2. Why did you decide to go into business? What was your motivation? How long have you been in business? I started making handmade soap as a hobby in 2011 during graduate school, as a way to relieve stress. I also had a hard time finding truly vegan products. Everything always seemed to contain beeswax, or goat milk, or honey. I wanted something to use that was vegan and good for my skin but that was fun to use and smelled good too. After making a few batches, I handed out soap to everyone I worked with, friends, family, even the janitorial staff in my building. Every evening when I would get home from school I was itching to make soap. I was hooked! Before long people began encouraging me to sell my soap, and were requesting gift baskets for their friends and family for the holidays. I entered my first craft fair that year at Christmas and was surprised by how much I liked the sales aspect of the handcrafted industry. I finished my PhD in computational chemistry in May 2012 and after working briefly as a postdoctoral research assistant decided to pursue my business full time. If you would have asked me five years ago where I would be today my response would not be “selling handmade soap” but I love what I do and would not have it any other way! My motivation for transitioning from hobby to “this is my full time job” is that I enjoy creating, I enjoy meeting people, and I enjoy the freedom to decide what I will do every morning when I wake up. I am still just as busy, if not busier than I was when I was a student, but it feels good to be the one making the decisions.
3. What products do you make and sell? All of my products are vegan, and I recently reformulated all of my soaps to be palm oil free. I make soaps, lotions, lotion bars, cremes, body butter, nail polish, solid perfume, bath salts, mineral makeup, body butter candles, mud mask, bubble bath bars, shampoo and conditioner bars, as well as baby and pet care products.
4. What are your business goals? My business goals are to get my products in front of as many people as possible! I would love to one day have large wholesale orders and a production facility. In the meantime my garage as a production area will have to suffice. In addition, I am currently working on integrated productivity software solutions for web and mobile applications for the soapmaking industry.
5. What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden? My favorite products are the fragrance oils, essential oils, flavor oils, botanicals, soy body butter base, and pet shampoo base. My favorite fragrance oils include gin martini, orange blossom, passion flower acai berry, lavender martini, goldie dreadlocks, and dragon’s blood. May favorite flavor oils are buttercream frosting and kiss of death. My favorite botanticals are carrot powder and frankincense tears. I use the body butter base to create a range of products including body lotion and body cream. I also use Natures Garden silky e-wax, optiphen plus, and btms for making handmade lotions and conditioner.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TikiBarSoap