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A Clean Business

Local resident lathers up

goodness with natural soaps

The old proverb, “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime” doesn’t seem to be limited to piscines. In the case of Hicksville resident William Artuso, learning a skill to solve a problem applied to soaps.

Artuso has sensitive skin and many soap products would leave his skin red and irritated. Instead of just buying all natural soap at the store, he decided to learn how to make his own.  

“A lot of soaps irritate me, so I decided to make my own just to try it out and I really liked it," said Artuso. "It ended up being my creative outlet."

What started as a hobby and way for him to relieve the stress of having to find special soaps, has turned into a side business for the 24-year-old. Artuso Soaps and Co. recently launched a website for online orders and the soap maker himself can be found selling his fragrant soaps at local holiday craft fairs.

 “I didn’t expect to make a business out of it, it’s just something I did to calm down,” Artuso says. "But I figured if I made a business out of it, it could be something I did at the end of the day and could help pay for a little bit of graduate school.”

Artuso makes all the soaps in his kitchen using either a shea butter or glycerin base. He’s always loved soap products, and learned more about making them by watching YouTube videos and reading books on how to color and design them. All of his soaps use natural powders and fragrances, such as sage, rose hip, and carrot powder, which are rich in nutrients for the skin.  

Artuso Soaps and Co. has nine different types of scents. The Signature Brand line has Artuso’s mainstays such as “magic apple,” “royal Victorian,” and “mint chocolate chip.” There’s a Healing Brand line, which is made with essential oils and natural coloring, designed to help relieve mild skin conditions such as acne or eczema. The brand features scents such as the sweet smelling “energy and soapwort” and Artuso’s personal favorite, “lemongrass and sage.” There’s only one soap under the Tribute Brand line, but it has a special meaning to Artuso. “Angel Wine” is dedicated to the memory of his grandmother and is one of the first soaps Artuso created. Proceeds from the sweet, floral smelling soap go toward the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

 “I wanted something that I could use as a way to give back to charity. The money my soaps can raise for certain organizations may not be much, but the attention they get raises awareness. Awareness of these charities and organizations brings attention to how we can do our part to help people in need,” he says.

Artuso’s soaps are cheaper than similar natural soap products one might find at stores or on the internet. Each bar runs under $4.

“I probably should price them higher, but I don’t want to do that because then they’re just unaffordable and then no one wants them,” Artuso says. “I’ve learned that lower prices doesn’t necessarily mean it appeals to people more, but it’s what I feel are the right prices for the soaps. I’m not looking to build a mansion, I’m just looking for people to be able to have affordable homemade soaps.”

A recent graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in history Artuso says that this whole experience has given him a crash course in business.

“It’s taught me a lot about the business world,” he says. “I studied history so everything I know is dates and numbers, and now I’m seeing how all these people in history made their businesses succeed. It’s a lot all at once, but it’s fun to learn something new, especially something that’s useful for the future.”

Looking ahead, Artuso says he’s not sure whether he’ll still be making soaps in 10 years.

“I haven’t really thought about it. I’m just having fun building it up to what it is and what it’ll be tomorrow,” Artuso says. “If it reaches a point to where it’s big enough for me to think about in 10 years, I’ll worry about it then. I’m just happy it’ll be around tomorrow and that I can have fun with it right now.”

Find out more about Artuso Soaps and Co. at www.artusosoaps.com

News

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

The Acchords Concert

April 26

Senior Citizen Luncheon

May 1

Curtains

May 1-3



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com