I had the pleasure of chatting with a green, clean soap making machine -Ok a really cool lady who creates awesome handmade body care products: Soap Rehab!!
1) Tell us about yourself: My name is Sara Addington, I live in southeast Michigan. My shop name is Soap Rehabilitation. http://soaprehab.etsy.com
2)How did you come up with your shop name? During my brainstorming for names, I was focused on coming up with a name that would tell people what I do, and cause people to think about indie bath & body products and the benefits of using them. I also wanted a name that shows a fun side to natural bath and body. Even though I'm focused on green and natural products, and recycle like crazy, I'm more of a funky kinda green girl, so I wanted a name to reflect that aspect my personality as well.
3)When did you make the decision to pursue your art? I was inspired to begin experimenting with all kinds of crafts as a young girl, sitting around my grandmother's table with my mom, sister, and aunts. What a group of crafty women I grew up around. We tried all kinds of arts and crafts together. Once I learned to make soap, and I have been hooked ever since! All we've used in my house for years is my handmade soaps and lotions. I noticed how much our skin improved, and decided to bring it out into the world, so to speak.
3) How do you balance crafting work(if other than Etsy) and everyday life? Right now, Soap Rehab is my work. Our basement is set up as my workspace, giving me a place to remove myself a bit from "home" and concentrate on everything I need to do for this business. My worlds of home and work still are very intertwined, but I try to stick to a schedule I set up for myself in order to make sure I am devoting enough of my time to different areas of my life, and to stay on task. This is a work in progress! I think maintaining balance always requires a bit of adjustment from time to time, evaluating the day and really thinking about how I'm utilizing my time.
4)What are your favorite pieces in your shop. My current favs are my FreshTart Exfoliating Soap, I am really loving the scrubbiness of the tiny apricot seeds in the soap and the juicy fresh scent. and the Chocoholic Body Balm. And the body balm is really helping my super dry skin right now, and I find the chocoholic scent makes me feel positively edible :-)
5) Tell us a bit about being part of the UniqueWomeninBusiness Street Team? This team is an amazing group of supportive women. I have learned from them, laughed with them, shared with them...they are part of my online "family". A great sisterhood is hard to find, and I feel lucky to be a part of it.
6) What do you love most about operating your own creative business? Creating, being able to make things with my own hands, and exploring new things is therapeutic to me. It's a bit magical to watch raw materials turn into something useful, and sometimes also beautiful. The other aspect is the flexibility. Being an indie business owner, when my family is in need, I can adjust my schedule accordingly. This is really important to me, as there are times when my son really needs me and I can be there for him.
7) If you could go back in time to the beginning stages of your venture, what advice would you give yourself? Learn how to take better photos. I realize that selling online means that photos are very important. My early photos were atrocious! I'm getting better, but I know this is an area I could still improve upon.
8) Why do you think consumers should shop handmade? I try to support small businesses whenever I can. I think shopping handmade means putting your money into an area of the economy that stands to have the biggest impact for us all. You're putting that money back into the hands of your neighbors, families, real people just like you and me, with a name, face, and story behind their creations and businesses...not enormous impersonal corporations. And if consumer spending is the biggest marker of a strong economy, I think this could be the best way to pump up consumer spending.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk soap, indie business, and in general blab on. :)
Other places to find me: << href="http://soaprehab.blogspot.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://soaprehab.blogspot.com
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