Soap Making with Regional Flair
1. What’s your name & Your Company Name: Hi, My name is Diane Weinberg and I’m the owner of The Southern Tip.
2. Why did you decide to go into business? What was your motivation? How long have you been in business? After being a teacher for over 22 years, I suddenly found myself to be an unemployed teacher. After trying and trying unsuccessfully to get a job, ANY kind of job, I decided to create my own job. I started The Southern Tip and have not looked back. Although we’ve been in business only a couple of years, I’ve found that if you really want something, and are willing to work hard for it, you can be successful. Being a business owner has also opened many other doors to me, making it easier for me to achieve some of my other goals.
3. What products do you make and sell? We sell handcrafted soap with a “regional flair”, lotions and lotion bars, aluminum free deodorant and scrubs. We hope to branch out into candles this summer.
4. What are your business goals? Our goals may be a bit different than those of other businesses. We have three main goals: One is, of course, that we want our business to continue to grow and prosper.
A second goal is that we want to help promote and encourage a regional pride among our population. One of the ways we do this is by designing many of our products to reflect the area culture and to highlight our unique locale. Since we are in Texas and are also near the border with Mexico, these facts influence the soaps that we create. Our Tres Leches soap (inspired by a variety of cake made in our region using three milks) Chile con Queso soap, ( a popular and spicy dip made here) Chocolate Chachalaca soap (a turkey-like bird found in our area) and Ocelot soap ( a rare and endangered animal also found in our area) are some examples of our regional creations. Also, since another one of our selling venues is on a nearby island, South Padre Island, our Dunes, Padre Shores, Padre Island Dream, Sea Gull, Soap of the Sea, Sand Castle and Sand Bar soaps were created to reflect this.
Our third goal, and probably our most important goal, is that we want to serve as an inspiration to other unemployed/underemployed people, especially those who are over 50 and who find themselves in this difficult position, maybe for the first time in their lives. We want them to know that if you are willing to put in the work, to study, research and learn some new skills, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope.
This is one of the main reasons why we offer beginning soap making classes. We want to share our knowledge with others and hopefully help others learn at least one way to supplement their income or at the very least, to create affordable, custom soap for their own families and friends.
Our long term dream would be to eventually open a folk school type of learning facility where many skills and crafts would be taught by experts in their fields. Some of the “old fashioned” skills that we would like to include, in addition to soap making, are such things as: candle making, basket making, clay work, wood turning, rug weaving, jewelry making, mosaics, small scale niche gardening, etc. We want to help people become more self-sufficient and teach them new skills that will enable them to supplement their income should they ever find themselves unemployed/underemployed.
5. What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden? We are great fans of Nature’s Garden’s fragrance oils. There are so many to choose from and they are all wonderful! One of our favorites is Cracklin’ Birch. We have also used their goat’s milk lotion base and it is a very versatile product.