Written by Morgue Anne
Kelly McDowell-DeVries, a graphic designer, wife, and mother to two boys, somehow finds the time to manage MollyCoddle Soaps - glycerin creations that look good enough to eat! I had the chance to talk to Kelly about how she comes up with each delicious piece of usable art.
Kelly McDowell-DeVries, owner.
Morgue Anne for Extollere: Do you make your own molds? What process do you go through to make each one?
MollyCoddle: I make most of my own molds. It’s expensive, so I have to try to make sure to do it correctly. It’s a chemical reaction process using silicone and a reactant that acts to set the silicone. It’s a tough process because the silicone is heavy and can cause the object I’m making a mold from to float to the top or move in the container thus ruining the mold.
MA: How do you come up with your soap designs?
MC: Often, I come up with them in down time, like when I’m lying in bed trying to sleep or in the shower. Every time, I’m anywhere, even at the grocery store, I’m thinking, “ah - that would make a cool soap.” I like to make humorous soaps which some people don’t seem to get such as baby arms or a human heart.
MA: How is soap “Vegan”?
MC: Vegan soap means it is made from vegetable glycerin instead of being derived from animal sources. So they AREN’T made like those in Fight Club. :)
MA: Are the soaps actually usable to wash with, or purely decorative?
MC: Of course they’re usable! They’re actually quite good for your skin. Glycerin is non-drying and gentle on the skin so I have quite a few customers with bad allergies who use my soaps because they are one of the few they don’t tend to get an allergic reaction with.
MA: I notice on your website it says you’re a mother – do your boys ever help you make soap?
MC:They like to dabble, but since it’s using super hot melted glycerin, they don’t get to do it too often. However, I have plans for them to help when they grow older…
MA: Do you have a favorite creation that you’ve made thus far?
MC:I have lots of favorites, but probably my most favorite one so far is the Frozen Charlotte soap - I made the mold from a real antique frozen Charlotte form and I think she’s exquisite!
MA: Do you do anything other than soap?
MC:I’m a graphic designer and design invitations and all manner of things for people. I have an etsy site for that as well:http://rootdown.etsy.com
MA: Some of your creations look so delicious! Has anyone ever tried to eat your soaps?
MC:Yes - my kids know now to always ask first before trying any foodie type things sitting on the counter. A friend of mine left some chocolate soaps in her bathroom and came home to a sorry note from her housekeeper who had tried one.
MA: Which type of design – food, scary, girly – is your favorite to do?
MC:Probably food just because of the fun of the realism.
MA: Any plans to make candles?
MC:Not right now - but I do get a lot of requests, so it is a consideration…
MA: What’s next for MollyCoddle?
MC:New designs and bigger destinations! I may even hire help - gulp. I working on some possible collaborations with large retailers, so you may see more Mollycoddle Soap around!