By Mo Hnatiuk
Holt Journal staff writer
Conquering cancer while berating beauty products, Sandra Siemon’s story is one Holt residents know well.
Siemon was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, and has since been in remission, she says with pride. Her battle with cancer altered every aspect of her life—her career, her family, even the most minute details including what lotions she puts on her skin.
When Sandra began preparing to undergo radiation treatments, her doctors specifically said, “do not use any commercial soaps of any kind,” for the chemicals could trigger negative reactions to the radiation. After finishing her treatments, Sandra and Leslie continued down the path of safe soaps. They began reading labels on everything—lotions, lip gloss, deodorant and more. They found high levels of parabens in so many items they never thought twice about before Sandra’s battle with cancer.
With many parabens linked to adverse reactions in the human body such as breast cancer, the sisters took on a lifestyle change.
Both Sandra and Leslie began reading what was in every product they purchased. “They said, ‘don’t use these things,’ so we started reading what was good for you what wasn’t good for you,” Leslie said. It was convenient timing and a prompt by Leslie that sent the duo into making their own soap; they knew a local farmer who was giving soap-making classes, so they took initiative and The Soap Sisters took off.
The pair dove into the process and discovered their products’ quality to be quite high and much safer than that of commercial products. Their business has since grown into a well-known, local, green business where their revenue continues to succeed their average cost to keep the business running.
Working at the Holt Farmer’s Market for three years, The Soap Sisters are now beginning to go out on shows of their own in order to spread awareness about the potential dangers found within everyday products people use. “Your skin is your largest organ, so if you put that lotion on your skin, you’re getting all this paraben in your body, and it mimics like a hormone. You would be safer to eat the lotion than to lay it on [your] skin, because your liver would filter it,” Leslie said.
In long term, the ladies wish to see their business take off, to have many people see the logo of the Soap Sister trade and immediately recognize it for its high quality. In doing so, they hope to improve the lives of their community and stretch out the awareness as far as they can in order to promote healthy lifestyles and a long, paraben-free life for all.