Bayou Soap: William Terry, the Grammy-Award-Winning Soap Master General of New Orleans

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA--  In 1993, Little Richard sang fervently about the pleasures of bath time, appearing on Sesame Street and performing an electrified arrangement of "Rubber Duckie."  His performance is proof that, everyone under the stresses of life knows that every day begins with the intimate experience of cleansing ones mind body and soul.

However, no bath time is complete without a bar of soap.

"If you are creative, your creativity transfers," says William Terry.

William Terry is a grammy-award-winning musician who is quite proficient with the bass and saxophone.  You can see and hear him play in New Orleans with trumpet player, Shamar Allen.

William Terry is also, a towering  dreamer who creates fine soaps spiced with organic ingredients that sell across the country at local shops and in Whole Foods.

Upon using his soap, you can feel the music and the artistry of the sudz.  His hand operated soap cutter uses guitar strings after all!  Seriously... he brilliantly constructed a soap cutter using guitar strings.  

He was once a novice.  Now, he is known throughout the city affectionately as "Soap Master General."

"I had a friend who owned a salon and I was giving her the things that I was making.  One day she says, I want to place an order; and I said place an order for what?  At that point, I knew I had to learn how to make soap from scratch."

Inspired, his fondness for soap carried over to work as a traveling musician.   In 2008, he was touring with Terrence Simien.  They won a grammy for Best Zydeco Music Album, “Live! Worldwide.

"I was on the road with Terrance Simien and in between road trips, I was studying my soap making.  This was right after Katrina with that whole market economy.  People were getting their hustle on!  At my first event, I took 22 soaps out and I didn't know what was going to happen.  I sold all of my inventory," says Terry.

Bayou Soap Company had a small start but would grow, just as the bubbles, multiply in the tub!

Working 16 hour days, Terry uses natural ingredients like lavender, red clay and activated charcoal to produce three hundred bars daily.

There are plenty soaps to choose from out of his collection.  His favorite bar is "Cool Citrus Basil."   He makes a bar called the "Ginger Exfoliator," which has southern stone ground grits to help slough off the dead skin.   During the holidays, he makes a seasonal favorite, called, "Peppermint Candy Cane"

In addition to selling soap at Whole Foods and at local shops, Terry sometimes sets up booths at the various festivals around Louisiana.  If you are fortunate enough to meet him, you simply can't miss him.  Terry is tall in stature with waist length locks and he is usually sporting a colorful dashiki.  His fans have love for both the soap and the "Soap Master General" artist behind the soap.

"At the booths, they like my hair so they usually want a picture," says Terry.


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.