The Lane Lab

The official #TheLaneLab #LuxuryLaneSoap #SoapBus blog with notes from the hub of my corporate empire. Stay up to date with our continually evolving brands.



You guuuuuys! I am finally working full time in our new studio!! (Hence my lack of updates…I have been able to DOUBLE my order volume!!!)



Please check out #LaneLabBuild on Instagram for the full progress photos!

Check out our current project here. We are going mobile!

#SoapBus #TheLaneLab

#SoapBus #TheLaneLab

Where Have The Lanes Been?

Busting our bums building the most amazing studio EVER! Are you ready for the full unveiling later this month? The changes have been phenomenal!






IMG_3493Rory is just finishing up little things like base trim and cleaning up the original door hardware while I move Luxury Lane Soap operations into the new space!

We are planning a full Final Phase blog post very soon. *Excited*

See more before photos here!


Free Candy Heart Soap from

Enjoy a free candy heart themed soap with any order from now through Valentine’s Day. -XOXO


Soap and a Volkswagen Part 3 – So Fresh. So Clean.

Just incase you missed it, Soap and a Volkswagen Part 1 – Bringing Her Home and Soap and a Volkswagen Part 2 – Disassembly.

Before we go any further, I want to tell you two things.

#1 Why “Soap and a Volkswagen”? The plan for this vehicle is to turn her into a pop-up shop for Luxury Lane Soap. I want to set up an adorable, mobile, Volkswagen shaped shop and sell at fairs and markets across North America. I want to spend my summers camping with my family and meeting all of our wonderful fans and customers. I want to give hugs in person and thank you for being a part of our lives. It sounds silly and dramatic but this is all because of you and it is time I gave you a high five, in person.

#2 She has a name. Naming your project is just something you do in my family. Look at my adorable grandparents with their projects, Herby and Matilda. 10419620_10202524449974904_6298404855454575892_n

You name your project because much like a child, you will be giving this baby life. You will nurse her through sickness and health and you will spend all of your money bringing her to her full potential. This is serious business and must be taken seriously. For serious. So, what is her name? Miss Erica. The “Miss” is important because she’s a proper lady. Why Miss Erica? That is what my dad called me when I was little. Awwwwwwwww.

Now that we have that all cleared up, onward to what you are really hear for, a soaking wet, sexy, piece of machine…

IMG_1753 IMG_1762 After Rory washed the outside, I was so ready to tackle in inside!


I have been waiting to scrub this babe out since the second I saw her!

IMG_1775Look at how beautiful she is!! Pro tip: Herbal Essence Shampoo.IMG_1784 IMG_1793 No rust in the floor! This was a huge surprise for us. Miss Erica is 44 years old. You just don’t find Volkswagens this clean. IMG_1799 IMG_1800 IMG_1803 IMG_1809 IMG_1807 Seriously. The doors aren’t even rusty. Just…swoon.IMG_1812 IMG_1818So this is where we are at now. I have plans to buff her all out this weekend and get that layer of burnt paint off while Rory gets the inside ready for an undercoat. Rust is a huge issue where we live so we want to seal everything up and get an extra layer of protection on as soon as possible.

I want to thank everyone who has been following along for this adventure. We have big plans including completely rebuilding the motor over the winter and finishing the interior in the spring. A full blown paint job is still a few years in the future because I am kiiiinda in love with the look of her right now. My hopes are to have her completely road worthy and safe to take her to a few venues next summer. You can help. Have an event in your area that we might be interested in? Please do not hesitate to mention in the comments below!


Much Love, Kylee Lane

You can see more photos of our adventure with hashtag #VWLane on instagram every other Saturday!

(Interested in being a part of this project? Check out the patreon here!)

Soap and a Volkswagen Part 2 – Disassembly

Just incase you missed it, Soap and a Volkswagen Part 1 – Bringing Her Home

So, now that we have her home, we needed to clean her out and completely disassemble the interior.

