Natural Impulse
Handmade Soap and Sundries
The fragrant solution
to so many of life's little problems.


Natural Impulse Handmade 

About Us

The company
Natural Impulse is a small family business based in rural north Alabama, just a bit above Birmingham. We are dedicated to serving the needs of ablutophiles (bath addicts) and olfactomaniacs (scent lovers) everywhere.* Each bar of soap - made, cut and trimmed by hand - is unique. Here there are no robots... no 50-ton vats... no corporate big-wigs. Which is just the way we like it. We think you will too.

*OK, we made up those words.

But they really should exist. When our research proved they didn't, we decided to coin them ourselves.
abluto-, (Latin: a washing, cleansing) -phile (Greek: loving, fondess for, attraction to, affinity for).
olfacto- (Latin: to smell, or sense of smell) -mania (Greek: madness or enthusiasm).

The people
People at craft shows often ask us how we got started making soap. The short answer, is "It's our hobby that got out of control!" The long answer is more involved.

In 1996, Karen was an Electrical Engineer working for the telephone company. She liked lots of the people there but was steadily growing to dislike the corporate world. She became grouchy. She worried that the frown on her face each weekday morning might become permanent. When she noticed that her stomach started hurting every day on the drive to work, she decided it was time for something different. Luckily, downsizing was rampant, and so were voluntary separation incentives.

She took a year off from just about everything. Crafts had always been a hobby, and with 24 hours now free each day, she developed a serious HGTV habit. One day Carol Duvall made melt-and-pour soap on her craft show. It looked like fun, so Karen made some too, and then tried to search the internet for more information. Nowdays there is plenty, but back then the only information available was on how to make soap from scratch. Well that sounded like fun too. And it was! After several months of study, she and Phillip made their first batch of soap, together.

It worked out so well that in 1997, after lots of practice, they got married. And started a soap business. Karen runs most of the day-to-day operations. Phillip helps with ideas and the lifting of heavy things, and is indispensible at craft shows. For now he's still a Electrical Engineer (P.E.) in real life, and helps with the soap empire part-time. Mothers, sisters, and in-laws get drafted into action when things get hectic. The nieces are still in early grammar school, but are involved in the all-important "what do kids like" research.

We've started a blog (a weblog or online journal) about our adventures in the country. It's called Rurality.

We're Green!
"Environmentally friendly" green, that is, not "jealous" green or "really new at this" green. But we got a little long-winded about the topic so we moved it to its own page.

Our helper
talkative budgie/parakeet

This is our parakeet Beaker, who spends most of his days flying around in our office. (That's "budgie" or "budgerigar" to all of you in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand... well actually just about anywhere English is spoken besides the US probably.) He's actually a little more blue than this picture shows.

If you call us, you may hear Beaker talking to you too. So in retrospect, it was probably not the most brilliant of ideas to teach Beaker the Wolf Whistle, or the words "Gimme a kiss". Although we are normally quite warm and friendly by nature, if you hear that when you call - well it's not us saying it, it's the bird. We promise.

Budgie enthusiasts, don't worry. Beaker is kept well away from the soapmaking area, since strong scents can be dangerous for birds and their respiratory systems. That, plus we don't want feathers in the soap.

We went a little overboard extolling the virtues of Beaker, so we decided to cut it off here and make him his own page here! You can visit his page to learn what he says and other fun facts about him.

The other family pets (namely our cat, our leopard gecko, and our multitude of fish) are obviously not as enthusiastic about the whole soap venture, as they have so far refused to talk to customers.

***Update! Sadly, our cat Bali has gone to that great catnip patch in the sky. We're looking for a new kitten. In the meantime, we've gotten a dog (Jasmine, a Great Pyrenees), and some farm animals (ducks and chickens) at our new place. You can see their pictures at Rurality. Beaker loves the new place. The gecko doesn't seem to care one way or the other.
***Another update! We have three new kittens. They're already running our lives.


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Natural Impulse
PO Box 203
Allgood AL 35013

sales @
(205) 625-0130     
Toll-Free ordering:   1-877-IMPULSE   (1-877-467-8573)