Jun 20
by Maryclaire Mayes

Independence Day?

19392924d7258457e628c02e1a4b5bfcWhy do we celebrate Independence Day, the 4th of July?  Is it just the first holiday of Summer or another day off from work for a party? In the past it was always called Independence Day and there is a reason for that. Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by delegates from the 13 colonies in 1776. The Declaration of Independence changed the course of history. It celebrates the experiment of a new kind of government. For the first time in history, the people, not kings or conquerors, would rule a nation. Delegates elected by the people would vote, representing the will of the people, because they declared it is a natural right for people to be free. This was a radical new idea that would allow people to pursue their own dreams and see their own hard work benefit themselves and their family. No where in the world before, had people been inspired to be independent and self sufficient.

After the vote, John Adams writes to his wife, Abigail: “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which never was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony ‘that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, …This . . . Day . . . will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

Was it perfect? No, but it was a daring experiment to throw off the yoke of class and let people govern themselves and strive to be better. America has been striving to be better since its inception.

So on this day, July 4th 2020, Independence Day, celebrate… just remember what you are celebrating. I am celebrating the vision of our founding fathers and the brave men and women who have sacrificed to make us free, the right to worship God, love my family and friends, live my dreams, be independent and own my own business making our healthy skincare products! What about you? What are you remembering and honoring about the 4th of July?


May 20
by Maryclaire Mayes

Dry Hand From Frequent Washing

IMG_1098Dry hands are often the result of frequent handwashing. Our skin is our first line of defense to protect from invading germs and retaining moisture. The softening oils and wax in our skin are washed away when we wash our hands with soap. Something many people are not aware of is that most commercial soaps are actually detergents and are even better at washing away the natural barrier wax and oils in your skin.

Gentle hand made soaps are effective in washing away and even destroying germs, but are kinder to your skin. When increased hand washing is required, an unscented non-irritating lotion can soothe and decrease the amount of drying, redness and cracking in your skin. If you have to use hand sanitizer try to get one with a moisturizer, just remember hand a sanitizer is not as effective as soap in killing viruses.

To wash your skin effectively use enough soap to lather and rub for at least 20 seconds. Avoid using hot water and pat dry with a clean dry towel. Then apply a moisturizer right away.  Products with fragrance can be irritating. I like to use Alabu Body lotion on my hands during the day and a Shea Body Butter lotion at night and first thing in the morning. If your hands are very dry and irritated you can apply Alabu Replenish first and then the Shea Body Butter and wear white cotton gloves to bed. You will be amazed how much better your hands will feel in the morning. 

Apr 20
by Maryclaire Mayes

Exciting Memories of Childhood

IMG_0790 (1)One of the joys of childhood is making new discoveries and exciting memories. Over 26 years ago we moved out of the suburbs to the country. We had moved off our 5 acre farm to the suburbs to care for Dean’s father. After that, we moved back to the country.

This time we bought a dilapidated farmhouse on 70 acres. We actually lived in a tent for 4 months while we gutted and renovated the farmhouse. Our kids were 9 and 6 years old. We felt bad for them and they each got a kitten from the pound. So at night we had the 4 of us, our dog and 2 kittens in a tent.

It was a lot of hard work but a fun adventure for the kids. When we first moved to the farm we watched as the kids gleefully ran through the fields. It somehow confirmed that we had made the right decision in buying this money pit of a house even though everyone else thought we were crazy.  Now fast forward. Our grandkids are now enjoying the farm to no end.

Now that the grand kids are a little older they are starting to explore further from our house. The last warm day when they were here Miss Number Two discovered the little stream at the bottom of the hill. Soon all the kids were down there with excited laughter and running up to tell us what they had found there. First it was frogs and a little later a snake. They spent hours walking along that little flow of water seeing what new thing they could discover and running back to the house excitedly to tell us.

