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Classic Craftsmanship

July 6, 2009

Soap & Paper Factory�s homemade personal care and candles.

Classic Craftsmanship

Soap & Paper Factory’s homemade personal care and candles

By Melissa Meisel
Associate Editor

The half-foot tall cylinder is covered with a print similar to an antique floral wallpaper. The simple grey-and-gold label stamped “Green Tea – All Natural Bath Powder” inspires a peek under the lid to discover a sealed plastic bag emitting a sweet, subtle fragrance wafting upwards.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.

This is one of many handcrafted home and body products from Nyack, NY’s Soap and Paper Factory. Handmade from start to finish, founders Lisa Devo, Shannon Burch and Beth Grubaugh bring different skills and backgrounds to the business— but all three share a love of creating unusual, beautiful items by hand.

Ms. Devo and Ms. Burch started off in the personal care industry by crafting all-natural bath and body products under the name Brickhouse Soap, while Ms. Grubaugh created a full line of stationery called Dewey Howard. According to the company, all three gals wanted to offer a wider range of products that were completely handcrafted and they loved the idea of wrapping Ms. Devo and Ms. Burch’s natural products in Ms. Grubaugh’s hand-sketched, locally printed recycled paper.

So, they decided to join forces, and the Soap and Paper Factory was born—a range of home and body products handmade and hand-wrapped in small batches for gifts as beautiful and unique as their packaging. In their studio, Ms. Devo and Ms. Burch formulate every product from scratch. In the next room, Ms. Grubaugh wraps products by hand and ties on individual ribbons and hangtags. All products are sold at boutiques and spas nationwide as well as online at

The Soap & Paper Factory line began as bath products and candles in two collections—Fig and Green Tea. Now the offerings include six collections—from Rosewood, derived from a tropical tree bark, to Verbena, a woody floral scent with citrus notes. The Beeswax Candles ($36) are each hand-poured into a slender, Italian glass; while the paraben, phthalate, and petroleum free Body Cream ($56) is perfumed and loaded with essential oils. The aforementioned Fizzing Bath Powder ($36) is a natural, skin-softening experience.

“The fact that our fragrance and patterns are developed for one another is a beautiful thing,” Ms. Devo tells Happi. “For instance, while Beth was coming up with the drawings for the cinnamon clove fragrance, I saw this beautiful drawing on her table. It was a huge hydrangea flower. I fell in love and immediately ran to my little lab and made the verbena fragrance.”

Future plans for the company include a possible expansion into massage and body oils, fragrances and solid perfumes. “Oh, if there were only eight days in a week,” muses Ms. Devo.

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