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Ashley Baker and Joy Loos produce and package their soaps at home. Photo by Harriet Sokmensuer
Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014 2 years ago

YOUR NEIGHBOR | Ashley Baker and Joy Loos

by: Harriet Sokmensuer Community Editor

The smell of handmade soap wafts from Joy Loos’ kitchen, where she and her daughter, Ashley Baker, make soap for their company, Ashjoi All Natural Soaps.

Ashjoi — a combination of the mother/daughter duo’s first names — features soaps, bug spray, body lotion and other products made with natural ingredients, including olive oil, almond oil, lavender, oatmeal and peppermint.

Loos and Baker started making their own soap after visiting a Lush store in 2007 in Tampa. Several months later, Baker asked her mom if she wanted to try making soaps together for fun.

Soon, they found themselves with pounds of homemade soap.

“We had a lot of Christmases full of soap,” Loos says.

In 2008, Loos and Baker decided to sell their soaps at the Siesta Key Farmers Market.

“It just took off,” says Baker, a mother of two who lives with her family one block away from her childhood home in Gulf Gate, where Loos still resides.

Ashjoi now has a profile on Etsy and receives orders from around the country.

Both women also hold full-time jobs; Loos is a manager at Bank of America on Siesta Key, and Baker is senior vice president of her family’s cleaning service, Classic Cleaning Crew Inc.

Once a week, Loos and Baker get together to make 60 pounds of natural soaps. The process can take four to five hours, but the mother and daughter enjoy the quality time together.

“We gossip, chitchat; it’s a stress relief,” says Loos.

Neighborhood: Gulf Gate
Your neighbor since: 1987

Contact Harriet Sokmensuer at [email protected]


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