Thankfully, these snazzy seat covers and layers of trash preserved the original interior very nicely, but we will get to that later.IMG_1453 IMG_1455 IMG_1520Just getting all of the trash out made a huge difference. Potential is gleaming from this beauty! IMG_1522IMG_1528IMG_1541IMG_1557IMG_1561IMG_1575IMG_1577IMG_1623Super cool, we found the original jack!IMG_1583IMG_1605Pealing back the layers of time.IMG_1634 IMG_1645 IMG_1650

Now to pull out all of the interior.IMG_1666While taking apart seats, I received my first restoration injury!IMG_1670

Bam! Empty!
IMG_1682Okay…now she’s empty…IMG_1742Next we took the topper off.IMG_1738IMG_1702 IMG_1705While Rory was doing that, I was disassembling the seats and mother of pearl, look what I found, pristine, original vinyl! Seriously, these seats are nicer than any of the seats in anything we drive…
IMG_1697 IMG_1698Along with the original jack and gorgeous vinyl seats, we found some awesome original stamping.IMG_1502 IMG_1667Next, it was time to clean her, but that is going to have a post of it’s own because you will not believe how rust free and clean she is.

Soap and a Volkswagen Part 3 – So Fresh. So Clean.

Much Love, Kylee Lane

You can see more photos of our building adventure with hashtag #SoapBus on Instagram!

(Interested in being a part of this project? Check out the patreon here!)

Soap and a Volkswagen Part 1 – Getting Her Home

In 2007 I fell madly in love with a 1971 Volkswagen Westfalia.B8DOcEPCAAAJ2KVShe belonged to my Aunt and Uncle and I begged them to sell her to me. They said IF they ever wanted to sell, I would be the first to know. Jump almost 10 years later and it was time to pass her on. Of course I didn’t have the money, I didn’t think they would ever let such a beauty go, but a quick interest free loan to myself off of a credit card, and she was mine. (I made my first payment today! Woo!)

The only BIG problem was that this Volkswagen lived in Utah, over the mountains, and I live in Iowa.

Everyone loves a good adventure, right?! We rented a vehicle, loaded up the camping gear, tools and the kids, and we were off!

The plan was to drive to Utah, work on the van a bit and drive her back to Iowa. Yes. Drive her back. This vehicle had been sitting for 15 years, undriven. What could go wrong?

DSC_0063DSC_0065IMG_1169IMG_1176IMG_1187IMG_1256Achievement unlocked! During this trip, the kids quickly learned how to set up the tent themselves. DSC_0076

After only two days, Rory had her ready to go!IMG_1283

Starla rode with him while I followed behind in the rental with Trent, just incase there were any problems.IMG_1347

And there were.

For starters, before we left, she wouldn’t start. We never did get her to idle and had no reverse the entire trip.IMG_1293

Double checking to make sure the topper didn’t blow off while driving…IMG_1305

Fuel filter change…IMG_1309 Over heating…IMG_1300

Majestically looking over Utah while she cooled down.DSC_0090

And then the scariest thing ever happened. While trying to make it up a mountain and hitting 10,000 ft. in elevation, she just couldn’t do it anymore. Between not being able to idle and 2 mph road work, she quit. Rory had to roll backwards onto the shoulder while I watched and basically crapped my pants. IMG_1359

IMG_1371IMG_1368Being the awesome guy he is, while waiting for the Volkswagen to calm herself down, he walked around seeing if other people, who were having trouble getting up the mountain, needed help. Do you see that incline?!!IMG_1366

To add insult to injury, we had to be damn sure she could make through the construction, as there were multiple places we would not be able to pull over if there was a problem.IMG_1369Getting over the mountains from south Utah to Colorado, over some of the most difficult terrain, in a 44 year old Volkswagen that hadn’t been driven for 15 years is absolutely not something I recommend for the faint of heart.

