How to accidentally start a soap-making company.
The first time I made soap was in my friend Ria Julian's kitchen on Euclid Ave. in Winnipeg's Point Douglas. We were 17 and 18 year old hippy punks and we made it with our other friend Kandis. We probably listened to Propagandhi's Less Talk More Rock, which had just been released that summer, while we did it, . I had no idea what we were doing, but Ria did and it turned out great, as did almost everything Ria did.
I used up the couple of bars I got from that batch pretty quickly, and now knowing that quality soap was easy to make I got a soap making book from the library and started to experiment. The oatmeal soap was great for my eczema prone skin, chocolate soap looked neat, but didn't lather very well. I was hooked on creating new and interesting soaps. It was so much fun!
Some 15 years later I was working for a non-profit organization that assisted low income people and newcomers start their own small businesses. I wanted to be able to increase my knowledge on starting a business so I could better help our clients so I took my hobby and turned it into a small home-based business. I was unfortunately laid off from my job (unrelated to my new side gig), but never being one to let that kind of thing keep me down, I decided to make a real go of the business. What did I learn? Small businesses are hard work, especially for people without a lot of money. One thing that is essential is support. Fortunately I have a wonderfully supportive family who pitched in and helped me create a well rounded business with the inclusion of bamboo soap dishes (my dad, Doug) and beautifully intricate felted soaps (my mom, Corinne).
Our first sale was Karen Taylor's Holidaze sale in 2010 and everybody loved our work. Especially the felted soap. No one had ever seen that kind of craft before. Not that my mom invented it, but she sure brought the craft to a whole new level.
Ever since, we've been moving ahead, reaching new milestones all the time, going from four or five varieties of bar soap to 28; getting commissioned by the Winnipeg Art Gallery to create custom scents for their Olympus exhibit; introducing liquid soaps; Corinne creating over 1000 felted soaps; paying business taxes; making so many new friends; finding a dedicated soap-making studio (I can finally use my kitchen for food again!); being featured in various media; shipping soap dishes to Latvia, Australia and other international locations; increasing the number of bamboo dish designs from one to over thirty; among many many other things.
We're not entirely certain what the next six years will bring, but we can't wait to see where the soap will take us.
Daughter of fellow business partners, Doug & Corinne Fox. Sarah has been making soap for 2 decades and started making a business out of it in 2011.
Corinne has been a handcrafter since her teens, and has dabbled in almost every medium. However, she has focused on the combination of wool and soap for the past several years
Doug is the resident handyman, comfortable with working with wood and metal. His bamboo soap dishes attract attention from around the world.
We are based in the heart of North America, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where we make bar soaps with simple ingredients, liquid soaps with body and earth friendly ingredients, and other natural hair and body care items. We carry both felted and bar soap.
We make our soaps as affordable as possible. We think that everyone, regardless of income, should have healthy, non-toxic body products available to them.
We encourage you to ask us about wholesale pricing, as buying in bulk will help you save on shipping costs. We give discounts for bulk purchases. We recognize that bulk purchasing is not always affordable for people living on a low income so we suggest ordering with a group of friends.
We are big fans of buying locally and ethical purchasing. Of course, we live closer to the arctic circle than to the equator so a lot of ingredients are impossible to get in our local community.
We do use local beeswax, oats and flax oil. The organic Fair Trade coffee used in our Coffee & Oatmeal soap is roasted locally at Planet Bean Coffee http://www.planetbeancoffee.com/, we purchase the dried lavender flowers from Organic Planet Worker Co-op http://www.organicplanet.coop/, though we are working towards growing our own.
We do strive towards being fully organic, but affordability is currently a higher priority.
We also try to purchase from co-ops whenever possible, particularly worker co-ops, as we believe co-ops offer a more equitable workplace.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
If you choose to pay by money order payment must be received within 7 days of purchase. If the money order is not received within 7 days and we are unable to make contact with the buyer, we will cancel the order and re-list the item for sale. Also, please be aware that there is a 7-10 day waiting period after we receive the money order and prior to shipment, to allow the money order to clear the bank.
We recommend Pay Pal to make the process a lot smoother and quicker.
Pay Pal orders ship within 2 business days of received payment, thus if you wish to cancel your order it must be done within 2 business days of ordering.
Additional item shipping charges are based on orders that combine soap and soap dishes. Purchases of multiple soap dishes, without a soap purchase, will result in an overcharge of shipping costs, because shipping charges are based on the greater size and weight of the soaps. We will refund overpayments once shipping costs have been calculated.
Our default shipping method is via Canada Post at surface rates. If you require faster or insured service, or prefer another delivery company entirely, please contact me via email to work out the details.
*Surface rates to Canada from Canada estimate delivery as within 4 business days for major urban centres and non-remote regions. Northern or remote regions can take up to 8 days.
*Surface rates from Canada to the US estimate delivery as within 12 business days.
*Surface rates to International locations estimate delivery as within 4-6 weeks.
Canada Post does not guarantee delivery within a certain time frame for surface mail.
Expedited service options are available at extra charge as per the carrier option selected. Please contact us for an estimate.
If you are interested in buying multiple items, please contact us via email and we will give you a complete shipping quote.
Please note that buyers are responsible for any and all duties and customs charges that may be incurred.
If you are concerned about your item being lost or damaged in transit, please request insurance at your time of purchase. We regret we cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items once they are sent out. Please note that we ship items using padded packaging where appropriate.
We ship within 2 business day of payment (with the exclusion of money orders, see above for for information).
Refunds and Exchanges
We would suggest if you have allergies, sensitivities or are particular about the soap that you use that you contact us before ordering and we can discuss the soap that is best for you.
We also do custom orders so that you can get exactly what you want.