Every Day is a Gift
There are certain experiences in life that can profoundly change how we view everything. In my case, it was being widowed when I was 39, but it could be any number of things: parenthood, career change, death, divorce, illness. These experiences are a part of life and happen to everyone, but they can be hard to navigate.
What I learned from my experience was to never take life for granted. Every day is a gift. We hear that all the time, but it’s true. It is just not worth our energy to get bogged down by the much smaller challenges we all face (cleaning the kitchen, the guy who cut you off on the highway, the kid who forgets their lunch). And yet, often, those are the things that get all of our attention.
I have resolved to try my hardest to appreciate the little things in life, and to recognize all the little victories that people overlook but surely deserve a medal. Made it to Friday? Check. Fed the kids? Check. Didn't hit the send button when you really wanted to? Check. Didn't lose your cool when the kids pushed your buttons? Check. Forgave yourself when you did? All award-worthy.
I encourage everyone to treat every day as a gift because it is. I hope you'll join me.
The Amani Story
In 1999, when my oldest son was one, I taught myself to make soap...because, why not? I liked to cook, I liked chemistry and I wanted a creative outlet. Soap making had all those elements. I conveniently ignored the part of my brain that pointed out it was probably a dumb idea for an exhausted new mom to be working with potentially dangerous substances.
It wasn't easy to learn soap making back then. There was no YouTube. Google was barely a thing. I had to actually read books. Over time, I made enough soap to keep my family and friends happy and clean for a long time. We had another kid, then a third (had we not learned by then?). The ensuing years were one big blur of Thomas the Tank Engine, not enough sleep and boxed wine. If you have kids, I’m sure you can relate.
Starting a soap business wasn’t even on my radar until many years later, when, after losing my husband to pancreatic cancer and eventually re-marrying, my second husband encouraged me to make a go at owning my own business. And why not? Wasn’t I always the one telling others to “enjoy every day” and “live life to the fullest”? It was time to take my own advice.
And so here we are.
While I enjoy making products, I also love owning my business. I love controlling my destiny; pushing myself to learn more, be better. The best part is the interactions with my customers. I love when they tell me how much they enjoy my products--when the Rosemary Mint soap reminds them of a particular moment or how nice it is to take time for themselves with an Earl Gray candle (my personal favorite). There are still so many more things yet to be done--new products, new stores, new customers...and along the way reminding people to hit the pause button, look around, and celebrate all the good things in life.
At Amani, we make all of our products entirely by hand and never use any pre-made bases. We hand cut every bar of soap using our proprietary recipe of plant-based ingredients including organic unrefined shea butter. Our gentle soap will leave your skin feeling clean and soft. Colorful swirls and intoxicating fragrances remind us that even the humble bar of soap can be a miniature work of art.
Coordinating gift and wood wick candles are created with sustainable soy and coconut wax and poured in a reusable tumbler.
Our moisture-rich lotion is made with apricot kernel oil and mango butter. Offered in the same scents as our soap and candles, this creamy lotion is crafted like all our other products, in small batches using high-quality ingredients. We also hand craft one of a kind soap dishes with river pebbles and quartz stones.
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