A Visit to the Soap-Maker at the House of de Carteret

It was a three and half hours journey as we set off at the crack of dawn last Saturday from Canberra to the Llandilo in New South Wales where the House of de Carteret was situated.

Elsa Robyn who owns the House of de Carteret is the proud soap-maker of the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap. The House of de Carteret produces, distributes and retails a wide range of natural handmade soaps for both pets and humans  under various brand labels locally and internationally. The “Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap” is  one of the labels owned by the House of de Carteret.

Hailed from a long line of traditional French soap-makers dating back to the late 1800s, Elsa relies on ancestral recipes in the era before chemicals were used to make 100% natural soaps for both animals and humans. Her business is founded on the holistic philosophy that the use of natural and essential oils will heal most skin allergies naturally.

We arrived at 9.30am and were warmly greeted by Elsa in her soap farm. After having a quick tour around the house, we went straight to her work area where we were greeted by the fragrant aromas of essential oils and trays and trays of freshly made soaps.

Elsa’s great- great grandmother had an olive farm in France and traditionally made soaps from 100% pure olive oil.  She grew up in Australia making soaps with her mother and grandmother as a way of life. A serious psoriasis sufferer, she could never use any commercial soaps, including hypo-allergenic ones and also cosmetic products. Everything she used on her sensitive skin had to be 100% natural and chemical-free, with no artificial brighteners, perfumes, dyes or lathering agents.

After persistent requests by friends and acquaintances that have benefitted from her handmade soaps plus the unfortunate family event where her husband suffered a heart attack that resulted in the loss of their truck business and family properties, Elsa began making soaps as a business under the old family name of de Carteret in 2008. Her passion and dedication in hand-making her soaps using the highest quality ingredients combined with her self-belief have enabled her to become a full-time soap-maker as her a new means of making a living to rebuild her family’s life. The House of de Carteret has since garnered a loyal customer following in the local markets scene spanning from New South Wales to Queensland amongst individual pet owners, dog rescue groups, farmers, dog and horse show rings. For testimonials of the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap from the soap-maker’s customers, please click here.

Without further ado, here’s a sneak peek of my visit to the House of de Carteret below:

Meet Elsa, the soap-maker of the House of de Carteret and myself. We went straight down to business on our much anticipated meeting exchanging ideas on how we could take her awesome soaps to an international level. We discussed at great length the business plan, target markets, marketing strategy and new packaging ideas.

 

Being a professional soap-maker is not only a full time job but involves one’s utmost passion and dedication in the art of soap-making. This is Elsa’s work area where her soaps are handmade from Mondays to Fridays on a disciplined schedule to make sure she never runs out of stock. This humble work shed can produce an average of 500 bars of soaps a day. Using a precise formula to make her soaps by blending her natural oils and essential oils together, the soap-making process requires the ingredients to be mixed and heated at the right temperature before allowing them to cool down.  Elsa hand makes all her soaps and uses all natural ingredients from oils, essential oils to waxes in its production. It uses a gentle, natural formulation where the soaps contain no artificial brighteners, hardeners, lathering agents, dyes, phosphates or animal fats. At mid-week and on most weekends of the year, Elsa travels around the New South Wales region to sell her soaps at the local markets and fairs. The House of de Carteret consistently aims to provide only the best quality soaps and skincare products at affordable prices.

 

This is Elsa’s packaging and labelling work station. Each bar of soap produced by the House of de Carteret is done the traditional way with much tender, loving and care.  The entire process is made in-house where Elsa hand makes her soaps, hand cuts the soaps to individual bars and hand packages each bar of soap before they are ready for sale. As machines are not used, the production process leaves minimal carbon foot-print. The House of de Carteret aims to be a socially responsible business, which The Man’s Best Friend Animal Soap is proud to be an exclusive international and local distributor.

 

This is the current simple packaging for the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Dog Soap for the local Australian market. This soap is Australian handmade and 100% chemical-free. The secret recipe uses a precise blend of nine natural and essential oils that was handed down by an old Australian country vet to the de Carteret family in the early 1900s before chemicals were used. Suitable for all pets with dermatitis problems like paw licking, itching, flaking, sores and ulcers, as well as pets with arthritis and gout to improve blood circulation. The essential oils also helps to ward off fleas, ticks and botflies naturally. The Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap will leave your pets with a smooth and shiny coat. Because it doesn’t have caustic chemicals like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in its production, you can also be assured that cleaning after your pet doesn’t leave you with a mess of hard-to-clean-off soap scums in your own shower or bathtub.

