The Smoky Hill River Festival is an annual homecoming for Sandra Knox.
Originally from Salina, Knox and her husband now live in Albuquerque, N.M. For more than 15 years, Knox has sold her handmade bath and body products at the Smoky Hill River Festival.
“I have a lot of customers in Kansas and in Salina specifically because this is either my 16th or 17th year participating in the Smoky Hill River Festival, so it’s a treat for me to come here. I get to see longtime customers and I get to make new friends and new customers, also,” Knox said.
Knox’s company, Sage Mountain Soap Company, was born from a personal need for products that wouldn’t irritate her sensitive skin.
“I started doing this about 22 or 23 years ago. I originally got into it because I have super sensitive skin and am unable to use commercial products myself,” Knox explained.
“I started making my own products and then just gave them away to friends and family. People really loved them and said ‘oh you should start a business doing this,’ and so I gradually started doing it as a business,” she added.
The Sage Mountain Soap Company offers soaps, lip therapy, cuticle cream, and lotion bars, Knox said.
According to the company’s website, the products “are 100% natural and contain no chemicals, animal products, sulfates, parabens or preservatives. Sage Mountain soaps are created using the traditional cold process saponification method and utilize the skin soothing and moisturizing oils of palm, coconut, and olive.”
Her soaps include cinnamon, cucumber, green tea and Kaolin clay, jasmine, lavender and cocoa butter, lemon and olive oil, patchouli and almond, oatmeal and honey, peppermint, chamomile and lavender, sage and cedar, sweetgrass, and tea tree and sage.
Additionally, the company offers a selection of lip therapy products including magic melon, almond, peppermint patty, and viva vanilla.
How does Knox choose the products she makes?
“I pick things I like and like to work with. For instance, I really love lemon grass and my lemongrass and olive oil soap is a very popular soap,” Knox said.
“Occasionally, I’ll get customers who repeatedly ask for the same products and so I’ll try them and if they sell well, then I’ll keep them in my line. But it’s probably just me choosing what I like,” she said and laughed.
If you didn’t get a chance to see Knox’s booth at the river festival, you can check out her products at sagemountainsoap.com.