Feb 20
by Maryclaire Mayes


Soaps for that Sensitive someoneWe just celebrated our 20th year in business as Alabu. We often get questions about how we got started. Way back in February,1997, a friend called, (my goat mentor) asking me for moral support in making goat milk soap. She had 9 milking does and too much goat milk on her hands. She had tried making soap but the chemical reaction burned the milk and it couldn’t be salvaged. She suggested it would be a good home school chemistry project for our 2 children which we had just starting homeschooling. So I packed up our kids and headed to help and learn. The soap making was a success and we enjoyed a pleasant day with my friend. Later, I was so impressed with how nice the soap left my skin feeling, I vowed I would never buy commercial soap again.

Around the same time, my tech savvy and business minded husband, Dean, thought that he would like to launch a family business on the internet. He begged me to make soap that he could sell on the internet just to learn how to do a web business. I was reluctant since I was already filling my days with homeschooling. I eventually said yes and promised 2 batches a week. That added up to 18 bars of goat milk soap. I also liked making candles so Dean put them up on his new page too. Soon he and his partner started a web business called “Simplerway”. They offered to create free webpages to crafters for a small percentage of their sales.

As it turned out the response to our soap was overwhelming. Not only did my family and friends love the way our soap left their skin, so did our new customers. Dean decided to sell his business to his partner so he could fully concentrate on our soap business. The next step was to find a name for our new soap business and incorporate. After lots of brainstorming of names that didn’t work, our daughter came up with Alabu. It was settled on and we became Alabu Inc. in February of 2000. From the very beginning, our children were enthusiastic supporters and valued employees. Both our kids are now busy raising their families, but still support and help as needs arise. We are so thankful for our family and to you our customers for making Alabu such a success.







Jan 20
by Maryclaire Mayes

What is Love?

two hearts2a
I love to celebrate. Seasons, holidays, birthdays, another sunrise, it doesn’t matter!  My family celebrated holidays and birthdays and always made it feel special, even though they didn’t spend much money on it. My dad made a good living for his family of 8, but my mom always said the paycheck went to the barn. My mom loved horses and passed that down to some of her kids. But that’s a whole nother story. You could say we were horse rich and dirt poor.

Anyway I was a surprised young bride on our first Christmas.  Dean wasn’t expressing as much excitement as me, and I was very disappointed when his first gift to me was a bed pillow! What made it worse is he had already told me I needed a new pillow and I told him I loved my pillow and it’s fine, but apparently not to him. We got over that but special days didn’t get any more special.

Next was my birthday,  no gift, no card, no special dinner with a cake like my family always had done. He might have said happy birthday, I don’t remember, but I know we did have a discussion and his explanation was his family didn’t do much to celebrate birthdays. And showing a little love on Valentines day? Forget it, the day didn’t exist to Dean.

When two people get married they bring many expectations from their upbringing to their union. More than once I have wished Dean was a little more romantic, ok a lot more! But in a day and age when most marriages don’t last, our commitment grows stronger.   We have fought through dark days, but stubbornly won’t give up on the vows we made to God and each other. We have had to learn forgiveness is ongoing hard work. We have tried and failed and tried again to work on focusing on the positive. Dean has always been there working hard and providing for me and our family. He believed it was important for me to stay home with our children and I was blessed to be able to be a full time mom. And eventually he supported me in homeschooling our children. He took over teaching them high school math! Dean is a planner and he always tried to make whatever we needed happen, and he succeeded. In time I was able to dial back my expectations for holidays. Dean, to my surprise, has tried to remember those special occasions that mean so much to me. Today we are headed towards celebrating 41 years of marriage.

Like most marriages, there have been times when it was hard to feel like working on our marriage. But trying to work through our struggles together and trying to understand each other has made us even closer. The rewards for staying the course have been multiplied over and over again through the years. There is a comfort that comes with being with someone who knows you so well and growing older together. There is special blessing in watching your kids grow up and now grandchildren too. He has always been there for our kids when they need him. Over the years Dean has softened and even become a little more romantic. Dean loves our family and he knows how blessed we are to have them close and in our lives. I love watching him interact with our grandchildren. I am so grateful for him. Happy Valentines Day Dean!