Starting Point

We all start somewhere. In this episode of Meet the Maker March 2021 we are reflecting on our humble start of a soap business in 2010. And we are reminiscing back to those first thoughts on how we began…. join us in the journey:

The economy was in upheavel after the 2009 great recession. Businesses were tightening up their belts, downsizing staff, reducing spending, and trying to batten down to survive. Steve;s job directly depended on development projects in the city… which dried up in that economic condition. His job was eliminated. Then the hospital i worked at began paring down the staff, and in june 2010 i was handed my box of stuff and my job ended. While our income earning positions were gone, our bills were still there…. so we had to think fast.

Map - Picture of Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland - Tripadvisor

Flash back to mothers day weekend 2010, and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. We had taken my mother in law to visit the gardens, and at some point she discovered the gift shop where we found ourselves waiting for her for some time. Steve spotted a display of handcrafted soap in fancy boxes.. with a fancy price tag….. and he wondered how hard it would be to make this soap. I had an interest in doing this too, but i was afraid of lye so i never followed through on making soap.

our first bars were cut from long loafs, not so square….

We gathered all the ingredients to make soap and Steve made his first batch… gardeners soap. It was an epic fail… because we did not know a few key things about the blending process. Made some adjustments and …. the next batch was amazing and wonderful. We gave bars to each of our neighbors to try, for feedback. Our only thought is “Did we create something the world might want?” I have to be honest in saying that when you first offer your creations to the world there is the unknown, a small measure of insecurity and a large amount of risk. But the rewards go to the risk takers.

In mid fall of 2010 a message came to us in social media inviting us to a Christmas artists market at a community college. The funny thing was we did not know this lady, or have any exposure to that community college. We agreed, and planned for that december event. On the day we were to go to set up the weather could not have been more intimidating – record snow fall, white outs, and just after we arrived there the freeway was closed because of white outs and lack of visibiity. But it was a great day, and we sold some soap… Day two was better, and we knew we had something the world wanted when we started getting calls the following week from customers who bought from us at the artist market, and they needed more.

Humble beginnings, but we rejoice over those early days, and the courage it took to find a way to keep our bills paid, and repurpose our lives.

And a side note – did you know on the average these days people move from one company to another approximately every 3-5 years. Having your own business offers a stable, steady economy if you are willing to work hard, be consistent and maintain production quality. Have you ever considered starting your own business?