If You're Not Barefoot, You're Overdressed


My name is Claudia Zanes. I am a musician, music therapist, and the owner and creator of CLEO Soaps LLC. For me, soap making is very much like music making. It calls for creativity, focus, vision, heart, improvisation, patience, and a love of joyous possibilities that can be shared with the world.

After moving to New York City to marry the love of my life (and my biggest supporter) Dan, I found myself becoming more and more conscious of the products I was putting on my body. My skin had started behaving badly and I began to explore natural solutions. During this period I took a soap making class that completely changed my life. The inspiration was immediate and profound! I began making various types of soaps for friends and family. After months of glowing reviews and feedback, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own company.

CLEO Soaps are made in small batches with high quality skin loving oils and butters including Haitian castor oil - a signature ingredient that I use in all of the bars for sale here. It’s loaded with vitamin E, proteins, and fatty acids. Castor oil is also known to be extremely moisturizing. My Haitian parents put it on my skin when I was a kid and I still use it regularly to this day and now you can, too. All of the ingredients in CLEO soaps are chosen for their qualities but it’s particularly exciting for me to share this often over-looked, yet essential, part of my culture with the world.

You might find yourself asking “Why CLEO Soaps?” Well, Cleo is my nickname, and it had the kind of ring I was looking for. 

When I am not creating soaps, I am writing, recording, and performing all-ages folk music with my husband, Dan. We are family musicians with a passion for bringing handmade social music to people of all ages. Soap making requires a great deal of testing and we are quite possibly the cleanest and best smelling duo in show business.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about me and CLEO soaps.



                                                                      Photo: Mark Mann