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J’adore – A Slice of Delight

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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.

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!


(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!


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Thursday 29th of November 2012

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


Thursday 29th of November 2012

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

Darlene Webb

Thursday 29th of November 2012

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

Yen Fasano

Wednesday 28th of November 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!

Cassandra Garffie

Tuesday 27th of November 2012

I thought that was delicious jello, not soap.

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