But we absolutely loved it. Even better, the kids loved it.IMG_1385

After three full days of driving, we made it back to Iowa. Getting from Denver to Nebraska to home was a piece of cake as we dropped elevation. The flatness of the midwest suits her.IMG_1396Extra bonus? Idle kicked in the next day when we took her down to the car wash! But that is for the next post along with what my future plans are for this beauty…

Soap and a Volkswagen Part 2 – Disassembly

Much Love, Kylee Lane

You can see more photos of our building adventure with hashtag #SoapBus on Instagram!

(Interested in being a part of this project? Check out the patreon here!)

The Lane Lab Studio – Phase I

photoThis 3rd floor studio idea is actually why we bought this house. Not very often do you come across a home that has an entire floor you can dedicate to your business. The decision had been made to utilize the 3rd floor for Kylee’s work space in early 2012, but the project had stalled out somewhat due to a lack of funds and time. After the incredible amount of support for her indiegogo campaign and continued support through orders, it was time to make it a priority once again.

studio-7This is where we started out. Originally the 3rd floor was split so that 2/3 of it was one big room, while the other third was a small kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and a couple closets.




This tub was actually moved from the original bathroom on the west side of the 3rd floor, probably put in before the house was finished as it would be nigh impossible to get a cast iron tub up the winding narrow stairs…


When the house was converted to apartments in the 30’s or maybe early 40’s this big room was divided into several smaller ones, with another kitchen and bathroom added. For both practicality and restoration we decided to remove all the extra walls that were not original to the house.


Displaying my ladder collection.



The kids were a huge help, not very often does your parent give you a hammer and tell you to destroy the wall.




This work cost me several 2 liters of ginger ale. Next they’ll unionize and make more unreasonable demands.


The only good way to remove all the debris was to shovel it into a trash can and carry it down the stairs… My back hurts thinking about how many trips this required.


So many stairs…


The more material we removed I realized that this was also relieving a huge strain on the house. The amount of weight removed from the 3rd floor was equivalent to having a car parked up there.





Throughout the process I set aside salvageable trim and wall studs for future use. The kids got really good at pulling nails.



Already put some reclaimed lumber to use, one of the first things I did was make some sawhorses.



Also lots of not-so-salvageable material.

wpid-img_20140822_121800.jpg As the destruction progressed we got into somewhat of a routine. Tear down a wall, haul down the trash, tear down the next wall, haul down the trash…




This wall was separating one apartment from the next, and had wood fiber insulation woven between the wall studs probably for soundproofing.


Balsam Wool! Probably boasts an R value of about 2.


To remove the wall studs I found it most efficient to cut through them at the base, and then pull them side to side to get them loose from the ceiling.





The contractor must have used the last sheetrock on earth when they got to this point, using scraps to fill in at the bottom of this wall.


Quick! Slap a baseboard over that so nobody sees!


I am glad that wherever possible they built around the original stuff rather than cut into it. Almost like they knew someday it would all be put back…


Thanks goes out to those dead carpenters who had a little respect.


Not too pleased however at how they cut into floor joists for plumbing. Note the one right by that drain elbow.


May this carpenter be eternally shamed.

This was the bathroom sink drain. Somehow I think this was a drain in name only.

Any time you cut a drain line open be prepared for horrors.

Any time you cut a drain line open be prepared for horrors.

This cabinet turned out to be an original item that matches the upper cabinets in the maid’s kitchen. See the varnished oak peeking out on the side? These are solid oak including the top. Like the tub, they will be put back where they originated from on the west side.



This is the bottom of one of the drawers, designating which spot it goes in. The same handwriting I found on the silverware drawers in the built in hutch in the dining room. Why does nobody write like this anymore?


During this project great care was taken to not contaminate her workspace on the west side of the house.


Finally it was starting to feel like one room instead of several.



Well that’s it for now, there is ongoing progress with the electrical but that will be included with the Phase II post. From here on out will be less destruction and more construction. Feel free to leave comments and questions!

We are working on a full gallery for the hundreds of pictures we have taken! Let us know if there are any particular things you would like to see. 

-The Lanes