This week's Featuree is an incredible inspiration for those of us who's dream it is to run our shops as our careers...:)
Her shops are chalk full of deliciously scented and lovingly created soaps. If you haven't met her already in the course of your Etsy travels, her shop is on Delicatessen you don't want to miss sampling! Meet Rebecca of SoapDeli!
What does Rebecca have for us this week? I swear, I want it for myself...*lol* We've got her divinely scented Angel Wings Soap...a little slice of bath-time heaven...*can smell the Pearly gates all the way here*
What do you have to do to grab your slice, how about TWO slices? Cuz that's what Rebecca is offering...TWO BARS! Just follow these simple rules...:)
For ONE entry
♥wander on over to Soapdeli's Etsy Shop or her Artfire Shop
♥select your favorite item from her shop
♥come back here and tell us what it is, and most importantly, a brief explanation WHY
For ADDITIONAL entries
♥ONE more entry: read the interview below and briefly tell us what part you liked most.
♥ONE more entry: Follow Soapdeli on her Blog
♥ONE more entry: Follow Soapdeli on Twitter
♥ONE more entry: Follow GiftedDesigns on Twitter
♥TWO more entries: blog about this Giveaway and Feature on your own blog! Don't forget to provide the links back in your comments so we can see...:)
♥TWO more entries: follow my blog! You'll find the Follow box to the left by scrolling down a bit...:) If you already follow me, just say so and it'll count!
♥FIVE more entries: Purchase from either Gifted Designs or Soapdeli (her Artfire Shop can be purchased from too)! Purchasing from both triples your entries to FIFTEEN! Don't forget to tell us what you got by linking to it in a comment...:D
So that's a possibility of 28 entries...;) Of course, you don't HAVE to do all that, but I'm sure you'll want to! A random number generator will be used to choose who wins! Just make sure to include as many comments as you have entries...:)
Now...to find out more about the lovely lady behind all that gorgeous soap!
1- When did you become interested in creating your own soaps?
In February 2001 about the same time I got my business license. I started out selling soaps that I purchased wholesale until I was confident enough to sell my own.
In a nutshell I have super sensitive skin. Mom used to wash me and brother's clothes twice - once with detergent and once without to get the scent out - so we wouldn't break out. Luckily it's much easier to find unscented detergents now. But you can imagine how sensitive my skin is. Once I discovered handmade soaps and the difference they made in my skin I never went back. After buying handmade soap for so long it just seemed a natural progression to try my own hand at soapmaking. I've always been a crafty kind of girl.
2- What does ‘cold processed soaps’ mean?
Cold process refers to the way the soaps were made. Basically cold processed soaps are made the old fashioned way from lye and fats. (I use all vegetable based oils for my fats.) Once the lye-water and fats are mixed together, no additional heat is applied. There's a nifty tutorial on the entire process from start to finish on my blog, Soap Deli News. http://soapdelinews.blogspot.com/2009/03/lets-make-soap-cold-process-soapmaking.html
3- To what do you attribute your success on Etsy and your growing success on Artfire?
A good product, decent photos, and promotion, promotion, promotion. I think marketing yourself really is the key. I didn't start getting regular online sales until I spent a year online constantly marketing everyday. You can have the best product in the world, but no one is going to buy it if they don't know it's there.
4- Do you have a favorite scent that you use yourself?
I am currently in love with my Lemon Verbena Salt Bar. It's all natural, my skin loves it, and the scent is just to die for.
5- I love your shop name and the idea of you running a delicious delicatessen. What inspired you to go with that concept for your shop?
It's really funny because there wasn't any real thought into starting my own business. I tend to be impulsive and Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen is just another example of that. I was just sitting at the kiosk I was managing at the mall one day when I decided I wanted to sell soap. And I thought that all of these soaps should absolutely smell good enough to eat. I came up with the idea and the name then and there in all of 60 seconds. My shop has since expanded to include non-food scents and buyer requests.
6- Aside from making soap, do you work outside the home as well? If so, what do you do?
I used to work in management for Gap, Inc. at the mall. However, I developed agoraphobia one year right around holiday - and anyone who has ever worked retail at a mall knows how stressful holiday can be. I took a medical leave for about three weeks. It was during that time I decided to give being a stay at home mom a try. I was really lucky in that my husband was making enough money at this point that I had the luxury of staying home. A little after a year later, I was going stir crazy and talking to complete strangers at Target about sales while shopping for the household. And so, on impulse, I decided I was going to sell my soaps on the local Roanoke City Market. The next day I had an interview with the market manager and the day after that I was selling downtown. By the following year I was selling full time. It's been a really great experience for me for so many reasons. I'm a social person at heart and the agoraphobia was crippling for me. The market really helped me get back out into the world doing something I loved.
So, basically my full time job is selling soap, marketing, and helping the hubby with his new project. I find working for myself allows me a lot of flexibility and I've finally learned that it's okay to take time off when I need it. I was quite the workaholic for a while.
7- I imagine that making soaps can create a delightful mess…:) Do you have somewhere special to produce them?
Not yet. I wish I did though. Once the housing crisis is over and some things are paid off I'm hoping we can move out of our starter home into a slightly bigger house that allows for a dedicated studio space. In the meantime I make soaps in my kitchen and store everything in our finished basement. The soap has definitely taken over my husband's man cave. But really he can't complain too much. He has a light box set up on his pool table to satisfy his need to take product photography shots.
8- Are your products available in other locations other than the Net?
Currently I have some soaps for sale in local boutiques. Vida Bella on Grandin Rd. in Roanoke and Calhoun & Kipp on Market St.
9- Your husband recently put his dreams out for everyone on the Internet to enjoy and appreciate by creating the wonderful ByHand.me website. What do you think of his site concept and how did he rope you into co-administrating with him? ;)
I think the concept for ByHand.me is great. It's all about helping out other artists who are trying to make a living doing what they love. And really, how can I say "no" to helping out with something like that? Adam spends most all of his free time programming improvements and new features for ByHand. Even when he accompanies me downtown to the market on weekends he has his macbook in tow. He really and truly just wants to give back somehow and ByHand is how he's able to do it. I'd be a fool not to want to give back to such a great project. I really hope everyone will read Adam's story. It will sucker you in too. ;) http://byhand.me/component/option,com_content/Itemid,272/id,1342/view,article/
10- What is your favorite color and why? :)
Lavender. And I can't tell you why just that it's a great color. I guess perhaps because it lends itself to being moody. It can be happy or traumatic or sad depending on how it's used. I've painted my living room purple twice. The first time it was ashen violet. The second, when I won a $10K makeover from La-Z-Boy, another shade of lavender. I really dig lavender paired with sage too. Here's a before and after pic of my living room. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_9YJWLvm9jUc/SbnqCOfxnCI/AAAAAAAAALc/Qxa5Fj_VDqw/s400/livingrooms.jpg
There you have it...a courageous young woman. She may be impulsive, but she follows through and she's incredibly inspiring for that!
Rebecca can be found in all these locations if you'd like to know more about her
These are some of my favorites from her Etsy shop!
Spiced Cranberry Soap with Shea Butter - Holiday Collection
Lemon Spice Chefs Soap with Coffee and Shea Butter - ALL NATURAL
Lime Margarita Salt Bar for Extra Dry Skin with Shea and Cocoa Butters
Feel free to link us to your blog or Etsy shop...we'd love to see what you've got! The WINNER will be announced the same way Cand was announced...:D So be sure to come looking!
Have fun reading and drooling over all the delicious goodies and thank you to everyone who enters in support!