Desert Bells offers a wide selection of handmade soaps and bath products made from natural materials. Photograph by Inga Hendrickson.

ANGELA BELL STARTED MAKING SOAP in her kitchen. When she ran out of room, the operation spilled over into the living room, until eventually Bell’s husband, Dalton, built her a shop on their Lovington property.  

What was once Bell’s way to use surplus milk from the family’s 20 goats has evolved over the past five years into Desert Bells, which makes and sells cold-process soaps, bath bombs, lotions, and more. “We used it. I gave it as gifts—all of our friends had plenty of soap,” she says. “I kept wanting to make more.”  

The mother of four loves the chemistry and the creativity of soapmaking. A 10-pound batch takes about three hours and, after curing for four to six weeks, yields 32 bars. Her youngest son’s allergies and her own sensitive skin mean she’s careful about her ingredients. Her honey soap, textured with bubble wrap to create the honeycomb edges, uses honey from the Bee Man, in Hobbs. One of her favorites, the Yin Yang face soap, blends bentonite clay and activated charcoal to form the symbol of interconnectedness. 

Desert Bells is a true family effort. At craft fairs, her 15-year-old daughter, Katie—who has her own line of candles—lays out the soap. Her 13-year-old son, Jackson, puts out the lotions. Dalton chats up the customers. “Everybody helps so much,” says Bell.

Story Sidebar

Purchase Desert Bells products in Lovington, at Sweetie Pie’s restaurant (1301 W. Ave. D) and the Downtown Market (201 N. Main St.), or online.

  • Yin Yang facial soap, $5

  • Raspberry Cream soap, $5

  • Peppermint & Eucalyptus bath bomb, $3

  • Honey soap, $5

  • Katie’s Kandles Red, White and Blue candle, $10

  • Mint & Lavender goat milk soap, $5

  • Yin Yang Owl facial soap, $5

  • Oatmeal unscented bath bomb, $3

  • Let It Go bath bomb, $3

  • Autumn Magic goat milk soap, $5