Seattle’s Roxanne Moore competes in a soap-making-themed episode of the new “Meet Your Makers Showdown” on streaming service discovery+ this weekend. She brings a love of the Pacific Northwest outdoors to a challenge where she has to create a collection of three bars of soap inspired by one of America’s national parks.
“Meet Your Makers Showdown,” streaming starting Nov. 27, features four artisans from a different craft field in each episode (stained glass in one episode, candle making in another) who craft projects and seek the approval of three judges: singer/candle purveyor LeAnn Rimes, craft expert/author Mark Montano and a guest judge. They compete for a $10,000 prize and the title of Maker Champion. Actor and crafting enthusiast Chrissy Metz (“This is Us”) hosts the show.
Moore chose Olympic National Park as her inspiration after toying with the idea of Mount Rainier.
“We had to have a collection and I didn’t want to do three soaps of the same mountain no matter how magnificent it is,” Moore says of her choice to go with Olympic National Park. “I spend a lot of time on the peninsula and Hurricane Ridge is somewhere I always take family.”
In addition to a photo-realistic Hurricane Ridge soap, Moore made two other Olympic National Park soap designs: One features the coast line and an orca and the other is a wood grain-patterned soap inspired by the rainforest.
In addition to Moore, the soap-making episode features Seattle’s Anne-Marie Faiola, CEO of craft-making raw materials supplier Bramble Berry Handcraft Provisions, as the episode’s guest judge.
“They call her ‘the soap queen,’ ” Moore says. “She does tons of educational videos and she has a big social media presence so when I saw her come out [on stage during filming] she was immediately recognizable.”
Moore, who resides in the Northgate neighborhood, grew up in Florida and moved to Seattle in 2015. She works as assistant director for clinical research operations at the University of Washington out of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in South Lake Union.
With a background in molecular biology, the 34-year-old Moore says she’s been “a very crafty person” her whole life, dabbling in painting, pottery, drawing and costume sewing. She got into soap after creating a few loaves with her best friend, Whitney Schneider — already a soap maker — several years ago on a visit back to Florida.
Moore’s now had her hobby-as-a-side-business for about three years, taking orders every other month at CapricaSoapery.com, its name a “shameless ‘Battlestar Galactica’ reference,” Moore says (Caprica was a location on the 2004-09 Syfy series). She posts about upcoming soap releases on her Instagram, with the next release slated for Dec. 10.
“It’s gained a life of its own,” Moore says of her side hustle. “I do scheduled releases, have an announcement about when I’ll do the release, and when everything becomes available, it sells out in a day or so of when things are posted. It’s not super-high volume. Everything is handmade so each individual loaf only makes 10-20 bars of soap.”
So far Moore has only sold her soap via online orders. She started the process to sell soap at night markets in Seattle but then COVID-19 happened. Her goal remains to get a booth at the Fremont Market.
“I’d like to be somewhere in-person once a month because I don’t do this full time and a lot of markets want you there every weekend,” Moore says. “So for now it’s online-only. And honestly, it’s nice: With my business model I’m able to make stuff over four-to-six weeks and then have a sale and pack and ship [what I’ve made] all at once.”
Moore learned about “Meet Your Makers Showdown” from Schneider, whom producers consulted about the feasibility of including soap-making in the show’s first season. Months went by and the friends heard nothing until they saw an ad seeking applicants for the show.
“Whitney applied and I wasn’t going to but she forced me into it so I made a video and heard nothing for six months and forgot about it,” Moore says. Then producers got in touch. Moore was cast but Schneider was not, which Moore says she feels badly about. Moore flew to Los Angeles for a week in May to shoot the episode.
Whatever the outcome, win or lose, Moore says soaps inspired by the Olympic National Park designs she made on “Meet Your Makers Showdown” will likely become available through her website, probably in a January or February release.