Behind the soap

Kia ora from your Artisanal Soap Maker, 
Karle Forde (Whakatōhea, Te Upokorehe, Ngāti Porou, Irish, English, Scottish).

With the support of my husband Anton and our two children Te Kōmako (12 years) and Tūī (9 years), we are the team behind our boutique family business. Waiheke Soap Company.

We are long standing Waiheke Islanders, who feel very grateful to be able to call Waiheke Home. We love living on the Island being close to Whãnau/ Family and dear Friends. We love being close to the sea and enjoy walks on the beach, around the coastline and in the Ngahere/Native bush, swimming, bike riding, playing music, baking, gardening, weaving and taking dance classes at our wonderful local dance school, Dance Out Loud.

We love expressing ourselves creatively,  along with Waiheke Soap Company we also own Forde Gallery,

A few months after giving birth to Te Kōmako, our son, a friend gifted us a beautiful jar of handmade Calendula Balm. We felt very grateful to be able to use a product on our baby that was natural and made with love. A few years later I was fortunate to be given the wonderful opportunity to learn how to make calendula balm. Starting that journey began with being touched by nature, with the feeling of the warmth of the sun and the different nature sounds in the garden. The beautiful colours of each calendula flower smiling and bringing joy to our hearts.  Before harvesting, it felt important to acknowledge the connection to life and give thanks to the calendula flowers that were harvested to make our first batch of calendula infused oil and our first jar of calendula balm. Being touched by nature and being a part of this whole process began my love for making natural products.

All our soaps and natural skin care products are handmade with connection to nature and love. Our Rongoā Māori products follow tikanga/traditional practices.

When using the natural oils, butters, and pure essential oils in our soaps, we acknowledge their origin in nature, appreciate and connect their original forms before becoming a part of the soap-making experience and products.

Soap making is a fun and beautiful experience. To paint a picture in words of the crafting process: Our artisanal soap bars are made using what is known as the ‘cold-process’ method. Once poured into our wooden box moulds, the long uncut rectangles of soap rest for 48 hours before we un-mould and cut the product into bars. The soap is then air cured in a well-ventilated area for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks before it is ready for shipping and sale. This ensures that the moisture has evaporated from our product, increasing the hardness of the soap, giving it a longer life in your soap dish. Before we can ship our handcrafted soap bars out to you, the customer, they are all individually hand wrapped by us, which we find very therapeutic and relaxing. Each label is topped with a reminder of the beauty of the sea, through a piece of Pāua shell.

Note about our ingredients

We select only the best quality natural ingredients for our soap including high quality pure essential oils. Our packaging is printed on 100% recycled paper, coloured with soluble vegetable dyes and our gift boxes are unbleached. In keeping with our social responsibility, our palm oil supplier is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), co-founded by the World Wildlife Fund, an organization that supports sustainable palm oil production. For more information see their website here.

Our Local Market

We particularly enjoy going to the local Saturday morning market in Ostend (weather permitting). This is a great platform to launch new recipes and gauge people’s reactions to our product. Soap is very tactile: visually appealing and of course, smells great! We encourage customers to pick the soap up, to feel it, and to smell the beautiful aromas.

Ōmiha/Rocky Bay is the home of Waiheke Soap Company

Just a 10 minute peaceful walk from our local bay we look over a valley of native trees. Each morning we are greeted by the beautiful call of the Tūī songs across the Valley and hear them throughout the day and again at night. We hear Kākā and enjoy watching them fly across the valley and above the treetops. We have Kererū resting in the trees and enjoy watching them having fun diving down over the valley. Friendly Pīwaiwaka often come close in their playful way when we are walking through the Ngahere/native bush, and at night and in the early hours of the morning, we often hear the Ruru calling.

Being surrounded in natures beauty brings us much peace and joy, which we continue to feel throughout the lovely process of making our natural soaps and natural skincare. When you purchase from our range, we hope you can feel that connection with nature too.

Heartfelt warmth,
from Karle, your Artisanal Soap Maker and the Waiheke Soap Company team