Handmade in Texas – Interview with Madeline Novak

Old Factory Soap founders Madeline Novak and Jonathan Savoie

Interview with Kandace Rodarte of Handmade in Texas

Old Factory Soap is Olfactory

Madeline Novak, proprietress of Old Factory creates naturally driven, master-crafted skincare and home goods in Blanco, Texas. Specializing in natural perfumery, Old Factory expresses their scents in many forms including artisanal soap, perfume oils, and more. All of their creations are made with care, complete with unique illustrated packaging designed in house, and herbs & botanicals grown here in Texas.

How did you get started?

Old Factory began almost from the instant Jonathan and I met. I, an artist with extreme skin allergies, and Jonathan, a master soap maker. Together we developed our own recipes, taking care to use only high quality ingredients, along with designing our own packaging with a focus on sustainability and waste reduction.

Where do you find inspiration?
We find inspiration from the Texas Hill Country – a uniquely diverse region that offers many unique plants to work with. We love watching the countryside ebb and flow as the year passes. We also find inspiration in thought, always seeking to understand ourselves better, as well as the world around us.

Photo Credit: Old Factory Soap

Photo Credit: Old Factory Soap

What is the hardest thing about your work?
The hardest thing about being an artist is promoting yourself and your business. Artists, we have found, are particularly introverted- and we are not an exception! We know that we create some of the best quality soap on the market, but its hard to market and sell ourselves.

If you had to pick just one medium, what would it be and why?
Perfumery – to us is like telling stories through scent. Each plant has its own story, we blend those stories to create an anthology of aroma – that holds the essence of time, and space. No two perfumes are exactly the same – event if the exact same ingredients are used. Rosemary will never smell exactly the same from year to year. Its ever evolving.

What advice do you have for burgeoning artists?
Don’t rush to put things on the market – take your time, truly be creative and create a high quality, meaningful work / product.

How can people find your work?
Blue Genie Art Bazaar, Space Montrose, Homespun, Wheatsville Coop, Natural Gardener, Zilker Park Botanical Garden Gift Shop, just to name a few.

Madeleine Novak and Jonathan Savoie, Old Factory Soap

Madeleine Novak and Jonathan Savoie, Old Factory Soap, Handmade in Texas.

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