Pin It

When In Doubt, Make Soap 

That's not a motto most of us would live by, but it's been a boon for Jordan Horst and his business partners, James Burgess and Austin Sather. When Burgess was having trouble landing a job in early 2013, Horst began exploring their entrepreneurial options.

"I don't know why, but soap just really interested me," says Horst. He attributes part of that interest to his mechanical engineering background (by day he makes waxes for companies like 3M). Another impetus was the birth of his son, River, who ultimately inspired the name of the company: Rocky River Soaps.

"That was one of the big reasons why we chose castile soap in particular." Castile is an olive-oil-based soap that can also include healthy moisturizing oils like hemp, coconut and jojoba — "stuff that I might drink or eat," Horst says. "And so I felt really confident about washing my son with it."

Dr. Bronner's has long had a corner on this market, but the Rocky River trio aims to distinguish their line of all-natural, all-purpose soaps through an impeccable eye for design. "We went through a lot of experimenting to get to the point where the soap was actually clear, that it was really beautiful to look at," Horst explains. "We don't add any colorants, but the way you mix the chemicals and cook them affects the color. We got it to where it looks like honey. We want it to be almost appetizing."

That attention to detail extends to every aspect of the product: the traditional glass bottles with cork tops, the elegant simplicity of the label, and the classic shirt-and-suspender outfits the three of them wear at farmers markets. The bottles are made of recycled glass and are themselves recyclable; there's also a $3 discount on a new bottle when you return your previous one. "We're serious about creating lifetime customers," Horst says.

Rocky River Soaps come in scents like eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and citrus. Eight-ounce bottles cost $8 and are available from the Spokane Public Market, the Main Market Co-op and farmers markets throughout the Inland Northwest. Find out more online at

Pin It


Latest in Check In

Readers also liked…


Comments are closed.

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
19th Annual Small Artworks Invitational

19th Annual Small Artworks Invitational @ Art Spirit Gallery

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Jan. 6

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by E.J. Iannelli

  • God on the Couch
  • God on the Couch

    Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis spar over the existence of God in Freud's Last Session
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • A Blanket Cure?
  • A Blanket Cure?

    Alt-Medicine: Weighted blankets may be comforting, but objective research into their effectiveness is lacking
    • Dec 4, 2017
  • Homework Woes
  • Homework Woes

    Parenting: What's the right amount of afterschool work for kids?
    • Dec 4, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in




© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation