1. How did you get started in the soap biz?
I've always liked quality bath and body products that I could get at various shops
around town, but often they seemed kind of over priced. I couldn't help but notice
as I started to do some research that many of these shops enjoyed a loyal following,
and I also liked the way the shops always smelled and how the products were packaged.
I began to wonder if I could possibly make any of the products that I liked the most
and what hurdles I would need to over come to do that. This was all several years
ago, and that gave me plenty of time to continue researching, experimenting, and of
coarse to save up money so I could really get started. So, the attraction really was
that I wanted to create a line of products that smelled great, used quality
ingredients, had attractive environmentally friendly packaging and at an affordable
price point. I didn't see that combination in any of the shops I really liked so I
set out on my own. That's how I got started!
2. Your packaging looks fantastic. Did you hire someone or do it yourself?
Thank you! Actually it was a combination of both. I designed the labels, chose the
font and the coloring, figured out how to get them printed inexpensively, and chose
a label stock size that would work on every single product. But I did hire a designer
to help me with making my design easily printable. Anyone can come up with a label
design, but getting it formatted so you can walk into a printer and have them
run off sheets easily and quickly can be extremely challenging and thats where my
designer came in. It was worth the cost because he knows how to speak a language
that the printer understood so that the two of them could work together to fix
various problems. That was absolutely critical. I could not have done that myself!
3. What is your most popular item in the shop and why?
My most popular item is the bubble bath dough. That really thrills me because I
worked a long time to get it perfected, so I'm very happy about that! I guess there's
a few reasons why it sells so well. It's interesting to customers that a bubble bath
product is called 'dough' and that it feels soft like cookie dough. I think customers
instantly grasp that you can travel with it, and that they arent paying for mostly
water. Its an excellent exfoliant so even people who dont take baths buy it! A lot
of my customers give this as a gift because it's unique, and luxurious, but doesnt
cost a fortune. Maybe most importantly, it makes mountains of bubbles and leaves your
skin soft without any residue feel. Most customers who get the dough, are repeat
customers and many of those buy several at a time. Oh, and people love that the
container is re-usable!
4. We know you want to learn our favorite fragrances but what's yours?
My very favorite fragrance is fresh Sage. I grew up in an area that was close to
miles of mountain trails where big shrubs of Sage grew and the hot sun would heat up
the plants and you could smell it as you hiked along trails occasionally reaching
down to rub some of the leaves between your fingers just for the scent. It's wild
sage and it's amazing. That scent in the Summer is my all time favorite!
5. Anything you want to add?
I have my shop on Etsy and I wanted to mention that because Etsy is an amazing venue.
If you create handmade items and your thinking of opening an e-commerce business than
Etsy should definitely be on your radar. And a huge thank you to my customers for
their continued support and to Connie for posting this interview. Thank you all very
Chris is giving our awesome readers a chance at winning a bottle of his linen spray and a woman's soap and shave cube valued at $21.
How to Enter:
Sign up for the ShopRedLeaf newsletter below. The mailing list has a double opt-in feature so be sure to confirm your subscription by clicking the link in your email. For a bonus entry you can leave a comment on this post letting Chris know what your favorite fragrance is. You must sign up for the newsletter in order for your bonus entry to count.
Giveaway ends Oct 11th, 11:59pm PST. This giveaway is open to participants worldwide. Good luck!