J’adore – A Slice of Delight

I first introduced you to A Slice of Delight back in when I interviewed the owner, Hilary, for a French Friday feature and giveaway. Hilary is a francophile who has spent time in France, lives in Berkeley where her kids attend the French school and is the creative mind behind her own soap business.

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in.

She disappeared for a year, all for a good reason. She spent that time volunteering with her entire family in Senegal! Now she’s back and sharing a bit of her experience as well as back making her all natural local soaps which have been a big hit around here!

A-Slice-of-Delight-Rainbow-Soap

(1) You took a little break since we last saw you, what have you been up to and what motivated you to re-launch A Slice of Delight?

Yes, quite a break. A year ago my family and I created the opportunity to leave Berkeley and live abroad in a French speaking country for a year. Just so happened while at first I thought it would be France the compass re-directed us to Senegal, Africa. We took the opportunity to really integrate with the Senegalese culture, the food, the music, the people and everyday living in Dakar – the capital. And to work on our own French fluency.

Our children continued with their French schooling and my husband and I also had 2 volunteer projects we focused on – me – teaching English to young Seneglaese woman and my husband – managing the refurbishment of 200 small laptops and the network in a small town 4 hours outside of Dakar. We had an incredible life and mind opening experience. Now we are back on US soil in transition.

While in Senegal I did not continue the business – used my time to write a blog about our year. I’m really not a blogger but gave it my best shot. [Here are a few posts: Je m’appelle FatouCounting SheepMoussa and Rhissa]

Time now to ‘retire’ from blogging and get excited about those soapy creative juices that went dormant for a year. It has helped to know customers and fans have been asking when I was starting up again. That’s always a great motivator!

(2) During your year in Senegal you must have spoke French, did it improve your fluency level?

Yes, we spoke A LOT. At first it was hard to understand the French accent as it is a bit different. But after a month I settled in to the accent. My fluency did improve. Not so much with all the various tenses the French language has as I still got stuck with the basic conjugation for past, present and future -but enough to communicate. Yet my vocabulary skyrocketed and my confidence to carry a conversation improved immensely. One of the goals we had for going.

(3) Were there other French influences on the country?

The country has a long history and part of that is having been colonized by the French – so the education, when kids are able to get educated are in French. Patisseries and restaurants exist with French influence. Signs are in French, books in French, movies in French – yet there is still a strong connection with their ethnic African roots and tribal languages and the Muslim religion practiced by 95% of the population.

(4) How did your experiences during your trip to Africa influence your soaps?

Unfortunately at the moment – I’ve been focusing on soaps that I have the known designs for to quickly build up my inventory and fill up my on-line Etsy shop as well as be ready for local craft fairs. BUT – I’m always listening to some incredible Senegalese and African music while I craft my soaps that I became exposed to while I was there. I hope soon enough I can let my brain rest and start thinking of some kind of design with the right fragrance that makes me think of Senegal and Africa.

Thanks Hilary, I can’t wait to see how your adventures will impact your designs!

 

101 Comments

  1. Mary
    October 18, 2012

    I placed my first order earlier this week. Excited to try all 4 soaps I purchased. Lavender, Salt bars, and the Candy confetti.

  2. Kristine
    October 18, 2012

    I love Hilary’s soap! Fav so far is Candy Corn πŸ™‚

  3. michele malone
    October 18, 2012

    the spiced cranberry salt bar looks wonderful!

  4. I loved this interview! What a fabulous life!!!

  5. Margot S.
    October 18, 2012

    The Halloween Blackberry probably smells divine!

  6. Theresa Jimenez
    October 18, 2012

    I think my favorite would be the spiced pumpkin pie, just because it sounds so yummy and I love how it looks, but a VERY close second, being partial to citrus scents, would be the lemon verbena, and then closely followed by the orange coconut citrus.

  7. Angel Naman
    October 19, 2012

    It’s Vanilla Lavender for me because I love the scent.

  8. jen
    October 19, 2012

    I love your interviews, Andi. And these soaps look delicious. What a privilege to leave it all behind for a year and have an adventure. Just wonderful. I wish could do this with my kids. I really do…chuck it all and just have a different kind of life. Some days, I think I’m getting close to this…

    Also, want to say, your new design is really growing on me. It has been a pleasant transition – not jolting or shocking like some of them can be. Congrats, again! It’s so well done. I esp. like the red banner “Continue reading…” Easy to see. That’s all for now! jen

    1. Andi
      October 19, 2012

      @Jen, leaving it all behind for a year (or more) shows such a sense of aventure, you have to be a big risk taker, and I don’t think I am there yet! I am not completely there yet on the blog, want to tweak some things, but I am sure I will get there. Do you think the font is too big?

  9. Denise Weatherly
    October 19, 2012

    I like the Christmas Presents soap and Lemon Coconut Citrus

  10. Hilary Goldman
    October 19, 2012

    @Andi – thank you again for the opportunity to share my story through your blog and fans. @Jen – it is true – we were very fortunate in that one – my husband and I were on the same page about this in general. And it certainly was affirming when his company said – you can take this sabbatical (no pay) but return with a job. That was probably the biggest risk – asking for the time !! But actually hearing them say ‘yeah – go’. Of course I”m happy to cheer you both on to consider this option down the road and am *always* available to help one understand all the logistics to manage before departing – but *it can be done!* Good Luck @Jen on the giveaway.

  11. sandyandcosmo
    October 19, 2012

    I would love to try the Apple Orchard Salt Bar Soap with all the different fragrances!

  12. Melissa
    October 19, 2012

    Soap – Vanilla Lavender – Handmade Natural Glycerin Soap

  13. Kaitlin
    October 19, 2012

    I like the holiday present sugar cookie soap!

  14. Kayla
    October 19, 2012

    The holiday soaps are adorable!

  15. Karen
    October 19, 2012

    The candy corn soap is so cute.

  16. Sarah
    October 19, 2012

    I love all the Christmas designs! I especially like the Christmas present in the candy apple scent. Sounds wonderful! I wish I could smell it through the internet. πŸ™‚

  17. Sie Cajilig
    October 19, 2012

    I would like the Winter Holiday Soap – All Natural Glycerin – Handmade Soap please! =D

  18. rachel bedrock
    October 19, 2012

    candy cane holiday christmas soap

  19. Maureen Butcher
    October 19, 2012

    I have to say I have a passion for lavender. I really like the look of the vanilla lavender and then too the lovely lavender glycerin too!

  20. teresa koedyker
    October 19, 2012

    confetti soap

  21. MelodyJ
    October 19, 2012

    I like Spiced Pumpkin Pie.

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. helen
    October 20, 2012

    the lime coconut citrus soap looks sooooo good, that’s probably my favorite!

  23. phioniray
    October 20, 2012

    This is such a wonderful interview! <3
    I really like Coffee Soap.

  24. Jessica P.
    October 20, 2012

    I like the Spiced Pumpkin Pie, but they all look so fun!

  25. ruth ramos
    October 20, 2012

    i like the winter holiday, thank you

  26. Ariel
    October 20, 2012

    I like the China rain salt bar!

  27. shahneela
    October 20, 2012

    i like The Gingerbread Man Soap – All Natural – Fall Holiday Soap Favors

  28. liz lew
    October 20, 2012

    Love anything pumpklin, so Soap – Spiced Pumpkin Pie – Halloween Fall and Thanksgiving

  29. Serafina
    October 20, 2012

    You have some really neat soap designs, I will favorite your page for future gift references!

  30. gigi
    October 20, 2012

    I love handmade soap! I love the Lemon Verbena!

  31. april yedinak
    October 20, 2012

    I love all the soaps! They are so pretty, but I think my favorite would be the Coffee Soap.

  32. Szappanbubi
    October 20, 2012

    My faves are the delicious Salt Bar Soap – Spiced Cranberry & Land of Sweets Confetti Soap for Kids!

  33. Maeve
    October 20, 2012
  34. amandasue
    October 20, 2012

    I love coconut, so the orange coconut sounds rather interesting and different!

  35. Kelly D
    October 20, 2012

    I like the Coffee Soap

  36. Natalie
    October 20, 2012

    All your soaps are soooo enticing. I love the holiday soaps the most. So cute!

  37. Ashli
    October 20, 2012

    Coffee soap

  38. Jane
    October 20, 2012

    The Lemon coconut citrus sounds devine!

  39. Leslie Joseph Richman
    October 21, 2012

    The Soap – Candy Corn Glycerin Soap – Halloween Fall Harvest sounds great!

  40. Ciara
    October 21, 2012

    The candy corn soap is so cute!

  41. clarissa
    October 21, 2012

    the spiced pumpkin looks like a winner

  42. Hara
    October 21, 2012

    Vanilla lavender

  43. S
    October 21, 2012

    Would love to try the “Pink Grapefruit Coconut Citrus Soap with Olive Oil and Shea Butter” – super cute looking and scent sounds EPIC!

  44. KHBride
    October 21, 2012

    Sugar cookie soap for sure! Yum!

  45. Eloquence
    October 21, 2012

    The vanilla lavender soap sounds wonderful!

  46. Crystal S
    October 21, 2012

    Spiced cranberry salt bar sound heavenly!

  47. Nicole O
    October 21, 2012

    The lemon sugar candy sounds amazing.. and they are adorable. I bet they would make great gifts or holiday hostess presents!

  48. Kristen
    October 22, 2012

    The gingerbread man soap is adorable!

  49. karlagibbs
    October 22, 2012

    yes, lemon coconut citrus sounds wonderful.

  50. Katy
    October 22, 2012

    I LOVE your soaps. I have the Lime Coconut one now and really love it’s subtle flavors

  51. Kathy Davis
    October 22, 2012

    My favorite soap: Holiday Present Sugar Cookie Soap

  52. karen
    October 22, 2012

    Lemon Coconut Citrus Soap with Olive Oil and Shea Butter

  53. jorie rogers
    October 22, 2012

    Land of Sweets Confetti Soap! How does it get any funner then that?

  54. Carizza
    October 22, 2012

    the spiced pumpkin pie sounds wonderful! x

  55. Burcu
    October 23, 2012

    Lemon Sugar Candy Holiday Soap – Stocking Stuffer Soap for Kids

  56. jessica
    October 24, 2012

    spiced pumpkin

  57. Becky VanGinkel
    October 24, 2012

    I love the Candy Corn Soap and the Gingerbread Man Soap!! Very cute:)

    babydjs_mom@yahoo.com

  58. Kelsi
    October 24, 2012

    I like the Holiday Present Sugar Cookie Soap

  59. Lena
    October 24, 2012

    THanks!

  60. annette solis
    October 24, 2012

    Love the Lemon Coconut Citrus Soap !

  61. Stephanie
    October 24, 2012

    I am glad to find this Etsy shop! I always have the hardest time thinking of stocking stuffers for my husband, but I think that the Spellbound Woods for men would be perfect!

  62. Catie W.
    October 25, 2012

    I would have to say my favorite would be Apple Orchard Salt Bar Soap…I can only imagine how glorious it must smell! You have some fantastic stuff! πŸ™‚

  63. LaTanya
    October 25, 2012

    Candy Corn Glycerin Soap

  64. Nancy
    October 25, 2012

    I like the Christmas Spearmint Soap.

