I wish you all could be sitting with me as Kristi and I have coffee and tea and just talk about life - the moment you meet her you will feel loved and more than likely you will get the best hug of your life! This woman loves fiercely and graciously and sees the very best in everyone! Something I truly admire!
I could go on and on, but let's get down to why I am writing a blog post about Kristi. I wanted to change a few things up on the blog and thought it would be fun to highlight local people and their businesses and I am lucky that one of my bestie's has an amazing business called Crystal Lake Soap Company. Make sure you read to the end to see her beautiful family and get a special discount code to use on her Etsy Shop! Special discount ends on 3/31/23.
1. How did you get started and why?
I never meant to start a business. My husband and I both have sensitive skin, and in our case, two negatives do not make a positive because all four of our children also have sensitive skin. I started making soap that was gentle, but still provided natural benefits, that did not contain unnecessary ingredients or preservatives. I started with hand and body bars and quickly graduated to facial cleansers and shampoo bars. I just fell in love with creating different recipes and wanted to share my soap with everyone I knew that had sensitive skin. I started taking requests from family and friends and eventually started selling my soap. Crystal Lake Soap Co. was born out of a need to find products that did not irritate our skin, and turned into a wonderful small business which is proudly connected to the local community.
2. What is the hardest part of the business?
Getting our products in front of people without a brick and mortar shop is the biggest challenge. We attend several amazing holiday markets and pop up shops in addition to farmers markets in the summer and fall, but rely on our website and Etsy shop other times of the year.
3. What is the best part of the business?
The endless opportunity for creativity. I am a maker, and am happiest when I am creating favorite products or formulating a new recipe. I'm totally addicted to making soap from pure and simple ingredients, that cleans our sensitive skin and hair without harsh chemicals. My soap is made the old fashioned way with the cold process method. This is an extreme test of delayed gratification because each bar takes 4-6 weeks to fully cure, but is always worth the wait. I'm constantly on the lookout for ways to detox my family from the chemicals we have grown accustomed to in everyday life. I have been making soap for over a decade and love learning about new ingredients and products. When a friend or customer approaches me with an ailment, looking for a clean, simple product to try, I love working with them to formulate a new hand salve or shampoo bar that gives them what they are looking for.
4. What is your favorite product?
How can I possibly choose?!? Here are the products I use the most often on my body: Charcoal Face Soap, Facial Oil Serum and Dark Circles Under Eye Balm. In our home, we can’t live without our Laundry Stain Sticks, and when I travel, I pack the above plus a Shampoo Bar and Stress & Anxiety Rollerball!
5. When do you make your products?
Whenever possible! With soap bars taking so long to fully cure, I’m constantly making soap and anticipating future needs. When I’m not creating, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration. When I see new flavor oils for a lip balm or see a product available commercially, I think, I could make that, and it might not be as pretty, or last for 10 years, but I could definitely make a version of that I could use on my body.
6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their own business what would it be?
Find something you are passionate about and start small. People can usually sense when someone is genuinely excited about what they do. I do not like to “sell” my products, but I love telling people about what each item does and why it was created.
7. What would you like to try next?
For soap, I’m currently working on expanding our hair care line, and I want to focus on more eco friendly products and packaging! In life, I can’t wait to get back to throwing pottery, I have a wheel and am saving up for a kiln and a proper workspace.
8. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Carbs, duh. Bread mostly or a really good sugar cookie! Should of course be homemade or handcrafted by an artisan!
9. Favorite movie and favorite line from that movie?
I have two I equally love, The Thomas Crown Affair (I have always loved any book, movie or story about art theft) and Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen…Obvi!).
Thomas Crown Affair – “Regret is usually a waste of time, as is gloating,” Thomas Crown
Pride and Prejudice - “I could more easily forgive his vanity, had he not wounded mine,” Elizabeth Bennet.
10. What is a hidden talent you have that no one knows about?
If you know me, I’m a pretty open book, so I don’t think I have any hidden talents. I can tell you things I’m terrible at; I’m a horrible singer, but I don’t let it stop me from singing along to my favorite songs! I also can’t tell a joke to save my life! I can be funny, but I always mess up the punch lines. I leave the joke telling to my hubby and kids!
Happy Shopping Friends! Take 15% off your entire order when you spend $25 now through 3/31/23. Promo code COFFEECAN15.
Thanks for reading!