Hi! My name is Valerie DeVito and I’m a wife, a mom and a Licensed Massage Therapist living in Long Island, NY. My husband and I will be married for 22 years, this October.
My kids are older now, 16 & 19, and for some odd-reason, don’t really want to hang around with me so much anymore. I can’t understand it, as I am fabulously entertaining, but I deal with it by keeping myself busy.
I’ve always worked part-time when they were small, but once they were a little older, I decided I wanted to go back to school to study massage therapy. Years ago, I suffered a neck injury, and to shorten a real long story; massage worked wonders in helping me get out of pain. I graduated massage school and became licensed in 2006. I’ve owned my own business, Massage Haven for four years now.
Having my own business, I decided to create a Facebook page for it, as per all the business advice I had read. Facebook can be a wonderful tool, and I became friends with massage therapists around the country. About two years ago, I noticed one of these MT friends was making something called a “bathbomb”.
Now, the name alone was interesting enough, but the fact that it was a ball of compressed baking soda, clay & epsom salts, that fizzed when dropped in the tub, was even more intriguing. I was always suggesting epsom salt soaks post-treatment, but these little balls were nifty and pretty!
I tried contacting her to find out more about them, and for whatever reason, she never answered me. This forced me to start research on my own, and viola!
Welcome to the world of hand-made bath and body products.
I have to confess: the first time I saw a piece of hand-made soap I thought it was..um..ugly. Ha! It’s like a music album you listen to for the first time and you hate it. Then, you listen again and again..and again..and you uncover the amazingness there. Is that a word? Let’s say yes, for our purposes.
I discovered “haul” videos. I watched people make soap on YouTube, I ordered books, and I read. I joined two soap-making forums, possibly the best source of current information, IMHO. I started making melt & pour designs at first. These are pre-made bases that you literally melt, scent, color and pour. I really wanted to make my own soap from scratch, but was deathly afraid to use the lye. It took me about four months of preparation before I took the plunge, and when I did, I was practically wearing a suit of armor. I’m not afraid of the lye anymore, although I maintain a healthy respect for the chemistry. I got myself some bad-ass goggles.
I’m selling my soaps out of my shop locally now. Maybe there will be internet sales, at some point, if I ever feel brave enough. One day, when I’m not so busy with my primary business…’Maybe someday when you’re old and gray, And your hair falls out and your tattoos fade, You might see me standing, hat in hand’….ok, couldn’t resist that. I’m a Brandi Carlile fan.
Until then, I love to share with you the happy art that is soapmaking, so I am adding incidental blogger to my resume : )
You can contact me with any questions, or just to say, hey!, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by calling my office at 631.730.2738