We were experimenting with packaging ideas for the international market using bio-degradable material. After speaking to a number of prospective retailers in the international market, we have decided to improve on the packaging of the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap, whilst retaining the integrity of our joint business philosophies of being socially responsible to the environment. We will be using only bio-degradable packaging material and will try to keep the packaging simple to minimise any further impact on the environment. This was all we had for paper in the office. We were working on a more rustic, old fashioned look. This is NOT it. Stay posted for THE new design:)

 

This is where we think we should position the back label on the bar of soap. We have since refined the label wording. The glue gun was out so we did a slip shod work at wrapping the soap up with sticky tape to get a rough idea. Sorry for the tardy job done!

As someone whose dog, Brandy has benefitted directly from Elsa’s Man’s Best Friend Medicated Dog Soap as well as for myself, an eczema sufferer with Elsa’s unscented Down the Lane Goats’ Milk Soap, I am a true convert to soaps made by the House of de Carteret. The high quality and healing properties of the soap products are second to none and I believe in its effectiveness on sensitive and problematic skin as much as Elsa herself .

So after six hours of intense and passionate discussion on how Elsa and I could take the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap to the next level and how the plan could be executed, we said our goodbyes with much to take away from the meeting and to work on both ends. We aim to share this wonderful soap product in a big way and share it with the world to all pets out there.

Stay posted as we will be stocking the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap in retail outlets and vet clinics in your area soon. If you are interested to be a stockist internationally (out of Australia) or within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) state in Australia, please feel free to contact The Man’s Best Friend Animal Soap at: mansbestfriendsoap@gmail.com.

I started this business on sheer serendipity and my love for stray animals, especially dogs. In beloved memory of my late rescued dog, Prissy, for each bar of the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap sold online from my website, AUD$1 is put aside to be donated to a self-funded animal shelter.

 If you love animals and would like to find a way to fund for your charitable cause, why not  consider becoming a Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap stockist and START NOW?

Take action and be empowered to know that any little contribution you make for a cause you strongly feel for will go a long way.

 “We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.”

– Louisa May Alcott

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | Leave a comment

Poll time- Pet-Sitting Arrangements

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | 1 Comment

How The Man’s Best Friend Animal Soap came about

I love animals and even more so, I love dogs. After all, they are Man’s best friend.

Dogs rule in my household.

So it started a month ago that I was looking at the Madam Wong Shelter & Friends that I came across the plight of Nikki. Nikki was a shitzu with the worst dermatitis. He was given up for his bad skin as his ignorant owner decided to bath him in Dettol everyday. The pictures broke my heart. He looked miserable with his dry, sore and broken skin.

Suffice to say, I knew I needed to put in my two cents’ worth on what could be done in the interim to help Nikki feel better and heal his skin.

I recalled the poor condition of 10- year old Brandy’s skin and fur when she first came to our house in April 2011. Her fur was coarse and hair was constantly falling. She had dandruff on her skin littered with warts and lumps. Some of those lumps and bums were slightly bleeding or oozing with pus. The stem of her tail was swollen with skin infections and allergies from flea bites after years of neglect.

The first thing we did of course, was to take her to the vet. Then an organic diet of fresh meat and vegetables were in place, coupled with homeopathy remedies, essential oil treatments and accupuncture. Her progress was steady but slow. Brandy’s fur started to become softer but she still had dermatitis and her skin continued to look red and sore. She was still scratching, which further led to further bleeding and irritation to her open wounds.

In October 2011, a chance encounter with Elsa, the soap-maker of The House of de Carteret at the local fair, she introduced me to the  Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap which she nade. She gave me a small sample and told me to use it on my dog. She assured me that it will take away her itching and I would see an improvement in her skin and fur. I didn’t think much about it but decided to give it a shot.

As we outsource Brandy’s grooming and bathing to our pet groomer who comes to our house every fortnight, I instructed him to use the soap on Brandy. It was a set and forget thing. Surprisingly, the teeny weeny soap sample lasted for a few months. Towards the end of the year, I took notice that Brandy’s fur and skin have indeed improved. She has the fluffiest and softest fur now and she stopped having a major scratching problem. The dandruff have gone away too. Some of the open wounds healed whilst the stubborn ones that was infected with pus was surgically removed. So there, the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap worked for my sweetpea!

