Patricia Kamper solved an issue that many of us face with sensitive skin. With all natural locally sourced ingredients, Happy Kamper has offered a reprieve from irritable skin.
Tell us about your business name.
Happy Kamper Soaps comes from my last name and the fact that we really are pretty happy about what we do!
What is your creative or educational background and history behind how you created your business?
I have a B.A. and M.A. in Communications from UC Davis and Texas A&M, respectively. But the reason why I started making soap was to combat my own lifelong skin problems. Having dry, bleeding, flaking skin was just a part of life for me until I discovered old fashioned soap. I would search grocery stores or anywhere local for the simplest soap but could rarely find any. Everything had strong perfumes or harsh detergents. So I became determined to make my own so that I would always have access to simple soap. My local friends soon found out and asked me to make soap for them and it has just expanded from there!
How does your city/state influence your craft or how you do your work?
I am a proud California native and I draw on that by using local ingredients, when possible. For example, my newest soap of the season, Sweet Almond, is a homage to the area of California that is very near and dear to me: the Central Valley. We come from a family of almond growers and the sweet smell of almonds is just a part of our daily life. This soap also is drizzled with local honey from our own neighborhood! In the past, I've included flowers and herbs from local growers into my soaps. I am a big supporter of our local agricultural community and try to reflect that in my work.
Can you take us through your process from inspiration to final product?
I like to combine essential oils to tell a story. For example, my Orange Chai Spice soap is my favorite soap for fall. It is quintessentially Fall to me even in its appearance. To me, it looks like Fall leaves swirled together in a gust of wind. As for the scent, I use clove as a base note, which reminds me of drinking chai tea in the Fall. Then, I'll include a base note of cinnamon to remind me of the delicious Fall dishes. Lastly, I like to use a top note of orange to brighten the mood for a cheery Fall afternoon.
What is a standout or special moment in your creative work so far?
Being confident about my soaps has been the biggest change I've noticed in the last year or so. I marvel sometimes how much other people really love my stuff. I am my worst critic but when I find others who believe in me and my soaps, it makes me believe in me too. It's given me the confidence to approach other businesses and really hone my soapmaking skills.
What dreams are on the horizon for the future of your brand?
I just want to keep streamlining my soapmaking so I can increase the variety of soaps and hopefully attend more craft fairs and reach more customers.
Are you bringing anything new or special to Mod Shop this year that you are particularly excited about?
I have three new soaps for the season: Sweet Almond, Fir Needle, and Warm Christmas. Sweet Almond is scented with natural almond and drizzled with local honey; Fir Needle is scented with fir needle essential oil, colored with a light green french clay, and stamped with a Christmas tree; Warm Christmas is scented with patchouli, orange, lavender, and pine essential oils. I colored it with red moraccan clay and lightly swirled it with gold mica. Don't ask me which one is my favorite! I love them all and I hope you will too! Hope to see you soon! -Patricia Kamper of Happy Kamper Soaps.