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Soap Maker Revives, Embraces Wild Crafting

park benchMADISONVILLE, Ky. (8/2/14) — Park Bench Naturals is a small Kentucky Proud operation  located at the Hopkins County Farmer’s Market created by owner Jeanne Marcum six years ago.

 
“What got me started in this, is that I am a very creative person,” said Marcum. “God created us in His image, and right there, tells us He’s a creator… so, I feel like that is one of the things that I reflect about Him.”

Marcum made her very first bar of soap while visiting with a close friend, who was also into soap making.

“I made my very first bar of soap six years ago, when I first moved to Madisonville,” she said. “A very good friend of mine showed me some soaps she had made. The whole concept of making your own soap blew my mind. So, doing research and being creative, I sat down and came up with a recipe.”

Marcum grows and uses many of the natural ingredients in her products.

“I love to live as close to the earth as possible,” she said. “We live on a 138 acres in Manitou. We use no chemicals on the property whatsoever.  I use the best quality of oils, food grade lye … so, I go above and beyond for my customers, which keeps them coming back.”

Marcum not only makes soaps but also essential oils, deodorants, lip balms, body scrubs, bath salts and room sprays, which are non-irradiated and contain no GMO.

Marcum uses a method called “wild crafting,” which is term for old-age practice of collecting plant materials in a person's natural habitat for food, medicine and crafts.

“The herbs are either grown utilizing organic methods or wild crafted on the farm,” said Marcum. “I’ve learned a little about wild crafting since I have been here.”

Park Bench products are sold mainly at the Hopkins County Farmer’s Market, but can be found in various places throughout Madisonville.

“The Hopkins County Farmer’s Market is my home spot and usually where people can find me,” said Marcum. “I also do the Friday Night Live in downtown Madisonville. This year, I will be at the Hot August Blues Festival at Kenlake Resort. I sell my products year round at Brumfield Market, Big City Market and Barbie Hunt’s Studio.”

In the future, Marcum is looking to start all-natural baby products.

“I want to start a line of all-natural baby products,” said Marcum. “Some nice diaper balm, baby baths, baby lotions and oils … those types of things.”

Marcum encourages community members to shop local and to visit the Hopkins County Farmer’s Market.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/ParkBenchNaturals?ref=br_tf.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY Lead News Reporter
Photo by Amber Averitt

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

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