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About The Nova Studio

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The Nova Studio offers the widest range of education to be found on making soap, and natural bath & body products. While some people take our classes just for fun or to make natural gifts, many of our students are interested in making products to sell & have started their own businesses. Either way, all of our students are creative people that love to make it themselves. And we love to teach them!

It all started back in 2003 when Lori Nova Endres opened the doors of her brightly colored studio in charming downtown Point Richmond, California, and taught a small group of eager wanna-be soapmakers how to make handmade soap. She taught most of the classes at first, but then soon invited other talented teachers to come & share their passions as well. Since that time, The Nova Studio has hosted classes nearly every weekend that teach people from all around the world how to make Handmade Soap, Natural Perfumes, Candles, Bath & Body Products and so much more. In 2013, a whole decade later, Studio Manager Cassie Durant & Soap Teacher Ruth Esteves (founder of Sirona Springs Handmade Soap) both partnered with Lori to form The Nova Studio, LLC.

Lori Nova EndresAbout Lori: Lori’s foray into the world of making bath & body products began in 2000, after finishing graduate school, when she began making natural bath & body products in her kitchen as a way to make family & friends homemade, sustainable gifts. Shortly thereafter she began teaching classes, combining a passion for this addictive new hobby with her training & love for teaching. Lori is a proud member of The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild (HSCG) since 2005, and has presented at four annual conferences (Hot Process Soap in 2007, Cold Process Swirling in 2008, Coloring Soap with Confidence in 2009, and Natural Perfumery in 2013). When not working, Lori enjoys trying to keep up with her toddler Sammy, who loves to smell soap almost as much as she loves to make it.

Ruth EstevesAbout Ruth: Ruth started making soap in 2006 because it was fun, creative & practical. She took up what looked like a simple little hobby & fell in love with a centuries-old tradition that blends science & art. This love led to Ruth's founding of Sirona Springs Handmade Soap, teaching soapmaking classes, & ultimately becoming one of the co-owners of The Nova Studio. She has spoken at annual conferences for the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild in 2012 (Making Cold Process Soap with Alternative Liquids), 2013 (Soap Cupcake and More) & 2014 (Testing Natural Colorants in Soap), and recently published her first eBook, Coloring Soap Naturally. When not making or thinking about soap, she's probably watching a DIY renovation TV show or playing a word game.

Cassie DurantAbout Cassie: After a string of office jobs as a student at Pepperdine University, Cassie replied to a Craigslist ad for a "Rock Star Administrative Assistant" in 2010 & got far more than she bargained for in The Nova Studio. After spending 2 years as an administrative employee, coming on board as an owner was a huge step - but one she's thrilled to take. Her favorite tasks at The Nova Studio are (believe it or not) accounting & social networking. If you've spoken to someone from the other side of the screen or phone, it's probably Cassie. As far as products go - Cassie is particularly hooked on natural soap, lotion & lip balm (she goes through at least 3 tubes of natural lip balm a year!). Cassie once won a typing competition against her husband with a record 92 WPM & has been known to spend way too much of her free time lately learning to code CSS, HTML, JavaScript, PHP & more.

Thanks for visiting The Nova Studio website and reading our story. Have a look around, click on the links to find out more about the studio, our fantastic teachers, and what we have to offer. To keep up with the latest classes, offers and general “goings-on,” feel free to subscribe to our email newsletter or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

We’re here for our students, so feel free to reach out, give us a suggestion or a comment, and tell us how we can help you!

Ruth, Cassie & Lori

~Ruth Esteves, Cassie Durant & Lori Nova Endres

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