  65. Realia M
    October 25, 2012

    i love the Orange Coconut Citrus Glycerin Soap with Olive Oil and Shea Butter

  66. Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard
    October 25, 2012

    Ginger Orange All Natural Glycerin Soap with Olive Oil

  67. Diana Hatch
    October 25, 2012

    I like the candy corn soap

  68. Jennifer Young
    October 25, 2012

    I love the Land of Sweets Confetti Soap for Kids – Jelly Bean, Lemon Drop and Cotton Candy scented

  69. Summer D
    October 25, 2012

    The Spiced Pumpkin Pie sounds lovely

  70. Jennifer Clay
    October 25, 2012

    China Rain Salt Bar Soap with Olive Oil and Shea Butter

  71. Holly S.
    October 25, 2012

    Soap – China Rain Salt Bar Soap with Olive Oil and Shea Butter

  72. Lady Jennie
    October 25, 2012

    We had Senagalese friends, and boy do I love that dish where you have a huge shared platter of rice and there’s a sweet-ish sort of chicken with raisins maybe? And you eat with your hands. yum!

  73. cw
    October 25, 2012

    vanilla lavendar or lemon verbena

  74. Claire
    October 25, 2012

    id love Soap – Vanilla Lavender – Handmade Natural Glycerin Soap

  75. Janet F
    October 25, 2012

    I like Lovely Lavender Glycerin Soap with Essential Oil.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  76. bell
    October 25, 2012

    Lovely Lavender Glycerin Soap with Essential Oil

  77. Jessica
    October 25, 2012

    I like the Vanilla Lavender – Handmade Natural Glycerin Soap

  78. Amy W.
    October 25, 2012

    I like the Spiced Cranberry.

  79. Mary Dailey
    October 25, 2012

    I would love to try the Ancient Sedona soap. They all look wonderful!

  80. Donna O'Neil
    October 25, 2012

    The candy corn soap.

  81. Callee S.
    October 25, 2012

    Any of the Christmas soaps look AMAZING!!! The spiced cranberry also sounds divine!

  82. kemberley crosswhite
    October 25, 2012

    what a great giveaway!!!! my favorite is….. the confetti!!!

  83. savannah miller
    October 25, 2012

    The round orange citrus looks like it smells amazing1

  84. AndreaH
    October 25, 2012

    My favorite is Holiday Present Sugar Cookie Soap. There were several more I liked but this was the one I liked the most.

  85. Christina Anne
    October 25, 2012

    Soap – Vanilla Lavender – Handmade Natural Glycerin Soap is my favorite

  86. Fiona N
    October 25, 2012

    I love them all, especially the Christmas Present – Handcrafted Glycerin Soap – Peppermint!
    Thanks for the giveaway

  87. Sue Hull
    October 25, 2012

    I love the Winter Holiday Soap. There’s so many beautiful sopas to choose from. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! πŸ™‚

  88. dana h
    October 25, 2012

    I like land of sweets confetti soap

  89. Heather Kelly
    October 25, 2012

    The coffee soap.

  90. Noelle Cagle
    October 25, 2012

    Orange coconut citrus sounds refreshing right about now…

  91. Elizabeth Bailey
    November 20, 2012

    wow those soaps are beautiful

  92. Daraya
    November 25, 2012

    The soaps are so pretty and they come in so many scents! I love the pumpkin spice πŸ™‚

  93. Mandara
    November 25, 2012

    I am also a soapmaker. Nothing like creating a new scent or soap from an experience or movie or inspiration of a person

  94. Cassandra Garffie
    November 27, 2012

    I thought that was delicious jello, not soap.

  95. Yen Fasano
    November 28, 2012

    At first glance, it looked like Jello dessert! That’s so awesome that it’s soap! I know our family would have loads of fun washing our hands with it!

  96. Darlene Webb
    November 29, 2012

    Ive never seen soap so colorful. I thought it was a dessert at first haha. I must have some!!

  97. L
    November 29, 2012

    Your etsy shop is lovely! The soap almost looks tasty.

  98. Elle
    November 29, 2012

    I like the modern art quality of the christmas tree soap.

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