1. What products are your main focus? What is your main ingredient?
Our specialty product is soap in all it's forms. I started with bar soaps, then learned to make liquid hand soaps and body wash.
Eventually we added whipped soap, dish soap, powdered laundry soap and even a natural dishwasher detergent. Olive oil is my very favorite ingredient to use, I love the way it feels on the skin and that feeling carries over into the soap.
2. How did you get started? When?
My mom sent me a natural bar of soap for Christmas in 1996. I had young children at the time, the shower was the one place in the house I could be alone, LOL! That bar of soap pampered my body and my soul, the creamy lather, wonderful herbal scent, the smoothness and richness of the bar. We lived in a very small town and it was pre-internet, I couldn't find anywhere to buy more soap! My first batch of soap came from a library book and a wooden spoon. I still have a bar of my first successful batch- Orange Spice.
3. Why do you do what you do?
I never planned on developing a business, it just kind of evolved over time. Most soapers will tell you that making soap gets into your blood, which is so true! Soon I was turning out way more soap than we could use, and I wanted to make more. Friends and family got more soap than they wanted, they started passing it on to friends and soon people were calling asking for soap! Turning the soap into a business fit perfectly into our lives; it was a way for me to make some income and still be home with our children. Since then it's become one of my greatest joys; I love everything about making and selling our products.
4. Where else to you vend your products?
We sell locally at 2-3 farmers markets, as well as on Etsy and our own website, www.showertreatsoap.com. This year we've done a few fundraisers for the local schools in support of the music program. Our products are also available at one of the health food stores here in town.
5. Where do you live?
We're located in rural Southwest Michigan.
6. How long have you been selling on Etsy? Do you have any advice?
We opened our shop on Etsy in 2006, but didn't tend it seriously until 2007. My advice for Etsy shop owners? Do what you love, do it well, or don't bother to do it at all.
7. What is your favorite scent?
Rosemary and lemongrass essential oils, blended together are simply wonderful!
8. What oil do you enjoy most?
Olive oil- there's nothing like it on skin.
9. What do you do for fun?
I am passionate about knitting, especially with wool. All winter long while the local soap business calms down I'm knitting felted wool handbags to sell the next season.
I've been slowly learning to spin my own wool yarn from roving, very exciting!