Meet the Team
KATHY TARBOX / FOUNDER
Whenever Kathy is asked how she was first introduced to soapmaking, her reply is "totally by accident!". While she was reading an article that mentioned essential oils, she thought to herself, "Essential oils, I wonder what those are?” … and so her internet search began in 1996. She remembers thinking: “You can make your own soap? That’s strange! I didn’t know anyone could make soap, except P&G!” Her inquisitiveness with a drive to research led her to the first internet soap list, headed up by Melody Upham (Rainbow Meadow). Within two years of making her first batch of soap, Kathy began to contemplate publishing a magazine for the industry, and in July of 1998, The Saponifier launched its first issue… and the rest is history!
Working behind the scenes, Kathy has a particular fondness for the simpler things in life. She is a lover of God’s Word and desperately thankful for His grace. An avid reader, ponderer, and question asker. Kathy was born and raised in Seattle but recently moved to the great State of Idaho with her blessing of a husband, John.
BETH BYRNE / MANAGING EDITOR
Beth has always liked reading, writing, the arts, and crafting, and was a school teacher until she had her first child. She home-schooled her six children for 17 years, and has kept busy with various volunteer activities in writing, editing, and teaching, as well. However, now that some of her children have graduated and left the nest, and others are attending elsewhere, she finds that she can pursue her other interests even further. Although Beth figures she’s dabbled in enough subjects to appear on Jeopardy, she has no plans to actually do so.
Her hobbies of gardening and floral design led to an interest in herbs and in making her own cosmetic preparations. Melt and pour soap came soon after, which she enjoyed immensely, even winning a contest for artistic ability. She said, however, that she would never make cold process soap. Three years later, she saw a soap-making demonstration at the New York State Fair, and life would never be the same. Now, with untold batches of soap under her belt, and experiences with various processes and methods, she is crazy about soapmaking and in sharing her skills with others. She has begun a small business called, Soap and Garden, and is working on her website (www.soapandgarden.com). Most of the credit for putting together this site is due to her son, Ethan, and her husband, Ken.
An avid researcher and learner in soapmaking, Beth looks forward to learning more, teaching more, and doing what she loves, imparting information to others. She is eager to do it in written form here at Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles. It is an honor to be on staff, helping to make this magazine again the best soaper’s magazine available.
RUTH ROMANO / COLUMN WRITER
SARA GOLDING / COLUMN WRITER
Sara is the owner of Sunflower State Soaps, located in the Midwest. She has spent many years learning how to perfect the business of retail, and is sharing that information with new business owners.
When she is not busy making soap, or tweaking a spreadsheet, she is swimming or crafting with her daughter. Together, they have taken up completing 1 Mile Fun Runs, and Sara recently completed her first 5K obstacle course.
LA SHONDA TYREE / COLUMN WRITER
La Shonda Tyree is a certified soap maker for over 18 years who owns Nyah Beauty in Kearny, NJ.
She teaches entrepreneurship and offers business coaching to small businesses to help them strategize. She loves teaching soap making classes.
Venessa Phipps / Column Writer
Venessa Phipps is owner of an online business
www.DeGanyaAromatics.com . She teaches soap making and other natural products in Bucks County, PA.
Venessa is also a Level 3 Certified Clinical Aromatherapist.
Tina Moenck / Column Writer
Tina Moenck is a mother of 3, and lover of all things art, including writing. She also has a passion for self-sustainability, which is how soap making came about. She started her own business called, Natural Suds N More, in 2012. Tina then went on to write The Soap Making Handbook Vol 1, which is in its third edition. Her second book, updated a few years ago is, A Guide to Making Natural Deodorant. Tina also created two e-courses on mastering recipes and teaches on YouTube under her name.
Valerie George / Column Writer
Valerie George is an award-winning cosmetic chemist, science communicator, educator, leader and avid proponent of transparency in the beauty industry. She shares her favorite ingredients and formulas as founder of and Chief Creator at Simply Ingredients. Valerie has over a dozen years’ experience as a chemist and leader in the cosmetics industry, and is active nationally with the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. She can be found on Instagram at @cosmetic_chemist, or co-hosting her weekly podcast, The Beauty Brains, from sunny Los Angeles, where she resides with her husband and adorable dog.