Today my online soap shop, Rb Soap Co, officially opens for business!
This has been a labor of love for a couple years now. Last year it was actually a 2019 goal to launch the soap shop by April (oops). In reality though, the journey to get to today has been long because I’ve wanted to be exceptionally careful to not turn something I enjoy doing into something that feels like a chore. Hobbies easily become hustles but hustles are exhausting and I don’t want to spend 2020 being tired. It took some testing the waters, weighing options, too many posts in facebook soaping groups, lots of conversations with Andrew, and so.much.olive.oil to figure out where to go with this venture but we’re here! While the journey ahead is obviously yet to unfold I trust it will be fulfilling on a couple different levels that matter most to me.
A few things!
My soaps are very simple and intentionally so. They are made with only a handful of ingredients and ones that are good for you too. I do not use palm oil or animal fat. The lather of each bar is thick and creamy, but not overly bubbly or artificial-feeling. What I love most about my soaps is how moisturizing they are, so much so, I use my own soap on my face often.
Because I started this whole soap journey when I was really sick and passionate about finding clean food to put in my body, and clean products on it, my soaps are also colored and scented naturally. This was a tough part of my soapmaking journey to nail down and embrace. I wanted to make soaps that were beautiful and scented beautifully too, but it felt like the only way to do that was with micas and fragrance oils; ingredients that have frowned-upon chemicals in them. While these ingredients have their place (and my very popular Empress bar does have gold mica in it) I knew I wanted to have a brand and products that revolved as much as possible around simplicity, sustainability, and clean ingredients.
So like I did with my journey to becoming a floral designer, I took a lot of time, made a nice investment into ingredients, tools, and tests (because I cannot ever pick hobbies that are simple, you guys #eyerollatmyself), and nailed down recipes, essential oil blends, natural colors, infused oils, and a solid soap recipe that I loved, looked aesthetically pleasing, and was well-received by family and friends, neighbors and colleagues. I am pretty close to being Walter White’s legal female counterpart in the sense that I’ve spent a lot of time concocting things in a basement with a mask on my face. Soap has been a fun deviation from weddings, a nice way to put my talents to tangible use, a fulfilling adventure, and now, hopefully a sustainable business for me that will remain small but mighty. Also, gifts. From here on out everyone gets soap from me. Sorry friends.
In regard to the stock I’ll carry and inventory!
Once this week’s launch inventory is sold out, I will begin soaping for our second quarter launch to happen in April before Mother’s Day. I hope to have three to four online launches a year where the shop gets refreshed with new goodies for customers. Then I will select local fairs and shows to attend as my schedule allows for it. Saying goodbye to wedding planning but keeping our floral services was done to get back my schedule not to fill it up with something new. So small is the new big over here!
Information on the varieties I make is on the shop. Each soap has listed ingredients, suggested use, and of course beautiful photos taken by Kelly Sweet Photography. You’ll find soap weight, pricing, and shipping minimums on the site too. In creating a product that is as sustainable and low-waste as possible (the soap labels are printed on plantable seed paper, one of my favorite details!) I decided to place an order minimum for online sales to help eliminate mailing out potentially hundreds of single bars with unnecessary amounts of paper, envelopes, boxes and tape. My hope is that people will be overjoyed, not inconvenienced, to buy multiple bars at once and thus make the efforts and packaging process required on me, not feel so wasteful.
As for moving ahead!
Soap related blog posts will be shared here on the blog from time to time, especially as this makes for a great place to tackle commonly asked questions and share about new products. If you especially soap-savvy, I invite you to join me over on the RB Soap Co’s instagram account where I will post soap-related content moving ahead. Soaping videos seem to be a big hit.
Oh! And while I am not yet shipping internationally, I AM happy to accommodate custom orders to international destinations. Whether it’s a large lot of soap for wedding favors, bars to be given at a retreat, or gifts for your clients, please email me for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to make something perfect for you!
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As I did in this post here I’d like to publicly acknowledge the friends and colleagues who helped make this soap launch possible! Kelly’s beautiful photos truly make my soaps look maybe just .0001% prettier than they are in real life. I am so lucky to have her in my life and will forever gift her with soaps for her hard work. Nellie worked endlessly with me to find labels that met my steep form and function requirements. What we ended on was better than I could have ever dreamed of. Plant your labels! They bloom into different herbs and flowers! Lisa was a monumental part of both websites’ copy. Her editing skills are unmatched and I’m thankful for her talent and grace. The team at Stoffer Home gave me both the confidence and a wholesale account that helped make me excited about this launch in a whole new way. Again, Payge was the most valuable piece of the puzzle, endlessly patient and kind with helping me learn about e-commerce and setting up the shop to meet my needs and desires. Learning Shopify was a big reason I avoided launching online sales for so long but she made it easy and seamless.
And finally, my husband. How many times he handled the chaos of bedtime so I could mix soap well into the night, came with me to the hardware store to scoop up more lye, and sat with me in the studio while doing his best to show interest in the nuances of cold-process soap. He has helped unload and load up for craft shows, shared excitement over my soap to customers, cleaned bowls and cups after I’ve dirtied them for the fifth time in a week, and never batted on eyelash at my inner creative gypsy spirit (!). I know the sky is the limit because he’s right next to me.