Lake Norman Magazine

Enterprise: Sassy Soaps and Essentials

Gayle Shomer

Alisa Grasso is a busy woman. Somehow between her full-time job at Lowe’s, volunteering for a nonprofit that helps the poor, and looking after her teenage daughter, she launched Sassy Soaps and Essentials last year. Working from her home in Mooresville, Grasso makes natural, organic soaps, as well as bath salts, body moisturizers and exfoliates.

On getting back to basics: For years, Grasso has been into organic gardening and growing her own herbs, which she would often combine and package as gifts for friends. This hobby, along with her desire to live a healthier and more environmentally conscious life, is what sparked the idea for her business. She wanted to provide an alternative to commercial soaps, many of which contain chemicals that can irritate the skin, she said. “It just seemed like a really cool, organic, natural kind of thing,” she said. “And I thought it would be fun. Kind of like a cross between chemistry and cooking.”

On making her first batch: In doing her soap-making research, Grasso found a couple of how-to videos and instructional guides online. After a little trial and error, she perfected her routine. It starts with mixing together shea butter, natural oils, and lye. She pours the mixture into a wood mold where it sets for about an hour. She then removes the block of soap and cuts it into about 20 one-inch bars that weight about six ounces each. During the process Grasso adds herbs including rosemary, lavender, thyme, chamomile, and calendula, all of which she grows in her organic garden.

On the future: In addition to about a dozen natural soaps (all $6 each), including new honey spice and patchouli orange soaps, she sells a variety of relaxing and detoxifying bath salts ($10), soothing body butters ($12) and exfoliating sugar scrubs ($5). All of Grasso’s products are available on her website, local markets and local retailers like Consign On A Dime In Cornelius and The Butterbean Village Market in Huntersville. “I’ve always been very entrepreneurial so I really enjoy this. Plus, I’m starting to get repeat business. So who knows, maybe this will really grow into something big.”

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