Big Sky Soap Arizona showcases the artisan craft, meticulous art of soapmaking

Arizona Big Sky Soap is located in Phoenix.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 1:17 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2023 at 9:46 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Jennifer Himel is the soap maker at Big Sky Soap Arizona.

She also goes by Sa Povi meaning “tobacco flower” in Tewa, her mother’s native language. She is from the Village of Tewa on the Hopi Reservation and comes from the Bear Clan. Being half-Native American and half-Caucasian, Himel has learned that water and oil do mix…in soap!

She said she’s passionate about making soaps, scrubs, and creams— all products that her customers love--each in small batches, just one bar or jar at a time. Soapmaking is a slower artisan work that often stretches over weeks and even months to achieve a proper cure. Still, the typical American family can only afford so much when it comes to pantry items, so Jennifer creates at a lower cost price to be more accessible. She said she cares very much about sustainability and intentionally uses lard instead of palm oil in her soaps and wraps each in coffee filters instead of plastic.

Jennifer Himel has many kinds of sustainable soaps to share with the community at Big Sky Soaps

Himel started selling her soaps with a Hopi peddlers permit in the summer of 2018 while working in the school library at the elementary school and looking for something to do over the summer. After reading a few books in the library about homemade crafts to make and sell, she set her sites on soap. As a single mom, she said she had to learn to prioritize self-care through affordable luxuries.

Himel began making products that kept her skin clear and healthy while also using greater concentrations of natural ingredients instead of the body wash and serums she was used to buying. She set up her first sale at the Hopi Farmer’s Market and sold out! Since then, Himel said she has mastered her soap recipes while continuing to grow her online business and hopefully someday a retail store. The products she makes change with the seasons, for example in the summer Himel has a sunflower soap, and in the fall and winter, she has squash and Hopi tea soaps. Himel also makes jewelry and rosaries.

Big Sky Soap Arizona

PHONE: 602-472-6044

ADDRESS: 2001 W. Luke Ave Phoenix, AZ 85015



Instagram account: @bigskysoapaz

Facebook account: @bigskysoapaz

TikTok: @bigskysoapaz