Welcome to Zinke Apiary & Apothecary!  

I’m Laura, backyard beekeeper, owner, and creator of all the things at Zinke Apiary & Apothecary. I have been keeping honey bees since 2018 and currently have 3 hives.  We don’t use herbicides or pesticides on our plants and land because it’s better for our health, the earth, and the bees. All of my products are handcrafted from natural and nourishing ingredients. For years, I have been making soaps and creams for my own family, which suffers from dry skin and eczema, so you’ll find that most of my products are ultra moisturizing and gentle. The color variations in my products come from the natural colors of the oils, butters, clays, and plant particles (poppy seeds, coffee grounds, chopped herbs, etc.) used in my recipes. Any scent or listed is from pure plant oils, though most of what I make is unscented. If you have any questions about particular ingredients, please reach out! 

I am so excited to be sharing my passions and hope you enjoy my products as much as I enjoy making them! 

My Journey

When I was a young girl I had an aloe vera plant and I would squeeze the gel into my favorite store-bought lotions along with who knows what else. I would also play in the backyard and chop and mix different plants with water to make random concoctions. I moved so far away from this version of me as I grew up, but clearly little Laura was onto something. When I became pregnant with my son in 2010 this spark in me was reignited and I began learning all about the impact of all the products we use on our health and wellness, and the environment. I began making my own household cleaning and beauty products as a way to save money and quickly realized how effective and superior my products were to things I had bought from the store, with much healthier and fewer ingredients.  

Beekeeping and soapmaking were my final frontiers in my environmental and health-conscious journey.  Both processes terrified me, but I desperately wanted to try them.  I bought my first bees and took beekeeping classes in 2018 and I absolutely love it despite many ups and downs and the huge learning curve.  You can't have REAL soap without using lye and lye can be dangerous to work with if you're not careful. I was nervous about working with lye, but after countless batches of awesome soaps, I’m hooked. 

My friends and family have been encouraging me to sell my soaps and lip balms for years, but I always made some excuse to not.  Well, no more excuses.  Here I am, using and sharing my passions!  I hope you enjoy these products as much as I do. <3

Why My Products Are Different

To me, “natural” means using things that come from the earth and don’t harm us or the earth we took them from. This means I don’t use any artificial colorants, perfumes, or ingredients that leave our earth worse off. Soap dyes and mineral pigments are not actually natural. Any colors you see in my products are from plants and clay. Many soap makers use palm oil, which makes a lovely soap, except harvesting palm oil has had detrimental effects due to deforestation. Therefore, I don't use it. The honey and beeswax you see in my recipes are from my hives and a lot of the plants I use are from my organic gardens. Any ingredients listed as organic means the product was produced without the use of nasty chemicals and fair trade ingredients means the workers who produced them were paid a living wage for their product. My aim is to use as many organic and fair trade ingredients and as little plastic as possible while maintaining affordable products for you.

Social Justice Packaging

In case you haven’t noticed yet, leaving the earth better than we found it is important to me. Therefore, I am finding ways to reduce, reuse, and repurpose materials in my packaging. If you receive one of my packages in the mail it's possible you received filler made from shredded racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise personally offensive reading material. I purchase these from the “friends of the library” section of the library that aims to get rid of older books OR they're donated from local bookstores. The library gets a donation, I get packing supplies, and the world feels a little bit safer.

Process of Soapmaking and Ingredients

The majority of store-bought soaps are actually detergents and not really soap at all.  Soap in its purest form is fat/oil and lye. Saponification is the chemical process that turns the fat into soap. Once saponification is complete there isn’t any lye remaining and you’re left with a beautiful bar of all-natural soap. 

Every ingredient I use is chosen with a purpose in mind.  If you ever have questions about why I use something, just ask!

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