Holly Rutt and her husband made their first batch of homemade soap in 2010, for their wedding.
The soaps were lavender/lemongrass scented and more than that, they were a hit with their guests. And so, the Rutts took up soapmaking together as a hobby. They enjoyed it, and their friends enjoyed the fruit(scented soaps) even more, and so after a while they finally gave in to everyone’s please and started selling their soaps at the craft show in their town.
Now, eleven years later, Holly and her husband have more than a soap making hobby: they have a whole range of products and a thriving business called ‘Little Flower Soap Shop”. These days, the Rutts work as a team, with her husband writing the recipes for their products and Holly overseeing their production and distribution. Some of Holly’s current favorites products offered by Little Flower Soap Shop include their all natural bug spray, peach summer candles, and spa-day gift sets.
And how do the Rutts manage to pull all of this off from home? Well, five years ago, they invested towards their dream and purchased a two acre lavender farm in Chelsea, Michigan. On the farm, they also have two barns from which they run their business: one for production and one for order fulfillment
I asked a little about the product they’ll be including in this quarter’s box (a lovely rose and geranium face and body oil), and it brought Holly and I to the topic of her business’ namesake. She told me that she and her husband named their business for St Therese because “everything we make is from little flowers”. Her comment was so simple, but so striking to me.
Daily, her family has committed themselves to the practical act of making small things with great love. I just know that St. Therese delights in the Rutts and their work.
Crystallizing on our conversation about faith and the senses, I asked Holly if she had a scent that called her back to a pivotal moment in her life. She told me that roses were an integral part of her conversion, saying: “I remember that the day I came to Christ. I was walking to pick my sister up from school and for some reason, I was smelling roses everywhere, even though I couldn't see them. Later that day, someone with an authentic faith told me about what Jesus had done for us and asked me, “Can you believe it?”
Once again, I was struck by Holly’s phrasing.
“Can you believe it?”
Listening to Holly and her husband’s practice of St. Therese’s Little Way left me with the same question that person had posed to Holly all those years ago:
“Can you believe it?”
Can you believe that a vocational call and the Gospel call can be so simple and yet so complex as to give big love with little flowers? Can you believe all the good a lavender farm in Chelsea, Michigan can do? Can you believe what one conversion conversation, years and years ago, has given so many people?
Can you believe it?!