By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
Lorna Maskell’s soaps at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market smell and look good enough to eat. Her products, however, tantalize for a different reason. They cleanse, soothe, and heal the body.
Maskell is the owner of Lorna’s Naturals, a homemade body and home care business. One of the newest vendors at the farmers’ market, she sells lip balms, soaps, creams, scrubs, body balms, and sprays. Her product line also features an all-purpose cleaner for bathtubs, sinks, and floors. She makes all of her products out of her home in Woodstock, NY, and distributes them via her website, LornasNaturals.com, and an online business.
“All of my products are made by me only,” she said. “I make everything in small batches. If I don’t like something, I don’t sell it.”
The small-batch nature of Maskell’s product line is illuminated in her presentation of her homemade soaps. She brings them to the market as long rectangular cakes arranged attractively on wooden blocks. She slices a fresh bar for her customers with each purchase.
She enjoys talking to customers about her soaps, and manages her booth at the farmers’ market herself. “I never hire anyone to do a market for me,” she said. “I need to talk to customers because I am Lorna and the creator of Lorna’s Naturals.”
The base for Maskell’s soaps and creams is well water from her home. She adds such moisturizing components as coconut, palm, and olive oils along with essential oils that are pure. She also uses natural beeswax in her products, and keeps items such as creams in glass to maintain their freshness.
She describes her MUD soap as one of her favorites. Made from a root, it clears the skin of pimples and rashes. She also recommends her avocado lip balm to first-time customers, and has shared the recipe that accompanies this article for a simple body rub that uses coconut oil as its base. “It is cooling, soothing and will make your skin soft.”
Maskell began making her home and body care products in 2001, and traces her inspiration to her grandmother, a Cherokee Native American, who made soap and medicine in the family home when Maskell was growing up. “She would be called an herbalist, I guess, but we just called her grandma. She is the reason Lorna’s Naturals was born.”
Visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through April 30 at the Lincoln Baths in the Saratoga Spa State Park.
Tropical Body Rub
2 oz of coconut oil
10 drops of your favorite essential oil
Melt down the coconut oil. While it is still hot, put in 10 drops of your favorite oil.
Place both in a glass jar and let cool.