Our goal is to produce high-quality, handcrafted skincare products that utilize natural ingredients and locally/US manufactured sources whenever possible. Our mission is to provide the best product we can. We put a lot of care and time into individually crafting each product in our line with a real purpose and result, all while using the minimum amount of ingredients. Simple, genuine results.

In the Beginning

Before Eric joined the Navy, he was a systems engineer at a super computer company. There wasn’t really a dress code or a shaving policy. All that changed when he enlisted in the military over six years ago. Suddenly, the required daily shaving was wreaking havoc on his skin. He was getting breakouts and ingrown hairs at a rather frequent rate. And after a couple years of trying virtually everything he could, he started to look into other ways this could be remedied than pouring countless dollars into replacing his cartridge almost every shave. That’s when he found some wet shave forums on Reddit.

As Eric interacted with the community he learned quite a bit, but having just had our second child and living on fixed income, he knew we didn’t have much money to spare. So he began shopping around for a budget starter kit. And $40 later, he had his first one. The soap was a budget hard puck and wasn’t the easiest/best to lather, but it gave him a better shave than he had ever had. It was after that first shave that the infatuation grew. He moved onto a cream sampler kit and after another month, I bought him his first artisan soap.

It was after his first week of using artisan soaps that Eric realized that that was one of the best shaves of his life. After that time, he introduced me to wet shaving as well. Most often, we know women tend to shy away from the hobby of wet shaving and it wasn’t until after my first leg shave with a brush and blade that I realized what I had been missing as well. We were both instantly hooked and started looking at other scents, but knew that our budget couldn’t allow for too much extravagance. So we started looking into making our own shave soap for personal use.

Eric thought he would chronicle our summer of attempting to make shave soap (which is quite different than the bath soaps I was already making) with the Reddit community. One picture of jars of rendered tallow suddenly sent Eric’s inbox on fire of people willing to test the soap as well. We hadn’t even made a single batch of soap yet and people were already lining up. After several failed attempts, we finally had something we thought might be worth putting on our faces and legs. And after some more testing, we sent forth our offerings to the community. The response we got was quite positive and the constructive criticisms were invaluable.

After the Summer of 2014, Mickey Lee Soapworks was born. Mickey, a riff on Eric’s nickname in high school (our last name is McDaniels). Lee as a homage to Samantha’s maiden name.


Eric and I, his wife, Samantha, founded Mickey Lee Soapworks in the early Fall of 2014 with the goal of creating quality products that would help soothe and treat the skin, while also providing some extra income for our family. The initial goal, actually, wasn’t even to start a business, it was to make some quality shave products that we could afford on our limited enlisted pay. Eric, is active duty Navy, specializing in IT and cyber security. I, Samantha, am the keeper of the house, runner of errands, and mother to our two boys, Kyle and Ethan (our shelf stockers and delivery/label boys).

Eric runs the technical side of the business including website design/maintenance, label designs, most interaction with our stockists, “hype man,” aiding in scent development, and the sanity/calm to my storm. Meanwhile, I focus on research/development of the product line, production, labeling, and making sure dinner is on the table each night. Together, we work hard to bring out the best in each other so that we may provide to you the best products we can. Family is key and our family is behind all that we do.