Born to a family ripe with joy, I’ve always been an entertainer and educator of sorts. Discovery, creation, and sharing were encouraged and, in turn, nurtured in me a deep desire to form connections with others. As a teenager, I became more interested in healthy lifestyle choices and how what we do effects others and the environment. When I became a wife and mother, I realized how truly important the lessons my family taught me of frugality and stewardship were. As I looked around me, I realized that others could benefit from, and maybe even enjoy, the fruits of my labor.

            I bake the bread of my great-grandmother, I tend my garden as the memories of my MawMaw whisper through the wind on my brow, and I barter for services in the shadow of my PawPaw’s eternal presence. I do my best to live my life in a way that pleases God and helps others. I devote myself to being a wife and mother, contributing much of my time to ensuring that my family can attain our healthy choices while maintaining a budget. 

            My journey into soapmaking began of frugality, seeded into learning, and blossomed into my art and creative outlet. In the early 2000’s, I began making liquid castile and laundry soap for my family, to avoid allergens in an economical way.  I refer to November 5, 2011 as my “soapiversary”, because that is when a friend gave me a private class and I took the leap into the science and creativity of cold process solid soapmaking. I started helping her with classes the next year, and eventually started teaching classes myself. This is the Whole Orrdeal. To show you part, is to show you all. I live life full force and I love to encourage others to reach for their dreams as well. Follow me as I share my craft and my journey and join me as I extend a branch of community through my handcrafted artisan soap and body products.


All images, text, and designs are the intellectual and creative property of Andrea Orr-Gilroy and the Whole Orrdeal Homestead Creations, unless otherwise noted.