The Runningbrook Story
Robin's fascination with artwork reproduction and her eclectic range of skills has combined to build a solid foundation to start her own business. The desire to illustrate a "story" and create something tangible has never left her.
More to come....keep visiting the site....
Running Brook Soapworks is a tiny "division" of Running Brook Studio. The "division" is just me dividing my time between the role of soapmaker, designer and artist. I love doing it all! Everything you see, touch, or smell of my soap and lotion begins and ends with me. That includes the labels… which I illustrate, design, print and trim myself!
The soapmaking story began in central NJ where I worked as a graphic designer all day and into the night. It was no surprise that I suffered from migraines! The slightest whiff of perfume had my head throbbing, sometimes for days. I bought unscented glycerin soap in bulk, but still suffered daily.
Then three things happened . . .
First... I was tired of buying plain glycerin soap. It was boring and expensive. This was in the early '90s before handmade soap hit the mainstream marketplace.
Second... I wanted to expand my range of graphic design skills and try my hand at packaging, which I thought was fascinating (and still do).
Third... Winter came. This may not sound like much, but where I was raised in Vermont, it was a time to make things. So I went to my bookshelves for ideas and found "Back to Basics". It had a one-page article on soapmaking with animal fat and wood ashes. A bit too rustic for me, but I was intrigued enough for more research.
Time passed, and I stumbled upon a square of handmade soap in a shop. I took one whiff and was amazed. I never knew soap could smell so great! It was expensive, but I was hooked. I was determined to find out how to make this myself. After a LOT of trial and error (and a mass of soap suitable for laundry) I finally succeeded. That was in 1992. Today my soaps have better quality ingredients, but are made with the same basic formula that has been such a success! Always made "from scratch".
Robin Matlack is an award-winning graphic designer and owner of Runningbrook Studio on Historic Route 66 in Edgewood, New Mexico.
In late 2010, Robin Matlack relocated to New Mexico from central New Jersey. It was the most recent of many life-changing moves that began long ago. Raised in rural Vermont, her adventurous spirit took her to Parsons School of Design in NYC where she studied illustration.