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Hozho Vibes, Dangerous Science, Gangster Rap: the CEO behind Morning Mist Soap Co.

An Indigenous woman holding a Pendleton blanket with beaded jewelry and tattoos.
photography: Eric Brown (@ebthevibes), MUA Jasmin (@jassyslayss)

Dominique Daye Hunter

Rocio Aguilar Francis is an Indigenous mother, wife, and the creator & founder of Morning Mist Soap Co. Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ her love for the desert and this city that she and her family calls home runs through her veins. Her company Morning Mist Soap Co. is proudly Diné, Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, and Apache owned.

I recently helped Rocio make soap. When I pulled up I heard Bone Thugs-N-Harmony blasting from inside. I knew then it was going to be a badass experience. When I first met Rocio at Indigenous People's Day (PHX), I picked up right away on her caring nature, hozho vibes, and do-no-harm-but-take-no-shit boss energy.

When I entered into the "lab" I discovered that soap making is a beautiful process, but is not for the weak. The safety training I received along with a coat and goggles made me realize that this is more than just an art: it's a science. Rocio is a self-taught soap maker. She was educated by the streets, not in a university classroom, yet here she was: a bad-ass Indigenous mother with generations of herbal medicinal teachings behind her, a streets-smarts understanding of entrepreneurship, and soap making science.

An Indigenous mother works on her phone alongside her daughter. They are both drinking lattes / teas. The daughter has two braids, post beaded earrings, and a shirt that says "Strong Like Shíma (Mom in Diné)". The mother  is wearing a suede brimmed hat with dangly beaded earrings and a shirt that says "Pay Me Like a White Man."
Photography by Roshan

Before the actual soap making science and art can begin, Rocio has to do prep which includes processing her online orders to secure supplies and cleaning materials like soap molds that were used in the last batch.

After sanitizing, setting up, and putting on safety gear, Rocio shows me how she blends her own moisturizing base which is carefully added to the lye.

A person's gloved hand holding red flowers over a yellow and a red pitcher of soap mixture.

Even one drop can burn a hole in her hand.

This is called cold processed soap. Clay based dye and other natural herbs are then

added for coloring.

The soap is then poured into molds. Rocio sometimes layers multiple colors in a technique called "swirling." She then tops it with her signature wave design, adds some flowers to the top, and then the wait begins. It takes 48 hours for the soap to properly cure for safe use.It's a long, difficult process with a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, but it is indeed well-worth it.

Several loaves of bar soap curing in soap molds.

The end result are bars on bars on bars: rows of beautiful and effective hand crafted soap which fills your skin with moisture and your bathroom with an amazing aroma.

But remember that everything MUST be precisely measured, handled with extreme care, and timed exactly for you to safely enjoy that unique bar of soap in your hands.

Two shelves worth of bar soap in various colors.

Rocio's skincare doesn't stop at soap. She also has a variety of skin care products which include:

  • Face Wash

  • Toner

  • Hyaluronic Acid

  • Face Serum

  • Bath Salts

  • Natural Deodorant

  • Shampoo Bars

  • Lotion Bars

  • Perfume & Cologne

  • Chapstick

  • Aphrodisiac Massage Oil

  • Salves + more

What can't this woman do?!

A product photos of black and white swirling soap, "Aurelia's Serum," and "Refreshing Toner" sitting on a metal mesh. Behind the products is an abalone shell with sage burning in it.
Apodaca Photography

But don't take my word for it. The reviews speak for themselves:

A review of Morning Mist Soaps that says: "This isn't even soap, this was like angels hands wiping their tears over my body. Will absolutely buy again."

A review of Morning Mist Soaps that says: Rating 5/5 stars "This is the facial serum I never knew I needed and is very aptly described as "liquid gold." Like many of the other Morning Mist products I started using about two years ago, I was startled by the results after just a few days. In addition to melasma, I have very dry and often sallow skin due to various health reasons. After just a few days of using this serum, my skin tone was more even, brighter, smoother, and hydrated. The oil absorbs very quickly and leaves my skin looking fresh. The smell is also divine, very natural and subtle, calming. All in all, it's like a hug for my weary face, one where I can feel the genuine positive and natural intent of the product. 100/10 would purchase again."

An Indigenous mother sits with her daughter. The daughter has two braids, post beaded earrings, and a shirt that says "Strong Like Shíma (Mom in Diné)". The mother  is wearing a suede brimmed hat with dangly beaded earrings and a shirt that says "Pay Me Like a White Man."
Photography by Roshan

The coolest thing about Rocio, in my opinion, is her nurturing, mama bear energy. About sustainability and the next generation, Rocio says:

"My culture is a strong reason for my beliefs in respecting our earth...My idea for creating this brand came from a desire to turn my hobbies of living a sustainable lifestyle into an opportunity to teach others how to do the same all while loving their skin, becoming waste-free and using high-quality ingredients.

When I first started Morning Mist Soap Co., I set out with a goal to Re - Indigenize skincare, break generational trauma, and continue teaching vital knowledge to my children. "


Rocio, owner of Morning Mist Soap, smiling as she sells her skincare at an outdoor booth.

To support this badass Indigenous mama:

1. Follow Rocio on IG @morningmistsoapco and on Tiktok @thelocalbrickmaker

2. Shop Morning Mist Soap Co. this holiday season. Some perfect gift ideas for yourself, your partner, friends, or the whole family include...

  • Skin care bundles

  • Spa bundles for a luxurious + budget-friendly at-home experience

  • Soap Subscriptions so you'll never run out of your favs

  • Beard oil + balms for the masculine people in your life

A smiling Afro Indigenous woman in a shimmering black and gold geometric designed dress.
Hannah Manuelito Photography

Dominique Daye Hunter is a storyteller, advocate, and multi-disciplinary artist of Black/ Saponi/ Nansemond /Irish/ Polish descent. She is the CEO of D. Daye Hunter Designs and has a B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Management, emphasis in American Indian Studies. Hunter's work explores the complex connections between historical trauma and healing in Black and Indigenous communities. She creates safe spaces for BIWOC, children, neurodivergent individuals, and chronic illness warriors. The author of “Seeds: Stories of Afro-Indigenous Resilience,” Hunter is a sophomore cohort member of the Artist Investment Program, (Arizona Commission on the Arts) and lives between Arizona and North Carolina. Follow her journey on Instagram @ddayehunter and @ddayehunterdesigns.

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