Now, back to Nikki at the Madam Wong’s Shelter and Friends. I decided to post on the site about the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap to direct pet owners and the shelter volunteers to Elsa’s website regarding the soap. Being a self funded shelter with a no kill policy and very high overheads to run it, I didn’t think anyone would take the initiative to order this soap online. The Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap was only sold in Australia. I decided to donate the two unopened bars I had bought for Brandy to the shelter first since each 150g bar could easily last a smallish 7.5kg dog like Brandy for more than a year. And since I was coming back home to Singapore in early July, I would buy a stack to donate to the shelter.

My comments on the Madam Wong’s Shelter and Friends Facebook wall generated interest about the soap. Someone wrote to me and asked how she could order it. My first order was for a dozen soaps.

The lightbulb came that moment. Why don’t I distribute and sell the soap into Singapore where I grew up and in Canberra, Australia where I now live? What better way to fund for my charity interests? Every $1 from each bar of soap will go into a fund which I would take out periodically to donate to local self-funded animal shelters of my choice? Voila! It felt like a Eureka moment. I felt a rush in my adrenalin.

I have been thinking for while now. My ultimate goal is to buy land in Australia that can be used for organic farming, have a wonderful animal sanctuary for dogs where they will have fresh organic food as their main diet, a wholistic vet centre on site for shelter dogs and open to the public to fund for upkeeping the shelter. And collect fur from my beautiful dogs to spin into yarn and knit them into socks and jumpers to fund for the shelter. Re-train some of the dogs that cannot be adopted as therapy dogs to bring awareness and provide comfort to sick patients, elderly people in nursing homes and young children. Now this will go into my bucket list of “Things to do I die”. My vision sounds like a mammoth undertaking but I reckon I got to start from somewhere to finally get there at one day. I didn’t know how but I knew I needed to get started.

So without further ado, I got in touch with Elsa and the rest has been history.

It just took one little dog, Nikki to inspire me. The Man’s Best Friend Animal Soap was founded. I hope to introduce The Man’s Best Friend Soap to the world, help dogs and bring compassion to Mankind. So please help us help dogs if you know of anyone’s pet who could benefit from it.

Baby steps, I tell myself will get me somewhere. At aged 33, I am beginning to become awareness of my own mortality. I lost two friends unexpectedly from cancer this year and who knows what the future has in store for me?

So now that I have shared my ultimate vision with you readers, perhaps it’s time to ask what you want out of your life?

When there’s a will, there is always a way. May abundance guide you in your life journey and lead you to where you always want to be.

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | 2 Comments

Dog C5 Vaccination

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | Leave a comment

A Man’s Best Friend

My beloved rescued dogs, Prissy (now deceased) and Brandy on a trip to the Southern Highways (April 2011). They were sisters for only six short weeks.

Check out the latest heartwarming news about this dog in U.S.A: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8490644/family-dog-saves-drowning-toddler

Enough said.

The dog is Man’s Best Friend.

Time for us to do something for dogs.

If you are thinking of getting a dog, consider adopting.

You will be saving a litle life.  The love and loyalty you will experience from your dog to you, its master will be phenomenal.

It was how I experience unconditional love at first hand. My rescued dogs changed my life.

And I wish from the bottom of my heart that compassion will find a way into the hearts of Mankind.

May every stray dog finds its forever master and may each man find its best friend in a stray dog.

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | 1 Comment

Poll – Bath time

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | Leave a comment

Is your dog obsessed with scratching and licking its paw?

We have the perfect solution for you.

The Man’s Best Friend Medicated Dog Soap is your pet’s best friend. Handmade with a secret blend of nine natural oils and essential oils and chemically free from any synthetic ingredients or animal fats, you will notice a difference in your dog’s licking behaviour.

Eco-friendly and economical, it beats spending expensive cortisone or steroid creams that will have longer term side effects for your dog from prolonged use.

Often, the simple solution is just out there in the abundance of Mother Nature.

Why not contact us and pick up a bar of the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Dog Soap?

You and your beloved pet will be glad you did!

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | Leave a comment

Unconditional Love from the Man’s Best Friend

Source:
Homeless-man-loving-and-holding-his-dog « davidheitman1
1067 X 708 | 89.7KB jpeg

The picture above warms and breaks my heart at the same time. I can almost feel my tears welling up my eyes.

A homeless man with his dog. What are they to do without each other?

A poignant portrayal of Love and Hope.

