In honor of American Business Women’s Day, we were on the lookout for an exceptionally cool, woman-owned business that made a logo with Tailor Brands – and we found it!
Meet Marisa, creator of the wonderful Lather Bar Soap Company. From soaps with cheeky names to gorgeous bath bombs and body scrubs, her products are oozing with confidence and sass – and we needed to hear all about how they came to be.
Check out our Q&A with Marisa to learn how she brands and finds customers, the challenges she faces as both a small business owner and female entrepreneur, and her advice for others who are looking to start their own business.
A. Hi! I’m Marisa, founder and creator of Lather Bar, a soap company in upstate New York, handcrafting artisanal soaps, bath bombs, body scrubs and really anything else fun we can get our hands on.
I love working with different scents, it’s probably my favorite part of the job. I love how a smell can remind of you something or bring back a memory from your childhood, like Mom making an apple pie or the way grape soda smelled. It’s the little memories like that that make me smile and thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing.
Q. Where did your inspiration to start Lather Bar Soap Co. come from?
A. Lather Bar began as a hobby; I was making these little cupcake bath bombs almost daily after work and handing them out to friends and family, not really thinking too much would come of it – I was just so pleased with my work!
I thought I would eventually get bored and move on to something else. Well, I never did get bored, but that something else ended up being soap – so now I was making both bath bombs and soap after work because the demand from friends, family and coworkers was so great. Before I knew it, I was creating a DBA and beginning to build the foundation for my business.
Q. Do you have a team that helps you? If yes, how did you decide who to hire?
A. I do have an amazing team, it’s small but mighty! There are three of us slinging soap almost daily, hand pressing bath bombs, cutting soap, labelling and packing shipments.
Deciding who to hire really came down to the needs of the business. I wanted to be able to delegate to take a load off of me, but I was also looking for a team with a great work ethic and overall positive moral.
Q. What separates you from other artisanal soap companies?
A. For the most part, I try to use local as much as possible. Where we are located (Saratoga Springs, NY) we have natural springs, and we enrich our batches of soap with the natural spring and mineral water. We say it’s so our bars will always have a touch of home.
To set our soap apart from other companies, we also have our signature rough arched top. It gives the soap a unique look which stands out, but it’s also a way for customers to identify our brand compared to another sitting on the shelf next to it.
Q. Which is your best-selling bath bomb?
A. Our Lavender bath bomb has been a bestseller since day one. Lavender is such a classic and known for its relaxing and calming effects.
Q. How did you set up your website?
A. My website is hosted by Shopify, and they have some pretty great layouts that make it easy for anyone to build a website even if they’ve never done it before. I was able to set mine up in a couple of hours without having any experience.
Q. How do you find customers? Any branding or marketing tips to share?
A. I attend farmers’ markets, wholesale trade shows, festivals; I try and do some pop-up shops around the holidays since we don’t have a brick and mortar, and I also tend to use a lot of hashtags across social media to reach a wide range of new customers.
Q. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a small business owner? Are there challenges associated with being a female entrepreneur? If yes, how do you overcome them?
A. I absolutely love owning my own business, but to say that it’s been easy and without challenges would be an understatement – as I’m sure many can relate.
As a small business owner who makes soap for a living, I feel that sometimes I am not taken seriously. From the outside looking in, it may seem like it’s easy work or it’s still just a hobby, but at the end of the day I know how much time I’ve invested and how hard I’ve worked on building my business.
With that being said, there also comes along the challenge of being a female entrepreneur and being criticized for my work-life balance. It has sometimes weighed so heavily on me that it has left me with feelings of guilt and wanting to throw in the towel on everything I’ve worked so hard to accomplish. It’s important to me to have the right people and team supporting me, who want to see me happy, who genuinely want me to succeed and reach my goals.
Q. What’s the next step for Lather Bar Soap Company?
A. I would love to see Lather Bar Soap Company go international. We currently wholesale to many stores across the US and Canada, but reaching out even further is definitely a future goal.
Q. Do you have any advice for others who are interested in starting their own online business (soaps or otherwise)?
A. The one question I’m asked the most is where I learned how to make soap, and the answer is that I taught myself. Never doubt your capabilities; it may take some time and effort but it will all be worth it.
Feeling motivated to share your own business with the world?
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