Laura Grasseler Flake is yet another college buddy of mine. She makes the coolest soap you’ve ever seen. Little works of art that clean you up!
How did you start making soap?
I stumbled upon soapmaking while researching in an inexpensive way to avoid the contact dermatitis each of my children had been experiencing. Since they all have different skin types, we were purchasing different types of detergent bars. The research led me to the Food and Drug Administration website where I learned that commercial soap is actually a detergent: a man-made, chemically laden bar of solvents and perfumes. With that, I made a lifestyle change and we have not used commercial soap or laundry detergent in over a year.
When did you decide to make it a business and not only a hobby?
When I first started making soap, I was working in construction and surrounded by stereotypical construction workers and office personnel. After a few discussions and explanations of the difference between detergent and soap, a few of the “guys” asked to try some. After a few months, they were offering to buy them from me and a friend suggested that I start selling the soap. Roughly six months after my first loaf of homemade soap, I designed my own website and began selling the bars at local vendor and craft fairs.
Is it satisfying to make a living being creative?
Yes! Not only am I able to design formulas, scents and designs, it is thrilling to know that they are enjoyed and appreciated by a myriad of people. I feel most at home and the happiest when I have music playing in my workshop and am creating a new loaf of soap.
What are your long term plans?
I am planning to increase my product line to include candles, lotions, shampoos and laundry detergents as well as to design a line of customizable gift baskets and accessories.
Storybrook Soap Co. can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Storybrooksoapco
On the web: www.storybrooksoaps.com and on-hand at Kids Carousel Consignment and Boutique in New Milford, CT. http://www.carouselkidsignment.com/
That’s just a handful of women I know who have turned their talents and passions into their own businesses. What strikes me is the way they turned a challenge into an opportunity. When life gives you lemons you make essential oil soap, paint a pet face on it and put it in a Thirty-One bag!
I have more women to showcase in the next article in this series! If you know someone who has her own business drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to include her!