1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Boeccure is a soap and cosmetic company started in 2014 by Baton Rouge natives Kyle Baker and Melinda Thiessen, Graphic Design graduates from the LSU School of Art & Design. We hand-craft small-batch natural bath products in a studio at N the Art Space, which is an artist studio community in the Bocage Cultural District
2.) What are you presenting at the BRMMF?
We will be giving a presentation and demonstration on how to hand-make soap using the cold process method. Real soap is different from the bars that you will often find in stores in the sense that “true” soap is made from the combination of fats and oils with a sodium hydroxide solution, an ancient method used to create soap since 2800 B.C.
3.) Why is making important to you?
Boeccure grew out of our love for craft, health, and nature. We knew we wanted to start a business that involved making things by hand, but it took us a while to decide what exactly that would be.
When we thought deeper about why we wanted craft to be the foundation of our business, it became apparent that our product needed to be more than just a material good or commodity, but something that could deliver an experience that exemplified what we believe is the cornerstone of craft – quality.
In our time of mass production, when quality, consumer health, and consequence to the environment are often an afterthought, we believed that we could provide an eye-opening, revolutionary experience with one of the things we apply to our skin every day – soap.
We create soap and other bath products to bring quality back into our everyday lives, and help communities realize that by making better choices about what you consume, either externally or internally, you take better care of yourself, your family, and your planet.
Craft represents so many things that have largely been forgotten today – not just quality, but also tradition and community, along with the appreciation and stewardship of our diverse and abundant natural environment. At Boeccure, our goal is to manifest and advocate all of these things.
4.) What was the first thing you remember making?
Melinda: Purses out of printer paper, staples, and puffy paint.
Kyle: Spaceships and houses out of legos.
5.) What have you made that you are most proud of?
Melinda: What a tough question. The LSU School of Art and Design really challenged me to make pieces that I was/am proud of while I was in school. The one I think I appreciate the most still today is a bronze sculpture I made in a foundry class at LSU. It’s a small abstract, figural piece that represents our implicit need for companionship and community. I still often need to be humbled by this thought, and be reminded of my role in the lives’ of others.
Kyle: I’d have to say I’m most proud of a photo I took in my early college years. It’s a double exposure print of my friend by a campfire. It’s the best photo I’ve ever taken, and was printed in my college apartment with a makeshift setup.
6.) Given an unlimited budget, what would you make?
As a couple, our dream is to create a multi-use, non-profit art and craft center, with many different spaces for creators to rent studios, share tools and facilities, use communal spaces for galleries, installations, outreach, educational workshops, creative collaboration, and fellowship