Making soap using lye extract isn't something just from family lore or "The Beverly Hillbillies." A Gwinnett couple does it regularly and sells it at the Suwanee Farmers Market.
Paradise Island Bath & Body is a home-grown operation by Eric and Mark Fantom of Buford, and they have plenty of wares available for Suwanee shoppers.
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Their business literature touts soaps, lotions, oils and aromatherapy and luxury products.
It has been a hobby for Mark Fantom, a TV repairman by trade. This year, the couple decided to make some money at it.
And it truly is homemade. Only the oils come via a distributor. To make the soap bars, Mark blends "a number of oils" such as olive and coconut. Then he melts down the mix with a lye solution. When the lye dissipates, it creates the soap.
Bars sell for $6 each, or $5 for 3 or more. Also, there are several varieties of skin lotion and anti-aging cream.
For now, the business is just online and at farmers markets and craft shows. Erin Fantom said a store in Habersham County has approached the couple about selling their products.
"It's a retirement business," Erin said, "something we can do together."