Many of you probably didn’t know there was a LillaSyster Soap Co. blog, am I right? I had removed the posts that were here because I was embarrassed about how long it had been since I had updated. But I have so much more to say than is really the proper length for a Facebook post. So, the blog is now reborn!
Of course I must have the obligatory, “How it all began” post which is recycled and updated from the previous blog.
Originally written in 2013:
I’m often asked, “How did you get into the soap making business?”
Well…it started with a big bang! 🙂 Actually, it started with a bomb. A bath bomb* that is. But I suppose I should go back further than that. I’d never really been a fan of bath products until I found Lush while living in Sweden. But anyone who’s been in there, knows that their products are quite expensive, and back then we had very little money so my once a month treat was a bath bomb, a soap or a bubble bar. Around the same time I discovered The Body Shop and fell in love with their body butter, but at 20 bucks a jar that was a more rare treat.
I eventually moved back to the States and was ecstatic when I found both a Lush and Body Shop 3 hours away in Dallas. All that and a basket of Naan*…this girl was in heaven! Trips to Dallas became much too frequent and I never left without full shopping bags from both places and an empty wallet. We won’t even go into what happened when I discovered Sephora in the same mall! Eek!
Did I ever think of making this stuff on my own? I didn’t even know it was possible. Sure, I’d heard of people making soap, but that stuff was made with lard and ashes or something and smelled like ammonia. Did I know that for a fact? No, but Laura Ingalls Wilder fueled my imagination. Homemade bath bombs, I’d heard of, but they could never be as yummy as Lush, right? And body butter? No one could possibly make that homemade. You needed a lab and a factory and tons of oompa loompas for that.
One day I found an article online about how to make bath bombs and thought, “Hey, I wanna do that!” And as it often happens on the internet, I started at one site then got sucked into the worm hole and ended up in a whole other dimension. I soon found out Laura Ingalls Wilder lied to me about homemade soap. Okay, well in her defense, soap was a whole different animal back then and did they ever really mention soap in the Little House books? I am not actually sure. I do apologize to you Mrs. Wilder for falsely accusing you. Please don’t haunt me. But if you do, please appear as a young snaggletooth Laura, as portrayed by the adorably cute Melissa Sue Gilbert. 🙂
Back to the story….So soon, I had ordered supplies to make homemade soap. And an obsession was born. The funny thing is, it was months later when I tried my first bath bomb, and have found they are not unlike a hormonal teenager. Some days they’re perfect and shiny and other days they are a raving ball of prickly fizz. I also found out that you actually can make body butter, lotions AND lip balm at home. Who knew!
So that is how I got started making stuff, but how did I end up with a business? Well to support my expensive habit (yes, it’s very expensive!) I knew I would eventually have to start selling my products. It was going to be a someday thing, but when I was invited to a small craft fair in the summer of 2011 it became a “now” thing. I got my sales tax permit, and insurance and eventually a dba and a bank acct and several festivals later I had a devout following.
It was not even in my wildest dreams at that time to have a soap shop, but eventually I got tired of meeting people in parking lots to exchange soap for cash. 🙂 And I think my family got tired of seeing my soap supplies in almost every room of the house!
I had my first studio in downtown Texarkana, but didn’t have a storefront. When the opportunity came, in 2012, to share space with someone else with the ability to be open to the public, I moved to Arkansas Blvd. At that time I was only open on Saturdays. In the summer of 2013 I decided to go big or go home and opened my first “real” store on Stateline. My nomadic ways brought me to Summerhill Sq. in September of 2014 and here have I been since!
In the past 5 years I have learned so much, and met so many wonderful people. I can happily report that I am now able to walk past both a Lush and a Body Shop without even crossing the threshold. Who knows where the future will take me and LillaSyster Soap Co., but I’m enjoying the ride!
*I now call mine Bath Fizzies, but there are many names for them.
**My love for Indian food may, in fact, equal my love for bath and body products!