Story of Willow Way and SoapEquipment.com
Like so many other handcrafted businesses, Willow
Way began in a kitchen. Debi, my mate and partner
found a little book called "The Soap Book", written
by Sandy Maine of SunFeather Natural Soaps; a book
on making cold processed soap.
We made our first batch of soap and loved it.
Because we both love nature, herbal crafts and of
course, health and well being, we were naturally
drawn, to this clean art. There were many reasons
for creating a soap making business. It is good for
the Earth and contributes to humanity in a very
positive way. Of course, we would also be helping
ourselves, to gain further independence and freedom
from corporate America.
It wasn't long until we had out grown the space in
our kitchen and moved our soap making operation into
the barn. Having 20 years of previous hard won,
business experience in construction, retail, and
various art forms, we had a knack for finding the
"easier way" to work. Finding a way of cutting soap,
evenly and consistently, became a crusade. Finding a
way to pour more soap efficiently, and meet demand
was a constant problem. Since 1996, we have not met
a soapmaker yet that ever anticipated their rate of
growth and growing need for space.
After numerous trials and tribulations, failed
experiments and frustrations, we finally came up
with a < sort of soap cutter > that worked. Our next
challenge was developing the perfect soap mold. We
knew that a block mold was the way; larger pours,
less space, better saponification and conversion,
better quality. We tried them all, cardboard boxes,
plywood boxes, acrylic, stainless steel, and the
molds grew and grew in size. Finally, we reached 95
lb pours, using the ultimate mold material, and
found the ideal balance of efficiency, economy, and
In late 1996, we develop what was to be called the
“Air Cutter”. As soon as we cut the first 95 lb
block of soap, we knew this was something that other
soap makers would want, and that this would be a
wonderful service”, helping others to create and
grow their own handcrafted body care business. We
have been through a lot of ups and downs in
manufacturing soapmaking equipment, and body care
manufacturing equipment, sometimes thinking; "Why
don't we find something easier to make a living at?"
but……it always came down to, there is nothing we
would rather be doing as this is a true and
In our website, you will find the fruits of many
years of trial and error, love and care,
perseverance and discipline. When we started, there
was nothing out there in equipment for Handcrafted
Soapmakers. We went on to develop full systems where
one person could literally produce thousands upon
thousands of bars per month. Then came the first of
many systems for the handcrafter, liquid soap
systems, lip balm trays, bath bomb presses, lotion
systems, M&P loaf systems, lots more.
We love this industry and will never quit. Our
customers are truly amazing, from every walk of
life, every nationality, culture and religion. In
the average week we help, dozens of people from all
around the world. We have seen this industry go from
a few hundred to many thousands. It is never dull,
so many different ideas, ways that people see
things, and it is amazing sometimes, what they ask
for! A large portion of our work ends up being a
The one thing that we did not want to do, is forget
the Newbie, and that has been our goal all along to
provide the person, couple, business just starting
out, a pathway all the way up as far as they want to
go. And….this is the industry to do it in. The more
people become aware; < and that evolution is on
right now >, the more they turn to what is right and
good, healthy and wholesome, rewarding and joyful.
So, those of you questioning “Can I make it?”
remember; the only thing holding you back is you.
So…..after getting ourselves set up to make lots of
soap, we went on to build a wholesale business doing
mostly private label. We had over 450 retail
accounts, coast to coast with up to 40 reps at one
time, carrying our products as one of their lines.
In 2002 we sold our accounts and went in to making
equipment full time.
Along the way we have worked with some amazing
people in our industry, people who’s advice and
efforts have brought this industry to what it is
today. We have tried over the years to reciprocate
by having had a small part in starting the Soap
Guild, supporting every soap gathering we could find
and helping where we could.
I would like to say that we would not be who we are
today, without the help of all the people who work
in the company. We have an amazing team, scattered
in several towns, states and of varied talents and
interests. We are truly a modern company, using all
the latest technologies but with time honored
This is and will continue to be a wonderful
From all of us at SoapEquipment.com
To provide a simple, cost-effective method for start-up as
well as more established companies to expand their
We began our efforts in 1996, are privately funded,
and have a diverse management team well suited for
this enterprise. Our business backgrounds have
taught us that responsive customer service is the
key to success.
At SoapEquipment.com and Willow Way, LLC our phones
will be answered and our address is prominently
We look forward to serving all your Soap Making
The information you provide will be kept confidential and
used to support your customer relationship with
SoapEquipment.com and Willow Way, LLC. Among other things,
we want to help you quickly find information on
SoapEquipment.com and alert you to product upgrades, special
offers, updated information and other new products and
services from SoapEquipment.com and Willow Way, LLC.
Information regarding you (such as name, address and
phone number) or your order and the products you
purchase will not be given or sold to any outside
We will send you information about our various
products and services, or other products and
services we feel may be of interest to you.
At any time you can easily opt-out of receiving
further marketing from SoapEquipment.com and Willow
Contact Us - Customer FeedBack
Customer FeedBack is Everything...
We can’t help you improve your business
without at least some of you helping us improve
We love hearing your comments. In fact, a significant
portion of SoapEquipment.com's evolution can be traced back
to the comments and feedback we’ve received over the years.
We love seeing how people are using our soap making
equipment and soap making systems and hearing ways in which
we can help improve it for you.
If you dislike something about our service, know of
something that would improve its functionality, have
something on a wish list that you would really like to see,
or want to tell us about anything we’ve done right so far
(we like hearing the good stuff too!) tell us about it!
We're not going to say we can jump on every change or idea
right away, things take time, but we also know that we can’t
think of everything, especially when considering the
hundreds of different applications our equipment and systems
are being used in.
Lastly, we just want to say Thank You; both from
SoapEquipment.com and Willow Way, LLC.
We've been designing and developing soap making equipment
since 1996 and have successfully served our handcrafted
industry to over 63 Countries and 1,400 Cities. Seeing how
our customers use our equipment and systems, talking over
problems you encounter and watching people, some completely
new to the handcrafted industry, excel using our systems has
really been an inspiration.
So Thank You, and if you have
something to say, say it, because SoapEquipment.com is