Glamour soaps a touch of class
SOAP queen Karen Andrews-Green doesn't star in her own daytime television show; nor does she have her own private trailer and entourage.
But she did create the Soap Cottage and she does have her own little fan base in Gympie, dedicated to the divine soaps she makes in her modest but exquisitely decorated and impeccably kept home in King St, Gympie.
Men, women and children have become her followers, stopping by her stall on market day at Lake Alford on the first, third and fifth Sunday of each month.
Her soaps are made with love, are uniquely and artistically moulded and delicately perfumed and coloured.
Some feature blobs of colour, others shavings and sprinkles and layers. They all contain olive oil.
Most look more like a piece of cake or fudge, and many times Karen has felt and heard the enthusiastic approach of a hungry male coming towards her stall, only to have them realise at the last minute they were heading for soap.
Using glycerine, various coloured clays, herbs, leaves, scents and colours, Karen creates a range of soaps that really do look and smell good enough to eat.
She first got into what was for many years a hobby back in 2003, and only began selling her soaps 18 months ago.
"I wanted an excuse to make more soap," she says.
"My friends and family urged me to start selling them at the markets."
So she did, and such has been her success she now makes a nice little income from it.
Creating her soap masterpieces is something she plays by ear.
"When you first smell the soap, you picture the colour it should be and just start playing with it from there."
One day, the quaint little cottage in Karen's backyard will become her "soap room", but for now, her favourite room in the house, her kitchen, is where her creations come to life.
She will also continue to work a couple of days a week at the organic Wild Harvest Company in Reef St.
"I appreciate local people who come to the markets and support me and all the other local stalls," Karen said.