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Left: Maxine of Max's Mixtures Hand Poured Candles & Hand Crafted Soaps
Growing up in Georgetown, Guyana, I watched my physician father explore his creative and entrepreneurial interests by creating a cosmetic company geared towards meeting the beauty needs of local women.
I remember going as a teenager with him to “The Factory” he’d built and outfitted. Sometimes I’d just watch him as he worked, other times I’d help him mix up the face creams, hair dressings and colognes in the industrial equipment he’d imported. He’d describe the different characteristics and benefits of different types of jars (double vs. single walled) and labels (foil vs. plain paper). A constant concern of his was how to maintain product quality in the tropical heat and humidity.
My dad was energized by the entire enterprise. Medicine took a back seat to the challenge of creating something beautiful and useful for others.
Fast forward 40-plus years and I find myself on a similar path. After practicing law for over 20 years, I’ve discovered the joy and challenge of making handmade candles and soaps. The combination of artistry and chemistry in soapmaking fascinates me. How do I combine oils, fragrances, colors, and other ingredients, and in what quantities, to create a beautiful bar of soap that delights the senses? How do I use different scents to create a candle that warms up or enlivens a room and helps create a memory? When working on handmade soap and candles, my concentration is absolute.
So today as an artisan soap and candlemaker in Alexandria, VA, I bring you handmade soap and candles that I hope will provide you with moments of pleasure and enhance your mood with a beautiful fragrance.
Above: Products from Fashion Line Cosmetics, manufactured in "The Factory," Georgetown, Guyana, circa 1972. The blue jar is a double-walled jar. All of the products have foil paper labels except the Afro Hair Creme, which has a plain paper label.