Phewwww it's been a little while since I last interviewed a Girl Boss for My Mantra Active blogs. The last 10 months have been all about travelling the world and living out of a suitcase, so things got a little challenging, but now I'm back and ready to rock and roll again :) I've recently connected with a few local brands for a huge Christmas giveaway (coming soon) and luckily I connected with an amazing Girl Boss. Sharon is the owner of Soap Daze, an ethical hand made soap brand based in Devon. Other than soap, Soap Daze also sells hand made cleansing pads, facecloths and facial oils/exfoliators. All products are hand-crafted with love in small batches, or are made to order. Here we go, please welcome Sharon and her beautiful business Soap Daze.
Q - Please tell us about what your business is and how long you've been running it for?
A - Soap Daze is a soapmaking business which uses the traditional cold process method, so real soap! I started Soap Daze nearly 8 years ago.
Q - How did you come about with the idea of making vegan soap?
A - It was very bizarre. I had absolutely no intention of starting a business but someone randomly suggested I should make soap!
Q - What did you previously do for a living and did you find that the experience helped you create the business?
A - I worked for 15 years in an analytical laboratory, mainly analysing sewage! So when I googled 'how to make soap' it didn't look daunting. I am very good at not spilling stuff. Plus soap smells nicer than sewage.
Q - Why a vegan product?
A - Why not?! Everyone can use it if a product is vegan. I don't understand why other soapmakers use beeswax and if you use the right base oils you can make a hard long lasting soap.
Q - Did you always have interest in starting your own business and would you say you're an entrepreneur at heart? Or are you simply following your passion?
A - I don't know about being an entrepreneur, I have learned so slowly. But I love a process, I made a darkroom as a teenager, and have made wine and beer as a hobby.
Q - Where do you find inspiration to create new soap products? I personally love the one I own (coffee and raw cacao), and I find it so creative and unique.
A - I find inspiration everywhere! The soap you mentioned is from the Nourish range, which was inspired by superfoods in smoothies. If it's healthy to eat then it's super safe to put on your skin.
Q - Do you sometimes feel stuck and how do you go about bringing back that creative flow?
A - Yes, sometimes I can't think of a way forward, like with packaging, or new products, but as soon as I'm near giving up something turns up!
Q - If it's ok, can you take us through the start up process of your brand? Like for example a 1 to 10 steps you had to take to launch the business.
A - To be honest, I didn't really have a brand for about 5 years! I was a very slow starter!
Q - Do you have a team of people that help you? What's their role in your business?
A - No it's basically just me. Although, I have had a lot of help from friends this Christmas as I couldn't cope on my own. I would love to be able to employ someone in the future.
Q - Do you delegate a lot of your work or do you like to get stuck in yourself?
A - Again, I do everything! But I love making and markets best of all.
Q - Do you follow anyone online who inspires you do better business? I've recently started following Jenna Kutcher and she is a genius when it comes to business and marketing (I'm a bit of a business geek I must admit).
A - I love to follow all my stockists on Instagram, and look at all the amazing small brands they support alongside me. I am so grateful to my stockists as they literally keep me afloat.
Q - How do you keep that work life balance? Are you finding it easy to switch off?
A - No I never properly switch off except for a week at Christmas. And daily dog walks!
Q - What advise do you have for someone who would really like to have a side project but doesn't really know what it is yet?
A - Think about what you enjoy doing best, and the type of people you feel comfortable around, would they buy your products?
Q - Do you recommend any books on business and personal growth that helped you?
A - I haven't actually read any business books. Maybe if I had I wouldn't have started! It's been really hard but I've loved every moment.
Q - What words of wisdom have you got for women that are just starting out with a small project like yours?
A - Just do it, and don't give up. If you don't have time to fully commit, then research, and dream and plan, and it will become reality.
Thank you very much Sharon for finding time in your super busy schedule to join us on our Girl Boss Q&A series today :)
If you'd like to follow Sharon and support her small ethical soap business you can find her on the following links - WEB
Here's a quote I'd like to share with you today that's relevant to small businesses like Sharons. "When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little dance". This quote really resonates with me and I know that feeling when people choose to shop your brand, because I still do happy dances when customers choose to shop from my small brand. Please don't forget to support small and local businesses where you can and invest your hard earned money in someone's project so they can keep providing the highest service they can give - their passion and dreams.
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