Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Tell me a little bit about your company's origin story:
Healthy living and nature have always been a significant part of my life. My love of the outdoors prompted me to attend college in Bozeman, Montana, where I enrolled in the health and nutrition program. While in college, I took classes on natural healing, herbalism, holistic health, and edible and medicinal wild plants. I also attended my first lotion and lip balm-making class (I still have the original recipe, it's 20 years old!) at the cutest herb shop. I fell in love with the ingredients, aromas, process, and endless formulation possibilities. In 2004, I moved back to my hometown and spent my free time studying and foraging local plants with my fiancé. We got married in 2005, and in 2006 our first daughter was born. After our daughter was born, I started making cold-process soap as a hobby. I would sneak downstairs during my daughter's nap time and make 1-pound batches of soap using essential oils and local plants. We gave it out as gifts and set up a small table at the Mankato Farmers' Market. Today, our soap batch size is 22 pounds (about 100 bars), and we have developed an entire skincare line using our accumulated knowledge of medicinal plants. We still sell at the Mankato Farmers' Market and many other local shops.
What do you love about being a small business owner?
I love attending craft shows and farmers' markets and connecting with my customers. I also love sharing my creativity and passion through my products.
What is the most difficult part of what you do?
It is challenging to keep up with the latest technology, social media platforms, advertising options, and retail opportunities, and knowing where to focus my time and energy can be difficult.
Also, finding a balance between work and play and knowing when to "clock out" for the day.
What is your favorite product from your company?
So many to choose from, but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be our Lime/Spearmint bar soap. It is my favorite to use in the shower and at the sink.
What advice would you give other people trying to start their own business?
"Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out." I have this quote at my desk. It reminds me that it's ok to move forward slowly and that success isn't always immediately clear but builds over time.
If you didn't do this, what else would you be doing?
I would probably be a full-time SAHM! But honestly, I am glad my kids know you can make a living doing what you love.