Erin Nelson was just looking for a job that would allow her to spend more time with her young sons. So she searched “soap molds” on Craigslist.
Nine years later, that job search became Irish Twins Soap Company, an artisan soap business selling handmade soaps, bath bombs, laundry detergent, and other natural household products across the country, all from their storefront in Beresford.
“I was always interested in all-natural products,” said Nelson. “I’m sensitive to certain chemicals, and when I found something that worked for me, I wanted to share it. I didn’t see it becoming this. It just kind of took over my whole house!”
The name of Irish Twins was inspired by an actual set of Irish twins, or siblings born less than a year apart: Nelson and her sister, who also happen to be Irish.
“We started out making soaps and brainstorming ideas together,” said Nelson. “She doesn’t live here anymore, but we’re still really close.”
Soaps no longer cover Nelson’s kitchen counter, but she and her husband Koalin (along with their shop dog, Bandit) continue to spend most of their time experimenting with different recipes, essential oils, and techniques to create new natural products.
“Making soap is my happy place,” said Nelson. “It’s really just trial and error with our products. We use a couple core recipes and switch out essential oils.”
Cold-process soap is by far Irish Twins Soap Company’s best seller. Free from toxins and never animal tested, this type of bar soap is where the company all began for Nelson nine years ago. But since then, she’s added a plethora of other items to the lineup, including sugar scrubs, lip balm, mud masks, soy wax candles, bath truffles, and raw honey, just to name a few.
Irish Twins also carries products that Nelson doesn’t make herself. From perfume and essential oils to insect repellent and linen spray, these items may not be created in Nelson’s shop, but they also uphold her commitment to natural-made, high-quality products without all the chemicals.
“I think it’s super important to integrate natural products into our lifestyles,” said Nelson. “We need to head in the direction of sustainability.”
While you’re most likely to find Irish Twins’ products at Nelson’s shop on Main Street in Beresford, the company also hosts events, sells wholesale to other businesses, and does pop-up shops at local farmers’ markets and arts festivals.
“My favorite part of running the business is making soap in the back room with my stereo turned up and my dog right beside me,” continued Nelson, “but my husband loves doing the events. He likes to be out there interacting with customers, so it’s a good balance.”
With all the festivals and fairs the summer brings, it would seem the company is right in the middle of its busy season, but Nelson said she’s actually already working on things for their busiest time of year: Christmas.
“The holidays are definitely our busiest time,” she said. “We make a lot of gifts and gift bags.”
This may be Nelson’s outlook three months down the road, but the soap aficionado is also looking ahead even further, thinking about the future of her business and where she wants Irish Twins to be as the company that started in her kitchen approaches its second decade.
“I’d like to see an expansion on products that I don’t make myself,” Nelson said. “It’s fun to discover those brands that share the same values.”
But while some things change and grow, other aspects of this small, artisan business will no doubt remain the same, most notably Nelson’s personal commitment to her customers.
“The people who shop here are lovely,” she said. “They just keep coming back, and I hope they will continue to over the next nine years.”
For more information, visit irishtwinssoaps.com.
IRISH TWINS SOAP COMPANY PRODUCTS
- Dead Sea Mud Rustic Handmade Soap
- Shaving Soap
- Honey Almond Rustic Handmade Soap
- Exfoliating Sugar Scrub
- Coconut Cream Whipped Body Butter, Unscented
- Peppermint Bliss Lip Balm
- 100% Dead Sea Mud – Perfect Skin Loving Mask
- Aromatherapy Bath Bomb with Essential Oils
- Luxurious Bath Truffle
- Soy Wax Candle
IRISH TWINS SOAP COMPANY BUSINESS INFO
Historic Downtown Beresford
(121 North Third Street)
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday – Saturday
Irish Twins Soap Company