zepplin" coming up a clear dead even! LOL!

In my last post I was a bum and teased and hinted at some more exciting news coming down the pipe!  Well, I can finally share now that its weeks away from rolling out and my freak out excitement is starting to boil over....


I've painted my entire life, and I learned early to invest in quality tools to get quality results and brushes were no exception. Ive had some of my brushes for 8+ years, which isn't unheard of if you take good care of them. Doing that, at times was a challenge, because Id clean them, condition them  like the good-devoted- to- her-tools-girl I am and sometimes, the very soap I used gave me grief. I go pick up my brush and start painting only to get oily streaks or pools in my work--residue left behind from the soap and/or oils in it clinging to my bristles, even after a good rinse. On the other hand, the soap and cleaners were harsh and smelly and left my bristles and my hands dried right out and brittle. Some soaps over conditioned so my brush held no resistance when I painted...See. Dilemma for artists everywhere!
When I started the planning process of opening my shop and considering all of the items I wanted to stock for supplies, a great brush soap, or lack thereof came to mind...I hadn't found it, so why not make it myself? Yea - why not!?!  I have some limited knowledge in natural oils and fats making my own family's balms and lotions when we need them...but making soap, that wasn't one of them. So, I reached out to a local artisan soap maker on Quadra Island, who...and if Im being totally honest here...I choose first because.......... she made soaps *I* had to have as soon as I saw them..Dont get me wrong; swirly, colorful, pretty soaps are great and organic and beautiful, but Hans Solo frozen in carbonite?!? Wha?!?

I remember, when I was little, and my very first BIG crush and heartbreak over a boy. Watching him get frozen in carbonate as I sobbed on the couch..I realized then, how love can sometimes be very complicated.                          

Dr. Who's Tardis?! and available in a root beer scent?! Hope my Dad's not reading this or his Christmas present this year is blown.

Clearly, Naomi from Quadra Island Soap was someone I wanted to work with..both of us appreciating the same, maybe small, joys in life and soap shaped like The Millenium Falcon  is definitely one of them. So, I emailed  about my "crazy idea" and altho, (I think) Naomi was unsure about it at first, she humored me enough to listen to what I wanted the soap to be..cleans and conditions, but long lasting, 100% natural but no heavy oils that would create a resist,  "puck" shaped instead of a bar, to hold in the palm of my hand to swirl and swish my brush around easily...and the next few weeks brought samples in the mail from Naomi, tweek requests to the recipe from me, until finally we created the perfect brush soap. ( and for a moment, I did debate about using her Lego People mold *grin*)

photo from Front Porch Mercantile

Fast forward to 4 months ago:
 I had a few other retailers on the island interested in carrying my soap when it first came out, so there were a few pucks in Duncan at Cameo Boutique and a few pucks in Victoria at Frosty by Design,  even a couple in Alberta but this last November, Victoria is where a bunch of us all met up for some retailer training for Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint. Jennylyn, the President of Homestead House Paint Co. who manufacturers Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, spotted a lil puck of Revived Vintage's Paint Brush ReVival soap on Frosty's shelf and asked me about it...

Ive been following Miss Mustard Seeds blog forever...foreva..Years..You've heard of her right? Marian's blog receives over 1.4 million page impressions each month from over 250,000 visitors. Its loaded with thrifty DIY projects, vintage treasures, and home decor. I can remember one of her first posts about how Marian chose her name, Miss Mustard Seed, and when she bought the domain name online, it was that  moment she felt totally committed to taking it all the way..she was just starting out..so was I.. and so I read her blog, not just for inspiration, but also for direction on what I should do next to take my business from "Hobby" to "Serious" (I bought my own domain name that day too) Now, I've painted with Homestead House milk paint for longer...I remember my Mom having the little brown paper bag of "barn red" in her craft room and being amazed at how she turned it into "milk paint" with just water...my lil mind was seriously blown away by the magic of it..My roots of these 2 companies and its products run deep for me..So, the true fact that *Im* even a retailer of Homestead House AND Miss Mustard Seeds Milk paint is a proud high I was very happy to ride into happily ever after...

Then Jennylyn came over and asked me about my brush soap.

Fast forward to today...
In the next few weeks, Brush soap will become available at Miss Mustard Seed retailers worldwide! Over 200 retail locations in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and Europe. Can-you-even-believe-it?! It is the same high quality, all natural brush soap that my customers have grown to love and I know--I just know, that every one else will adore it too! Its not just for milk paint...Its for ALL mediums. I use to to clean my acrylic paints, my chalk paints, my wax's, oils and varnishes... Homestead House and Miss Mustard Seed, being a bit "larger than ReVived Vintage" are still business run with small business values, choosing  to support my lil business with my lil soap idea, and to have it still manufactured, by hand, from a local artisan soap maker here in BC, which in turn supports my community...this makes me so proud..not just to carry their paints in my shop, but to work with them on the brush soap. To have my own "stamp" on companies that I respect and admire  *sigh*  It all just re-affirms entirely why I still love both of them just to death! They stand behind themselves, stay true to who they've always been, even through there own tremendous success and growth.
Promotion is starting! 
                           Miss Mustard Seed's First "Soap" post

ReVived Vintage Brush ReVival soap will still be available at ReVived Vintage in soft scents of "sweet orange" and "pink grapefruit"...maybe "vanilla" or "rosemary"   but Ill absolutely also have Miss Mustard Seeds Brush soap in all natural, which is a perfect sweet, organic "clean" lovely-lovely scent.

THANK YOU Jennylyn, Marian, The Mister, Naomi, my Mom and my friends and family who had to listen to me talk about soap A LOT last April and then again in November....I am so-so beyond blessed in my life, living my dream, doing what I love, where I love, with the people I love and grateful for every-single thing! Thank YOU!


  1. Eeeeekkk!! Thank you so much for choosing me to work with you. I count it as a real privilage to work with you. You are an inspiration. :)

  2. EEKKK!! Thank you for using my photo to show off your FABULOUS soap (and thank you Naomi for making it) you ladies ROCK big time! I seriously had a ton to do at the shop today but spent an hour washing every.single.brush in the shop because I just could NOT believe how awesome it is! (I made every customer feel my brushes…thats not weird right??) Congrats my friend! xx Wendy www.frontporchmercantile.com

  3. Congratulations!! What an awesome project and outcome.

  4. OMG That is amazing !!! I am so happy for you !!

    It's a funny thing but I don't think Marian understands what an AMAZING & INSPIRING woman she is. I have also painted on the sides for many years and been a DIY'er for as long as I can remember. I started following MMS very early on too.

    Life Changes -- maternity leaves, kids, husband being run over by a car and adult bills IE mortgage have made the last 7 years or so very challenging but deep down I knew I wanted to paint for a living. I've followed all Marian's build-a-business posts like a fanatic !! LOL and fast forward to this month where I stepped away from my travel career of 20 years and am opening my own store in Cloverdale BC -- The Irish Clover. Of course -- the best part is that I am now a retailer of MMS MP and will get to carry ReVival Paint Soap !!

    Congratulations again -- I am over the moon for you and your success !!!

  5. These are really good products. They’re not only amusing, but also very useful. Having customized soaps is a novel idea, and a lot of people will be interested with stuff like these. Your work can be an inspiration to many artists out there, in that there is more to art than paint on paper. Thank you for sharing this lovely post, and good luck with your future endeavors.

    Daryl Cross @ Nahi Gazal


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