In today's newsletter: Purchasing decisions can be tricky but we give you three reasons that aren't good enough on their own and three reasons that are. 


We're coming to Finders Keepers at the Brisbane Showgrounds this weekend, but please don't buy from us just because we're handmade, rural or local (though we are!). 

You've probably seen the 'buy local' memes about small businesses doing a happy dance when you order.  In our case it's a smile, then a quick walk towards the packing area where we wrap with care and tuck in little bonuses as though you are a friend we haven't yet met.

But I've been thinking about this lately and my strong point of view is that buying local is not enough reason on its' own.  Yes, your purchase will definitely be helping us grow employment in our area and rural communities like ours are very grateful for your support. 

But that's all about us, which is not our focus. We believe purchasing from Washpool should be about you.  We believe you should expect that the products you receive stand up well against some of the biggest, best and brightest brands in the land (or across the seas). 

It should NOT be a compromise when you buy local, handmade or rural. That should be the bonus!

So here are the top reasons to keep in mind when purchasing from Washpool:

1) Your purchasing dollar will go further. 

We make our own products and sell direct to our customers which means that you don't pay for all the steps in the typical supply chain - manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers.  

It is common to see soap bars made on palm for peanuts retailing for up to $20. The price does not reflect the quality, it reflects all the hands it had to pass through to get to customers. 

Voting with your wallet makes good sense but we like to leave you with more, so together we can make a difference where it counts.

2) We're rural, not on another planet, so expect us to be up to date.

She doesn't talk about it much, but Melissa has an academic background with a first class honours degree and was granted a scholarship to undertake a PhD.  (We'll save the end of that story for another day).  The commitment to study and learning, however, has never gone away. 

We make it our business to keep informed about what's happening in the natural skincare field.  The products we make are not the result of a google search, they are the result of ten years personal experience, collaboration with a qualified, innovative, cosmetic chemist and study with Formula Botanica, The Institute of Personal Care Science and the Tisserand Institute. We travel to trade events (Naturally Good Expo), workshops (distillation masterclass) and conferences in our field (Aromatica Australia) - 2019. 

3) Formulation brings out our competitive streak, so expect good quality, innovation and efficacy.

Have you ever known someone who doesn't have a competitive bone in their body when it comes to sport but suddenly displays intense determination in other areas? Ahem. 

While originality is super important to us and we like to adapt our products to represent our rural roots and unique resources, we believe our customers should be getting the best quality and effectiveness.  So, before we formulate we conduct a review of the natural products that are already on the market that we admire the most (think top shelf natural brands). We get a bit fancy about the data and put it in a spreadsheet so we can see all the active ingredients and take that into account when we design our own products. 

Copying is not cool but being inspired...well that's a timeless thing, like Andy Warhol being inspired by Leonardo da Vinci.

In summary, we're like a well-kept secret that you're in on.  You have a direct source of thoughtful, high-quality products at a fraction of the price of products with similar ingredients.  

Reason enough on its' own but you'll also be supporting a small, handmade, rural business. Bonus!!

PS.  It's ok to share the secret.  If we run out of anything, we'll make more!!

xx Melissa

Shop Now


We're at Finders Keepers in Brisbane this weekend! It is a three-day event, featuring over 200 independent art and design stalls. Expect to find some lovely local makers from Brisbane, as well as talented favourites from all around Australia (like us!).

If you'd like to save postage you can order online from our website and pick up during the event, just select that option as your delivery preference. Please order by midday tomorrow (Wednesday) so we have time to pack your order before we load up the van. We're not taking all of our products, so it's a good way to ensure you'll get your favourites.

Friday 21st June 12pm - 9pm
Saturday 22nd June 9am - 5pm
Sunday 23rd June 9am - 5pm

Brisbane Showgrounds, The Marquee
Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Brisbane
QLD 4006

$5 Children under 12 enter free!


When we run our soapmaking workshops we love teaching you ways to make your own soap at home using readily available equipment and ingredients. Ingredients like Olive Oil and Coconut Oil are easily available in any supermarket. It can be hard to find affordable shea and cacao butter though (unless you're buying large quantities, which may not interest you).

Cacao butter is extracted from Cacao beans (which are used to make chocolate). We use food-grade unrefined organic cacao butter which smells very chocolatey (yum!). Cacao butter contributes to the hardness and lather of our soaps. It protects the skin by providing a protective barrier that helps with retaining moistures and because of its natural antioxidants, it can help with dry skin and wrinkles. 

Shea butter is obtained from the nuts of the shea or karite tree in West Africa. It is helpful in moisturising and hydrating skin. Traditional African healers value it for it’s anti-ageing and moisturising properties.

If you make soap at home you can purchase organic shea and cacao butter from our store and online in 1kg batches. They are both certified organic.

Shop Ingredients

At Washpool

We're packing for Finders Keepers. It's a big job to dismantle our shelves, guess at how many of different products we should take, pack everything into our trusty van and drive the three hours to Brisbane to unload and set everything up again. It's hard work, but we love seeing our customers face to face & having a chat, and making new friends.

Rain! We've had a couple of showers since the last newsletter, tallying up to about 28mm altogether. Our nearest town, Stanthorpe, will likely run out of water by October/November if we don't have a big downpour before then, and they'd then have to truck water in from probably Wivenhoe/Somerset dams in Brisbane (the dams closer than that are also close to empty). This would be a massive expense, so we're hoping it doesn't come to that. 

Our cypress trees that line the boundary of our block are dying from the drought (see picture). We're considering what would be the best option to replace them with. Perhaps a type of tea tree, so that we can use their leaves in our hydrosols. If you have any suggestions, please send them through!

The Washpool Difference

Washpool is a small rural soaperie in Ballandean, Queensland. We believe in being small enough to listen and being big enough to deliver. We believe in hand made and we take pleasure in providing meaningful employment to people living in our rural community. 

We take a minimalist approach to handcrafting our soap bars. Wholesome ingredients, purposefully selected. We believe that health comes first and beauty follows. Our 
clients value authenticity, simplicity and purity.

Wherever possible, we choose to source our ingredients locally, often direct from the growers.  When we purchase ingredients from further afield we place great emphasis on using ethical, organic, fair trade and sustainably produced raw ingredients. Our packaging is biodegradable, recycled and recyclable where possible.

Our products include cold pressed edible oils,
butters and milks, extracts, infusions, activated and whole botanicals along with clays, honey, fruit and vegetables. Basically, ingredients
you can recognise, most of which are edible.

Review & win!

Every month one reviewer will be chosen randomly & awarded a $20 credit on their Washpool account

Each review you make during the month will give you an extra chance in the draw. Reviews made during the previous month are eligible.

Copyright © 2019 Washpool Skin Wellness - Washpool Farm Ballandean Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.

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