Pam Smith thought she was all washed up after a serious car wreck, but happily, she is back in business, making soap with her daughter, Shannon Daniels.
"Soap making started as a hobby," Pam said. "I saw some homemade soap in a store about 10 years ago and thought I could do that.
"Part of me has always thought I should be self-reliant and I wanted to learn to make soap the way my grandmother did."
Her first batch was made the old fashioned way with tallow and lye, but after that she developed her own recipes and now makes her soap with nearly all natural ingredients.
At first she gave her soap away as gifts, but at the encouragement of friends, went into business, calling the product Mountain Homestead Soap.
The soap business and everything else came to a crashing halt Nov. 23, 2003, when Pam was driving to Pueblo on U.S. 50 and was hit by a drunk driver.
"I broke both legs and my left arm and I was in a wheelchair for awhile," she said. "It was a long recovery and required a lot of therapy."
Smith was able to return to her job teaching computer science at Salida Middle School a year after the accident, but then, soap making still sounded like more work than fun.
"Before the accident I found joy in making soap," she said. "After the accident and recovery it became work."
It was Shannon who got her interested in making soap again. Shannon had been away at college, working on a degree in anthropology and studying natural healing.
After the birth of her daughter, Dayna, 14 months ago, she began reorganizing her mom's former business, Mountain Homestead Soap, and recently applied for a retail license as Blissology.
"We changed the name because, in addition to the soaps, we make lotions, bath salts and room scent diffusers," Shannon said.
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