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A clean slate After retirement, woman begins new career making soap


ONA, W.Va. — A career discovered in retirement also keeps an ancient Appalachian art alive.

Janie Brownfield, owner of Brookstone Soaps, said she had husband, Ron, a physician, bought the business in 2018 from Dwight and Sharon McMillan.

"Sharon was a patient of Ron's and she would always bring him a bar of soap when she had an appointment and he loved it," Mrs. Brownfield explained. When they retired, Mrs. Brownfield said, her husband told her and they decided to buy the business, which they operate in a detached garage at their house.

She said they make soap the old-fashioned way, using the cold-press method with lye and water and then adding oils, fats and fragrances.