2021 marks my 20th anniversary for making soap professionally in Missouri.
Had I known the effort to keep going in the soap world, would I have started? Honestly, probably not. It’s what I have known since I was a child back in the 60’s. I love soapmaking, don’t get me wrong but the business side is a completely different animal. From trademark battles with a major clothing manufacturer to the backend accounting, these are all things I never thought much about. It does seem like just a year or two ago I was pondering a name for my business. Sitting in the sunshine on our field the name Botanical Earth was born in June 2001. Then within 5 months I started another soap line, MoSoap based upon my grandmother’s recipes. Since the two brands were polar opposites for each other, I divided the businesses up and became MoHerbs. While that was all going on, I started Naturally Wicked and opened up wholesale so I have to say, I was pretty busy.
While I had a separate house on our property to make my products in, I always thought I would like to have a brick and mortar shop. Looking everywhere, I could never find a building to suit me. Then we came upon an auction and boom, we bought a rather large building for my soap shop.
The dream of owning a historic building was very romanticized than based in reality to say the least. I adore my home but it was too much with the soap shop in it so…..when the building across the street became available, I had to have it and could see it’s potential. It was the best decision ever! While my husband called it a “turd of a building”, I knew it could transform into a great soap shop. It wasn’t pretty when we bought it but, now I am amazed at it every day I come to work. And, yes I do work nearly everyday on something regarding soap!
My favorite thing is to look at how the labeling has changed for my brands over the years. MoSoap hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years, while just the Arcadia Valley line has drastically changed over 7 years – but that’s really thanks to adding Shanda, who is highly creative and fab.
So no big hoopla or party, I’m too tired to catch up on soaping to throw a party for myself. It’s just a personal milestone that I never even imagined. I can’t see myself doing anything else but I guess that’s not really true. A brewery and bakery in the works is taking a lot of my time now and hence why I am slow sometimes. I’m thankful to have found someone to carry on when it’s my time to go. It would have been somewhat sad just to close one day but I’m teaching Shanda everything I know to carry on and make it even better. It’s interesting that while I have done this for 20 years, it’s a been a flash it feels like, and to think it will go pass my term is more exciting to me that starting it 20 years ago.