Store features handmade, natural soaps

Family opens sudsy enterprise in Jewell

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Billie Shelton Rachel Uttecht stands in front of a display in her Jewell shop, Dirty Kids Soap. She produces handmade vegan soaps which she sells along with essential oils, therapy products, bath and body supplies. Uttecht and her husband Jeremy and children moved to Jewell in 2013 from Montana.

JEWELL — A Jewell couple has combined their interests and skills to open a new Main Street business in Jewell. They call it Dirty Kids Soap, a rather eclectic store full of natural products made by Rachel Uttecht . In the store you’ll also find artisan foods from Iowa, products for bath and body care, vintage-inspired home décor, jewelry, gifts, and some antiques and collectibles. Tucked around here and there in the store are some collectibles and antiques that are for sale as well.

Rachel Uttecht first started making soap to help her own skin issues, and the line has grown to include 70 products that are all-natural and chemical-free. “I make soap the old-fashioned way in the basement of my house from my own recipes,” she explained. “It takes a month and is made in small batches.”

In addition to the all-natural vegan handmade soap, also for sale at the store are essential oils, therapy products, bath and body supplies, and aluminum-free deodorants. Uttecht said she came up with all the products herself and stresses that they are not all just for kids.

Uttecht’s husband, Jeremy, is involved in the business, too. Through his DK Design Studio, he designs prints and other objects to sell at the store.

The Uttechts came to Jewell from Missoula, Montana, in 2013, because they were looking for a central location with easy access to places like Omaha and Chicago. Rachel had already been making soap for several years by the time they settled in central Iowa. The name for her business came about when she had young, dirty kids who are now seven- and nine-years-old.

Rachel Uttecht is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the products she makes and offers for sale from her shop, at the Des Moines farmers market, and on her Web site

“It’s good for everyone,” she said of Dirty Kids Soap products. “It’s good for your skin and for keeping your skin healthy. This is just another element to being a healthy person.”

Uttecht, who holds a B.S. in business and accounting, received help from JADE and Hamilton Hometowns in establishing her business in downtown Jewell. She sells her products wholesale to about 20 stores. Dirty Kids Soap is especially popular with customers ages 25 to 40, she notes.

Fragrances for Dirty Kids products make her store smell good, too — peppermint stick, pumpkin pie, lavender fields, the logger, pumpkin, and her newest — cloverfields — to name just a few.

Dirty Kids Soap is open on Main Street in Jewell during regular business hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.