Candice Suchocki Weir uses bees wax from Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery in her soapmaking. Left

Candice Suchocki Weir uses bees wax from Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery in her soapmaking. Left

Cleaning up in Jordan River — naturally

Soapmaker creates artisan soaps in small home-based business

ordan River is a haven for many who choose to abandon city life and make their home in the dark forests and seaside community best known for its surfing. The lifestyle there is one of a deep abiding respect for nature and the outdoors. It’s nowhere close to a city and because of that the people who choose to live there are a self-sufficient lot, making a living in the ways that suit them best.

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” is a proverb of unknown origin, but it is also the impetus for a home-based business in Jordan River.

Jordan River Soapworks came about when Candice Suchocki Weir found her skin could not tolerate strong scents and ingredients.

“I have skin concerns that led to an obvious need to find products I could use,” she said. “Lots of natural products have ingredients I’m allergic to and my products are designed out of necessity and other people enjoy them too.”

Soap making is an age old industry, with the earliest recorded evidence in 2800 BC in ancient Babylon. These days small batch producers make artisan soaps using a vast array of ingredients. Gone are the days of tallow and ashes. These days oils such as shea, coconut, olive and palm are used replacing the animal fats used over the centuries.

The soaps and body products Weir makes use only essential oils and absolutely no artificial colours or preservatives. Nor does she add ingredients for aesthetic purposes.

“I’m most proud of my sources,” said Weir. “I source as many local products as possible.”

She uses sea salt from Sooke Sea Salts, beeswax from Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery and seaweed gathered by Dakini Tidal Wilds. A natural clay comes from up Island and peppermint is harvested on her property.

These products have led to one of  Weir’s best selling soap which is made from sea salt and seaweed and a touch of tea tree oil.

Everything else she uses is organic and is sustainably harvested. Her Plain Jane unscented soap is completed neutral using organic natural products. Others in the line up include lavender and clay, grapefruit and bergamot, rose geranium and hibiscus, as well as peppermint. Body butters and lip balms are made from cocoa, shea and coconut oils. Her workshop may be small, but her aspiration are huge.

Jordan River Soapworks is a young business, in its first year. Weir makes all the soap and body products in small batches, paying special attention to the packaging. She learned by trial and error and through books and on-line information. She developed her own recipes and keeps trying, testing, failing and trying some more. It’s an ongoing process.

She is focussed on grassroots marketing and has her products in 15 shops on the Island, in Vancouver and Kelowna. She attends pop-up markets, which seem to be trending these days offering small businesses an opportunity to expand their market exposure. For the month of June and perhaps longer she will set up a pop-up market in Victoria in the Murchie’s building. She has seen some success as well at the China town night market in Vancouver.

“The Internet makes it possible to have a home based business in Jordan River,” said Weir, “and it’s miles from a major centre. This would be impossible without that.”

For more information on Jordan River Soapworks, go to: www.jordanriversoapworks.com and you can find them on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read