— Nick Norton (@NickyJNorton) May 24, 2014
A couple of Saturdays ago I was at Recycle Here, a massive recycling center in the New Center area of Detroit, when I spotted a vendor outside. It was John McIntire, and he was selling a soap that he and his wife make together called City Girls Soap. While talking to John, I was intrigued not only by the fact he was selling his locally made soap, but by the fact that it was made... with goat's milk.
After purchasing a citrus scented bar I knew I wanted to learn more about this soap. So I corresponded with John and his wife Amy McIntire via email to learn the story behind their brand.
What is both of your backgrounds?
The McIntire's both come from strong business backgrounds; John McIntire has an extensive background in Retail Management and Sales. Working in the Retail and Entertainment industries which stress customer service and attention to detail, John brings the same high level of product quality and customer service to City Girls Soap.
Amy McIntire currently handles the production and financials for City Girls Soap. Trained as a full charge bookkeeper Amy's background spans 20+ years of bookkeeping from large corporations to small independent businesses.
Have you always been interested in starting a soap making business?
We actually started making ice cream then cheese. We want a business where we can someday work together but a dairy was cost prohibitive to start, so we changed our focus to soap.
How long have you been in business?
Officially... we established City Girls Soap in 2011.
Why goat's milk specifically?
Our daughter is lactose intolerant and we wanted to make ice cream for her. Goats milk is easier to tolerate. Then we started learning about its health benefits when incorporated into other products.
How do you make your soap?
We have a specific recipe and it is all about timing and temperature. The actual process takes very little time but the soap itself cures for 6 weeks.
Where can people find your soaps around Metro Detroit?
City Girls Soap is sold at Eastern Market on Sundays and Tuesdays! You can also find us at Westborn Markets, Whole Foods, Simply Good Kitchen and Catching Fireflies. The complete list is on our website.
What's next for City Girls Soap?
We are buying our own Oberhasli Goat to milk, so we will have a dedicated source as well as continuing to get milk from our share in Detroit.
Are you planning on expanding? Where and how?
Yes we are currently in the process of expanding. We are moving our little herd to space in Pontiac as well as our production. For the past 2 ½ years we have been working from our home, we now need a dedicated production space.
What's your signature or favorite scent you've made so far?
Hmmm... that is a hard question. I think our signature scents could be Grown in Detroit Oatmeal Honey and our Sweet Grass.
Any new scents you're working on for the near future?
We roll our Orange Calendula in July which is made from Calendula grown at Knucklehead Farms in Brightmoor.
So who says made in Michigan can't be brought to your bathroom? I have to admit - it feels good to support a small business and smell nice at the same time. Click here to follow City Girls Soap on Twitter, and Like their Facebook page.