10 Questions From a Dead Girl with AJSweetSoap Founder
Denise from AJ Sweet Soap talks TWD soaps, alternate realities, making Daryl bathe and more in this 10 Questions From a Dead Girl
I have a dirty little secret. As a walker with no legs, I get dirty. And I stink. Maybe that’s two secrets. Or maybe my secret is already out.
Anyway, you’ll imagine how surprised I was when I lathered up with a bar of soap that actually left me smelling not like rotting flesh but sweet berries. Even better, the soap looked just like the winged vest of none other than Daryl Dixon.
That unique bar of soap is just one of the dozens of The Walking Dead soaps that you’ll find in the etsy shop of Denise, who runs AJSweetSoap. This week, I got to talk to her about all things soapy and TWD.
1. How did you start making TWD soap?
I hate to admit it, but I was late to the Walking Dead party. I didn’t start watching the series until mid-Season 4. Just to see what all the hype was about (and convinced that I would not agree with it at all), I decided to watch the first few episodes. Very quickly, my entire family was hooked and we ended up binge-watching the first seasons to catch up – all within a matter of 2 weeks. My creativity wasn’t sparked until Season Two when Daryl was seen with his Ear Necklace. My first reaction was “Ewww, who would wear ears?” but then it quickly became “Hey wait – that would be a cool soap! I can make that!”
2. As an expert on soap, what strategy would you use to get Daryl to finally take a bath?
Oddly enough, this is not the first time I’ve been asked about Daryl and his poor hygiene. I think this is why I was determined to meet him at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey this past October – to not only personally give him one of my soaps but to also smell him (yes – I wanted to sniff Daryl!) I’m sure all Daryl fans are used to the comments that are made to them about how he must smell after not bathing for so many seasons – I am happy to report that after standing next to him, Norman smells absolutely amazing! I presented Norman with an Ear Necklace soap of his own, and his reaction to it (he wasn’t sure if he should bathe with them or eat them!) would lead me to believe that if my soap had been present during the zombie apocalypse, Mr. Dixon would have had the ladies swooning over quite a few shower scenes! Of course, if the ears didn’t do it, our Moonshine soap would definitely have done the trick!
3. What goes into making a bar of soap?
I have never considered myself to be a soapmaker. There is so much that goes into the true soapmaking process and I have the greatest respect for those who are masters of the art. As a soap crafter, I use a melt and pour soap base that is cut and handcrafted into the various designs and styles that you’ll see in my shops. The soap is melted, scented, colored, and either poured into one of the hundreds of molds that I own or free-formed into a design. I find that working with the melt and pour allows me to get as creative as I’d like, while helping me achieve designs that are as realistic and detailed as possible. Plus, since it’s a glycerin-base, it’s also vegan-friendly.
4. Who’s your favorite character on The Walking Dead and why?
I absolutely love Daryl – why? Because he’s Daryl! (and remember, I did get to bathe him with my soap during the zombie apocalypse!) I’d have to say Carol is my favorite character overall. The transformation that Carol has gone through from season to season is amazing. She’s grown so much from being a scarred, abused wife and mother who not only loses her only child, but sees her turn into a monster who is then killed before her eyes. She’s developed into a bad-ass force to be reckoned with who never ceases to amaze. To go from baking cookies in her kitchen to burning people alive on the Kill Floor, you know there’s nothing she won’t do to protect those she now considers family. I was so glad the character development varied from the comic because Carol is amazing – and hopefully the role gets Melissa McBride the Emmy she deserves. She’s been overlooked far too long.
5. I know you made a Bob’s tainted meat soap. How do you think the show would have changed if he hadn’t been bitten and managed to survive the ordeal with Gareth and the termites?
I have to admit, Bob was not a favorite character of mine right away. It was the tragedy at the termite’s grill that really made me feel for him and I started to watch him more closely during reruns, which is how the ‘Bob’s Foot’ soap came to be. I learned to really like and appreciate the character. Bob wanted to make the most of every situation, hoping to find the positive side of things. I think he was just grateful to no longer be alone in his journey and wanted to focus on a future. He brought about a warmer, vulnerable side to Sasha which made his death even more heartbreaking. Her character grew and evolved because of Bob and if he had not become tainted meat, I believe the two would have given Glenn and Maggie a run for their money as the cutest apocalyptic couple. RIP Bob.
6. What would you like to see happen in Season 7?
I am stoked for Season 7! I am a huge Negan fan and I can’t wait to see how the character evolves and the utter turmoil and sheer terror he brings! Unfortunately I believe there will be several heartbreaking casualties within our group, but I think we’ll be meeting lots of new, interesting people along the way. In particular I’m looking forward to the Jesus character development and how he fits into our group dynamic. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I should also take this opportunity to say that people need to stop obsessing over who Negan killed in the Season 6 finale. I’m amazed that so many people are still rewatching the final scene to look for all kinds of ‘clues’ as to who’s head was done in by Lucille. As Negan so tactfully said – “it’s an emotional moment, I get it” but now it’s just getting old – and the guesses are becoming more and more ludicrous. Stop, people – let’s all look forward to some surprises in Season 7!
7. Which of your soaps – TWD related or otherwise – would you recommend for Michonne and Rick to take into the tub for a romantic bath for two?
I would have to go with our “Richonne” double heart soap. It has a pistol on one heart and a Katana on the other. Scented in our Temptation oil – or perhaps Lick Me All Over oil could be more fun!
8. Which TWD soaps are your most popular?
I would have to say our first soap, the Daryl Ear Necklace, continues to be our most popular. It’s been featured in so many places, including Atlanta Magazine and Buzzfeed. Of course, having a picture with Norman Reedus holding them doesn’t hurt their popularity either! It’s amazing that they were one of our biggest sellers for Christmas, with some customers telling me they were going to hang them in their Christmas Trees!
9. Which season of TWD did you like the best and why?
I have a few favorite episodes within each season, but I think Season 5 and Terminus stands out the most. That was the creepiest place ever and there was so much speculation as to what kind of place it was going to turn out to be along the journey. Of course there was Bob and his tainted meat on the grill, and Gareth had a way of speaking that just gave you chills. No one can forget The Ringleader, The Archer and the Samurai heading into the traincar. That slaughter scene in the church was horrifically intense – stuff horror movies are made of. We also can’t forget the Carol/Daryl, Sasha/Tyreese and Rick/Carl/Judith reunions! There are so many great quotes from this season, too, which is what inspired my Walking Dead quote bars.
10. Which of TWD soaps that you’ve made is your favorite and why?
Since my Walking Dead soaps are my unique designs they are all kinda like my baby and I love them all. If I had to choose, I’d say there are 3 absolute favorites – the Daryl Ear Necklace is my favorite because it was the one that “started it all” for my TWD soap line and one that we have the fondest memories from Walker Stalker Con. It’s become a celebrity of sorts. The “Look at the Flowers, Lizzie” soap happens to be a personal favorite as well since it originated from my favorite episode, “The Grove.” It combines a little of everything that touched that episode. Beauty, innocence and of course, bloodshed. That episode was amazing on so many levels! Lastly, I would have to include Lucille. I LOVE making my Lucille baseball bat soap – there’s just something about working with blood, dirt and barbed wire with a soap that’s just so invigorating! I love the reactions I get with it.
And how would you like to WIN a couple of these awesome soaps? Well, now’s your chance. In honor of gaining my 6000th Twitter follower, I’m doing a giveaway. The prize is a Women of TWD Pack. Check out the picture and enter below!