Lather Up with Mt. Lebanon Soap Company
What do you get when you combine a chemical engineer and a massage therapist? A handmade soap company! Jersey-natives Chris and Erin Csernica first started making soaps together before they were married; it was an activity that utilized Chris’s experience as a chemist and allowed them to have a creative activity that yielded usable products! When the pair got married, they even made soap bars to give as favors to their guests.
After Chris and Erin got married, Erin gave birth to their first child, Summer. Summer has down syndrome, and Erin knew she wanted to start an additional business that would set aside money for her daughter's future. She and her husband decided that a small business selling soaps was the perfect project, and in 2011 Mt. Lebanon Soap Company was founded.
At the beginning, Mt. Lebanon Soap Company was a side-job that grew slowly, but steadily, over the years. Up until the pandemic, Erin worked at her massage therapy practice, which operated for twenty years. Chris still works with the department of defense, though now that the soap company has grown, both have devoted more time to the company. What started out as a two-person operation in their kitchen soon turned into a full-time job that required half their house to be turned into a soap studio. Their daughter Summer and their younger son Callum joined in on the production, too.
Mt. Lebanon Soap Company, in addition to having an inspiring story of family and love, was also created with respect for the environment in mind. Their packaging is made from recycled cardboard that is compostable, and crafted with ingredients safe for the earth and our bodies. “We use plant based oils,” Erin says. “Our products always start with olive oil for it’s mild and moisturizing properties across skin types. [We then add] pure essential oils or phthalate free fragrance oils along with select additives [to] make each soap bar unique.” They also utilize fresh ingredients, like tomato and cucumber puree, to create unique scents. They have seasonal scents like “Fresh Snow” and “Ribbon Candy”. There are also year-round staples such as “Jersey Shore” and New-Jersey shaped lavender soaps.
When not creating their unique products, Summer spends her time dancing. Callum enjoys playing soccer, and Chris coaches his son’s team. For all four of them family time is very important– they do fun activities together like weekly pizza-and-movie nights. Shop our collection of Mt. Lebanon Soap here and support this wonderful Hunterdon County family!
- Tina Bologna