Tucked away in a sweet little Mom and Pop shop in Munhall, PA is a charming treasure trove filled with all manner of squeaky clean fun. Inside, you’ll find neatly piled bar soaps sheathed in the kind of old-timey, plain brown wrap that harkens back to the village mercantile-style days of yore. The products housed within, however, couldn’t be more contemporary – vegan and vegetarian suds made sans detergents, fragrance oils, and drying agents that can cause a variety of problems for those with sensitive skins and allergies. Inspired by their son, who, like many, happened to react poorly to commercially available soaps, Samantha and Bruce Story-Camp set out to make a product that everyone, including their two youngest kiddos (for whom the company is named), could enjoy.
The result, Pip and Lola’s Everything Homemade, is a label that seeks, and earns, its customer’s trust. Let’s take a look at all the (not so) dirty details:
- Variety: If you can dream it up, they’ve probably made it. With over 125 soap options, it seems nearly impossible that one could walk away from here empty-handed.
Some of their best sellers are Cup Of Joe Kitchen Soap (scented with coffee beans and coffee liqueur), Lemon Poppyseed (a zesty, exfoliating face and body bar), and Gypsy Rose Lemon, which, as the name might suggest, is quite the tantalizing performer. Certain varieties aim to soothe specific concerns, with ingredients like ylang ylang and lavender for relaxation or stinging nettles and spearmint oil for the itch and dryness often associated with dandruff or eczema. And the cleverness of the formulas are outmatched only by the item names themselves, with gems like The Nudie Bar, Bringing Sexy Back, and Real Men Wear Pink – a cedar-scented soap inspired by co-founder Bruce’s love of Home Depot. It’s soap with a sense of humor!
- Quality: These products are gentle, lightly-scented with all-natural ingredients, and effective. As someone that suffers from dry skin, I found that these soaps leave the skin feeling clean and smooth without being stripped of its natural oils (a quality most welcome in these skin-cracking winter months).
Additionally, since inventory is produced on site, customers know exactly what they’re getting and where it’s coming from. Sure, there are shops that can familiarize you with a product’s ingredient list (which is not always a given, by the by). But when you stop by Pip and Lola’s Everything Homemade, you can ask questions of the makers themselves! They know their stuff and are all too happy to give you the rundown. Perhaps the only virtue I value more of a brand than a quality product is quality customer service – and on both counts this store’s got the goods.
- Aesthetics: Most of the soaps are adorned quite simply, wrapped and labelled with a charming bubble logo and brief company narrative. This natural, organic design befits the company’s pared down credo. Some of the soaps themselves come in fun colors, marbleized or color-blocking effects, or even amusing shapes (packages of breast-shaped novelty soaps were created for Breast Cancer Awareness Month), adding to their visual appeal.
- My personal fav(s): For me, the year ’round favorite would be the popular Lemon Poppyseed. Though the fragrance is naturally-derived, it is one of the more potent in the bunch and is a delightfully mouth-watering citrus as opposed to that all-too-common chemical cleanser smell that populates the market. The exfoliating poppyseeds offer a gentle buff to the skin, and it also looks a tasty treat sitting in its little soap dish. I’d also be remiss not to recommend the Perfect Pumpkin Pie, an ode to basic girls like me everywhere who die for the spicy, gingery goodness that reminds of our favorite seasonal beverage.
Special Feature: When her dander is up, Soap Goddess Samantha Story-Camp finds her product to be the best remedy. The recent political landscape inspired her to create the limited edition Nasty Women Get **it Done, a soap emblematic of female fuel (coffee), fire (ginger), sexuality (ylang ylang), shape (grapefruit), and womanhood, with a vein of red powerfully emblazoned on its surface.
Price/Where to Buy: Most individual bars run from $6.49 – $7.49, or you can get a surprise miscellaneous box of four for $22.00. Pip and Lola’s Everything Homemade is located at 3614 Main Street, Munhall, PA 15120. You can also shop their line at http://www.pipandlola.com and on etsy.com (https://www.etsy.com/shop/PipandLola).
*Did You Know? Nip in to this shop for a browse and have a go at their trivia question – you may just walk away with a freebie!
Exclusive Offer for Taste of Pittsburgh Readers
Get 20% off your Pip and Lola’s order with code TastePgh here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PipandLola OR pop into the shop with this code and tell ’em Taste of Pittsburgh sent you!