Dallas native, Ginger Griffice, founder of Marfa Brands Soap, moved from New York to Marfa, West Texas back in 2004. Since then, she taught herself how to make exquisite smelling soaps out of her kitchen. We recently sent portrait photographer Arden Wray to Ginger’s home workspace to catch up with the maker and document a behind-the-scenes look at her soap-making process. Take a peek below!
What does a typical working day look like for you?
“I head into the studio/shop and usually start by cleaning up soap buckets (soap can be a dirty business!). Then I package up orders and work on a batch of soap. I make three batches at a time — each batch is 52 bars, and I usually do three different scents at a time. I’ll see what we are low on and make that. And some days my shop assistant Cate comes in to help, and she is great about mixing up oils for batches. During the day, folks will wander in, and we have a shop set up in the factory, so the public can see what we do and also buy soap.”
How would you describe your workspace?
“It’s actually a dreamy set up. It’s in an old adobe building, probably built in the 20s, that used to be a restaurant. The kitchen is where I make all of the soap, and the “banquet room” is a small space where I have my retail shop set up. It’s got chandeliers and it feels a bit rustic, and a bit messy since we are always working.”
How did you go from the creative world to the soap making biz?
When I moved to Marfa in 2004, I thought I needed a small-town hobby, so I started making soap in my kitchen. I started selling at Farmstand and a couple of shops around town, then I got big enough to get my own space (and now I’m growing out of that!).
Where do you seek inspiration for new scents?
“I turn to the natural world of course — no shortage there! I like woodsy, desert scents. I’m trying some new ones out now — damiana, chickweed, yucca root — all good desert botanicals.”
Photography by Arden Wray