Your dog loves you unconditionally. Be you a rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief.

It’s time to love it back and become its best friend.

The Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap is just a humble bar of soap to your human eye.

But alas, such a treat to your faithful, scratchy fido whose innocently generous soul will love you further a million times more.

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | Leave a comment

Poll time- soap, shampoo or none?

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | 1 Comment

Shampoo versus Soap? Think again.

Brandy, our 10 year-old rescued dog who came with skin problems.

A humble bar of Handmade Soap- 100% natural ingredients and Chemical-free.

Why would one revert to the use of washing with an old-fashioned bar of soap  for pets (and ourselves for that matter) when we now have the readily available fuss-free solution typically found in a bottle in liquid form called the shampoo? It often comes in a pumped dispenser too for our convenience.

Like many of you, I have been guilty of indulging in liquid soap formula attractively packaged in novelty bottles of different shapes and sizes for my personal hygiene in the name of convenience. Then there are all this oh-so-intelligent marketing ads to promote the  enhanced benefits and performance the products are to deliver (be it super silky hair, faster hair growth , increased skin softness and elasticity etc.) through its advanced scientific technological research and development.

Well, only that my sensitive skin started acting up with itchy eczema flaring up and I was left with little choice but to find an alternative solution. I started taking a further interest in what goes into my liquid soaps and shampoos as I diligently did when finding a similar solution for my rescued dog, Brandy’s problematic skin .

Prior to my own skin allergies, The Mans Best Friend Medicated Dog Soap has already soothed and healed my Brandy’s skin once we switched from the supposedly natural oatmeal pet shampoo. So in a bid to heal myself, I started  comparing the old bottles human and pet shampoos and liquid soaps found within our household  and noticed a common theme in the key ingredients found in these “modern” body care products.

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS, an ester of Sulphuric acid  provides the illusion that we are getting maximum cleanliness from the foamy lather it creates when mixed with water. Sulfate is a harsh detergent that causes dryness, flakiness and coarseness to the outer layer of skin. It is extremely damaging to sensitive skin, resulting in the reduction of barrier functions to normal healthy skin.

  • Ethyoxylates

Ethyoxylates are non-ionic surfactants  which can increase the spreading of toxic environmental contaminants which are harmful to the eco-system, humans, animals and other living micro-organisms.

  • Parabens

Parabens, which are esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid are often used in cheap production of shampoos and soaps as it acts a good preservative, thereby reducing the need to use other natural and quality ingredients.

On top of the nasty ingredients that can be found in many shampoos and cheap, synthetic soaps, much energy and resources have been used in the production of these fanciful, often non-biodegradable packaging and bottles used to contain shampoos and liquid soaps. That just means further depletion of natural resources, pollution of our seas and the surmounting landfills found in our excessive, consumerist global culture.

Perhaps it is time to pause and take a minute to look what actually goes into the production of the soaps and shampoos that we use, even if it says “natural”. Is it really? Just look at the ingredient fine print.

So it is back to basics and what Nature has to offer. The humble bar of soap has much to offer- less nasty ingredients, less packaging and a much more smaller carbon footprint in its production.

The Mans Best Friend Medicated Soap is 100% natural and chemical-free made only with the finest ingredients from natural oils and essential oils. It is eco-friendly and just as importantly, very economical. Because you would need to use your hands to rub the lather into your pet’s fur when you use a soap bar as opposed to using shampoo, your beloved pet gets a nice massage too. Brandy sure loves her warm nice massage from our regular pet groomer that comes round every fortnight.A simple bar of soap goes a long way.

So with the Man’s Best Friend Medicated Soap in mind, I became a natural soap convert for myself and I am enjoying the homely joys that comes with it. Now my own eczema is healing and on the road to recovery.

Hmm, now who says we can’t learn a thing or two from dogs?:D

Posted in animal rescue, animal vaccinations, Animals, canine, compassion, dog rescue, dog shelter, dog skin problem, Dogs, eczema, flaky skin, fleas, flies & pests, Fungal & Yeast Infection, Handmade, Horses, itchy skin, Love & Warmth, markets, obsessive paw licking, obsessive scratching, pet health and well being, petcare, Pets, psoriasis, rabbits, scratching, sensitive skin, shampoo, skin allergy, skin problem, Soap- Making, Soaps, stray animals, stray dogs, ticks, traditional, Uncategorized, Unconditional Love, vet recipe | Tagged , | 3 Comments