The Makers: Tilted Haggis Soap Company

At Black Cat Clothiers, we believe in bringing you the most magickal vintage in the world -- and the work of other incredible craftswomen and men who imbue their pieces with the same magic that inspires us. Whenever we choose to partner with a new kindred spirit, you can read about what makes them so special in "The Makers" Series, which highlights all the wonders of our incredible partners.


T I L T E D   H A G G I S   S O A P  C O M P A N Y
{Formulated in a one-woman shop, this natural, witch-made vegetarian soap is crafted with only the finest materials. It's also never tested on animals, so rest easy--and we're pretty sure the old hippies and theatre majors it was tested on are just fine!}


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and how your journey with soap making began.
A: Donna Hornak: I had received a soap making kit and book as a gift during a period in my life when I was running a small company for someone else and raising two young daughters. I was very intrigued by it, but spare time was pretty much a fantasy for me back then, so I stuck it on a shelf and forgot about it for over a year, having good intentions to get to it "when things slow down." In 2006, when new owners took over our small family business and began to turn it into something very different and unpleasant, I left that company and struck out on my own, and as it took a little time to build my new business, and my daughters were older, I was taking time to go through some things in the house and get organized. I came across the dusty soap making kit. I came very close to putting it into the charity donation pile, and then had second thoughts, like "I always wanted to check this out, and when will I have the luxury of the sort of down time again?" So I gave it a try. It came equipped with instructions and supplies for a batch of lavender soap and a batch of peppermint soap. After making those and using them, I was hooked. I began to experiment with improving on the recipes provided by the author, and found sources for additional scents, and sharing my creations with friends and family. Very soon, my second new business came to fruition and Tilted Haggis Soap was born. 


Q: What's the process behind your craft?
My soaps are lye-based "cold process," which is a fairly simple one. Over the years, I have learned some tricks and little ways to play with that process, but by and large it's still the same thing.  As for the scrubs, lotions, and sprays, they are all fairly basic as well. When I try something new there is often some trial and error, and there has been lots of error along the way.

Q: Was there a specific "aha" moment when you knew where this venture was headed and what it was going to be, or was it more a slow unfolding?

I think that every day contains little "a-ha" moments. As we travel through the world with our senses alert, it offers so many things to instruct and delight us, and bring us closer together. It's been said, and I believe it, that our sense of smell is the one most closely related to memory, and repeatedly I have the opportunity to see the simple pleasure that can be had from experiencing a familiar scent, either personally or second-hand. I do recall seeing an older man in overalls and a really great hat stirring a cauldron of old-fashioned lye soap at a theme park in the Ozarks and being enamored by hat--not that it looks remotely like what I do now!

Additionally, as an esthetician (training I received after starting this journey), I know the importance of good and simple skin care, and knowing that my products provide that makes me happy. I have always been a minimalist as far as beauty is concerned, and this philosophy is reflected in the Tilted Haggis line; there's nothing there that doesn't need to be.


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