Art in a Bar: Southampton Soap Company

“Scent is mood. Scent is memory. Scent is magic.”

By Taylor Smith

Finding a unique and meaningful holiday gift for loved ones can be challenging.

“Like cooking, skincare is an art and ingredients matter. So, we use the simplest, most nourishing ingredients in all of our products. People see the difference in their skin. We’re promoting wellness and encouraging people to take advantage of that renewing experience that we get in the bath,” says Deborah Lukasik O’Shaughnessy, an art teacher, educator, and East End resident.

O’Shaugnessy learned the art of soapmaking many years ago and was initially astonished at how the quality of handmade skincare and bathing products improved her overall health. “I couldn’t believe the difference in my skin. Up to that point, everything would make me break out, and I had eczema my whole life.”

Moving to the South Fork of Long Island, N.Y., in 2009, she began casually selling soaps out of her own art teaching studio. Eventually, she was offered to vend her soaps to local companies, and the business grew into a fulltime endeavor.

Deborah formally launched Southampton Soap Company with her husband, Chris O’Shaughnessy, who helped to create a line of room sprays, liquid soaps, scrubs, and more. These days, their children also play a major role in the business, helping to package and mail orders, make deliveries, and share their creative input on new scents and products.

The essence of the Atlantic Ocean is detectable in every Southampton Soap Company product and fragrance profile.

“Living in Southampton is such an inspiration,” says Deborah O’Shaughnessy, detailing how her daily walks are central to her creative process. “When we take those morning walks, we’re working.”

In terms of gift giving, each order is guaranteed to have a piece of the East End’s unique landscape in the box, such as driftwood, pebbles smoothed by the Long Island coast, sea shells, etc.

For the O’Shaughnessys, the art of soap making and the tactile quality of soap and bathing is, in fact, ritualistic and can be incredibly nourishing and restorative.

In an age of texting, Twitter, and endless soundbites, Southampton Soap Company offers the gift of slowing down, reconnecting, and recalibrating oneself in a therapeutic manner.

To place your order, visit https://www.southamptonsoapcompany.com. Note that all orders placed after December 4 will not be shipped until December 10. Southampton Soap Company will be in New York City at the Crafts at the Cathedral event (www.craftsatthecathedral.com) at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 110th and Amsterdam, December 6, 7, and 8. Their Eighth Annual Holiday Gift Show takes place at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, N.Y., Saturday and Sunday, December 14-15 and December 21-22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (http://www.toppingrosehouse.com).

Southampton Soap Company is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild.