Bugs and Soap???? Are you crazy...

Mom and I had been arguing about what to call a soap business for over two years. We both wanted to have a soap business that was educational, for kids and adults, on the importance of arthropods (animals with an exoskeleton, jointed legs and a segmented body; click here for more info). Many people are scared of bugs, but the reality is we could not exist without them (I'll get into this in later posts). They provide over $117 BILLION in services for us every year! Not to mention they pollinate the flowers that give us seeds, which is where the oil comes from to make soap! So soap and bugs seemed obvious to us!

We could never settle on a name. I wanted the word pollinator in it and Mom wanted something more generic. Finally we just said screw it, lets just make soap! We both found products we loved and wanted to use and then we created our own recipes.

We would send pictures of what we had done.

Look what I made!

 Some first soaps

 Cool look what I made!

 Shampoo soap

Sometimes it was just stuff…

 bourbon soap

 And sometimes just my dog, who is soooo cute!

 cute dog

We were not at all focused, but having a blast making soap. So much fun, we decided to go to the soap conference in Tampa. That’s right, there is a soap conference. Folks on social media said how much fun it was and how much they learned! Well, that is putting it mildly! It changed us and our focus soooo much!!!

On the first day, at the first talk, we met Jerrod Sumner of BRANDtabulous. He was awesome! He has one of those personalities where you want to be his best friend right away. Well EVERYONE felt that way and his table had a LONG line all the time! So we decided to chat with him when another big talk was taking place and no one was at his table. We got his workbook on branding right away. 

The cool thing about Florida, is that it has tons of bugs and tons of BIG bugs.

 Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

The conference had these AMAZING huge Eastern Lubber grasshoppers all over and I decided I would take one to Jerrod to show him. Mom said no, no don’t bug him, there are too many people at his table! I said no I think he will like it. Then he did this…

Jerrod with bug 

Yup he WAS my best friend and then I knew he was the one for us! We took Jerrod to lunch at the conference, we were about two-thirds done with his book (a workbook on branding) and told him we couldn’t decide on a name, we had been struggling for over two years. Right away he said is there some insect term that starts with “A”? I said well Arthropod, which is basically as generic as you can get as far as bugs are concerned. AA was born, Arthropod Apothecary. We had buggy and we had generic! It was the perfect name.

 Arthropod Apothecary Logo

Within a month of the conference Mom and I had Jerrod down to Alabama to help us get our ideas together! Our house is loaded with bug stuff, bug photos, bug nets, bug books, bug statues, antique bug illustrations, LIVE bugs (for bug outreach, everyone wants to hold a bug whether they know it or not), and we black light every night to attract bugs so we know what we have on our property. My husband, John Abbott and I have a Nature Photography Business called Abbott Nature Photography and so we photograph most of the bugs that we come across. Jerrod was excited to see what black lighting was and go looking for bugs! When he got to the house he held one of our walking sticks. We soon found out Jerrod was a walking stick whisperer! But how to make bugs and soap work??????

Walking stick Whisperer

Next time I will tell you how Jerrod showed me how photographing soap is JUST like photographing insects, how Jerrod became a walking stick whisperer and continue our story on how we started a bug and soap business!

I hope you find lots of bugs in your back yard!
Till next time,


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