Who are the humans and why do they want to make all this soap?
We are Don and Kim Gray and we purchased Virginia's Soap from Virginia and Jochen in November 2010.
Under the careful guidance of V & JB we are continuing where they left off. Virginia & Jochen are fabulous teachers, mentors and fast becoming great friends. They have invested so much time and effort into managing and growing a high quality company offering wonderful products and customer service that we are proud and humbled to be trusted to take Virginia's Soap on the next portion of it's journey.
I have always loved Virginia's Soap products. I grew up in the Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba and Judy & Stu Cornell from Inverness Falls have always carried Virginia's Soap products. My sister and I were always excited to receive a piece of the soap in our stockings at Christmas or as part of our birthday presents. Northern Lights soap was always one of my favourites.
Fast forward a few years later to 2010 and I am making jewellery, etched glass and willow pyramids and selling my wares at the Transcona Market Garden. It was a rainy Thursday in August and the Executive Director for the Transcona Biz arrived under my tent with the entertainer for the day in tow, asking if I could do an interview with a reporter who was coming to do a piece on the market garden.
The lady under my tent and I introduced ourselves as we waited for the rain to let up and I asked what she did for entertainment. "Celtic drumming and singing," she replied. "And my husband and I own a soap making business." Virginia added.
"Virginia's Soap Company?," I asked. Virginia replied yes and I handed her my business card and asked her to call me if she ever decided she'd like to sell it.
Oddly enough I had ordered some pieces to make Celtic pendants for a custom order, however I ordered the wrong Celtic crosses, far too small to make into pendants. When I got home and looked at the Celtic pieces again I thought I could make Virginia a pair of Celtic earrings with Unikite beads (for balance) and they looked fabulous.
She called me a couple of days later and we had a long telephone conversation about the business. Then I told my husband, who is always up for an adventure, and in September we went to see the shop and quickly got to work learning how to make the different kinds of soap, securing craft sale dates for November, and meeting old and new customers.
Oh yes; and in 2002 when V & JB were considering selling their business I had contacted them to inquire about it. Virginia still had my letter and business card I had forwarded to her back then in her soap making museum. She wasn't sure why she'd kept it, as she had tossed lots of those inquiries from here and there. Interestingly, I could not remember being so in depth when I had asked about the company then.
We believe that it is serendipity, that it was the right time and the right place. I still love Virginia's Soap and now we get to make the soap. How cool is that?