It's gonna get sappy up in here.
Have you ever seen an alpaca? They’re basically sheep llamas with really kind temperaments and soft fluffy fur. Baby alpacas (called “cria”) have long eyelashes and look like this:
There’s a reason why I’m mentioning these adorable creatures. A month or so ago, a few members of the Say Media video team came to my apartment to film my “How To Style A Faux Fur Coat Casually” video. It was on this day that I met Carly, who is the type of girl you become friends with fairly instantly (well, I assume everyone who is nice to me is my friend) and call “bae” within hours of meeting.
I’m not sure how Carly and I got to talking about her mom’s alpaca farm in Long Island, but we did, and she proceeded to show me the most adorable alpaca photos that impeded filming due to countless gleeful squeals. Do you want to see a picture??? You might as well say yes, because you don’t have a choice.
Carly casually mentioned that her mom makes alpaca soap, causing my beauty writer senses to start tingling. I borderline harassed her until she brought a few bars of soap to the office, and let me tell you guys -– I am in LOVE with them.
Felted soap (the proper name) is essentially a normal bar of soap encased in alpaca wool fibers, creating a type of self-sudsing loofah. Each bar is hand poured and custom scented with natural fragrance oils -- most of which smell like delicious baked goods. Robin, Carly’s mom, uses a crafty combination of hot water, bamboo mats, multi-colored fibers, and a pair of stockings to create her pretty exfoliating and moisturizing (shout-out to shea butter!!) soaps. They end up looking like this:
Ugh, these smell so delicious. I’m greedy, and have three bars in the scents “Hazelnut Toffee,” “Almond Biscotti,” and “Energy” (which smells like Jolly Ranchers). I leave “Hazelnut Toffee” to hang out on my vanity so that my whole bedroom smells like a bakery. *Salivates*
After about a week of religious felt-y showers (these things are just fun to use), I started to smell good all the time. I’m not saying that I have smelly armpits, but I mean, they’re armpits, and smell less than satisfactory when I wake up in the morning.
HOWEVER, my armpits are more similar to sugar-scented caves when I bathe with this soap. Seriously, I’m delectable even 24 hours after a shower. Alpaca wool fibers are naturally anti-bacterial, making your armpits and butt deliciously sniff-able. That is, if you’re into sniffing armpits and butts.
Robin told me the anti-bacterial properties in this soap “also prevent ‘goopy soap dish syndrome’ as the fiber absorbs the water and suds. This helps the soap to last longer, making it a better investment.” She’s right! After a bit of morning scrubbing, the suds easily rinse off of my soap, which is nice and dry the next day.
A lot of cuddles and good vibes are involved at the Autumn Kiss farm -- it’s like a family business where the family consists of alpacas. Robin described the fuzzy camelids as “calm, naturally curious animals who are incredibly kind to the land.” So, they’re angels. I mean, just look at little baby Zara wearing a coat:
My heart is full of flowers! Robin also gave me a little education on the shearing process. She said, “One of the main reasons that I love raising alpacas for their fiber is that they are never harmed to obtain it. Alpacas are shorn once a year, usually between April and June. Like sheep, their fiber is shaved to allow them to be cooler in the hotter temperatures as they are prone to heat stroke.” See, everyone wins!
I love how personalized the entire process is too, you can hit up Robin for a custom bar of soap created with lots of ~Luv~ and your personal preference in a color palette and yummy scent. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org in case you want to give someone the best present ever, or just keep all of the soap for yourself.
Okay, last fuzzy pic, squee!!!!
Follow Courtney on Twitter and Instagram @courtneypizza