Laura Hatt, creator of Dolphin Wood Soaps, found solace and strength when she discovered soap making and has infused her love of the ocean in one incredibly nostalgic collection.
Tell us about one of the toughest periods of your life.
Years ago, I was in an abusive relationship that stole my confidence, my ability to feel free, and put me into an ever-persistent jail that I still haven’t escaped. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my abusive ex-husband. I have nightmares and my memories are filled with terror day after day, night after night. As I reflect on my life now, I realized that what I needed most was something that would allow me to believe in myself and my abilities. It would allow me to focus on the things that matter and not my fear or trauma, because if I didn’t then I would stay lost. I needed to find that thing that would allow me to connect, to relax, to release, and to renew.
It just so happens that I found that in the most ironic of places – in making soap. You see, my current husband, one of the bright lights in my life now, wanted to help me and got me a soap making kit one day. I tried it, and lo and behold, I was able to throw myself into it. That night I didn’t have nightmares. I woke up having something to look forward to, wanting to make more soap. So my husband got me another kit and another and another and every day I had something to look forward to. Something that allowed me to relax, to release, to renew, and to feel connected and alive again. As I made these soaps, I ran out of places to put them. Friends and family started to ask me about them and the scrubs that I was making. Others then began to ask for them and, before long, I was selling my hobby.
What I realized was that making soap was my therapy. Not only do I get to make something that makes me feel alive, but when I used those products, when I took a shower, I felt connected to myself. I realized I was able to relax finally, to release the day, and to feel renewed. For many women, that was their story as well. That their life is full of all of these challenges, worry, fear, and anxiety. With being a busy mom, they don’t have time for themselves to find that space to relax, to release, and to renew. With my soaps and scrubs, it is that one time of day that they can close the door, take a shower, relax in a bath, and find themselves. They were getting the same things out of my soaps and I was like WOW. They were able to relax, to release, and to renew.
Along the way, I found my mission in life now: it is to continue to make these soaps and scrubs. Not just for my own therapy and to help me cope with my past trauma, but to also give other women out there, those busy women running households, working 9 to 5, to give them just a moment to relax, to release, and to renew. Because when we take back just that moment, it can change every aspect of our life. So whatever you are dealing with in your life, whatever you are going through, I want you to understand this: you will continue to be traumatized by the past and what you have gone through, you will continue to feel stressed and worried as if you are on a never-ending treadmill if you don’t stop to own a bit of your world. Whatever that may be, it may be that shower, that bath, but whatever that moment is, please understand it needs to do three things for you: 1) it needs to help you to relax so that you can let go of what has been happening or of the day, 2) it needs to allow you to release to truly just let go for just a moment, forget about all of those things, and to bring you into the now, and 3) it also has to renew you so that you feel a connection to yourself and to what it is all for. If you can do those three things, you will not only overcome your past fears, your past trauma, and the anxiety of the day, but you will feel whole. You will feel above the fray.
I found that in my soaps and that is what Dolphin Wood House, the company, is all about. Helping women to Relax, to Release, and to Renew.