May Community Feature with The Crystal SoapsmithBy: OwlCrate Jr
Read on for this month's community feature with Penelope Mendivel, the vendor of The Crystal Soapsmith!
Hi Penelope! When we came across your shop we immediately fell in love with your soaps! Can you tell us a little about how The Crystal Soapsmith came to be?
I love crystals and have been collecting them for 20 years. One day I was polishing my hand sized smoky quartz and holding it I’m my hands, and thought it would make a cool looking soap. At that moment the idea was born. With my background in ceramics and sculpture I was able to make professional molds of my crystals that I still use today. I studied soap making online and with many hours of recipe trial and error, I achieved my goal of making soaps look like treasures of the earth. So it was time to share them with the world and put them up for sale in my Etsy shop.
What would you say is your favorite part of running your business? What’s the most challenging part?
My favorite part of running this business is sharing a bit of beauty with others. In a stressful world, it’s my honor to send out these boxes of colorful inspiring soaps to customers because everyone needs to feel the peace and serenity of bath time with that special bath product. The most challenging part of this business has been keeping the artistic quality strong while trying to keep the prices affordable.
Do you have a favorite crystal and have you been able to replicate it in soap form? Is there an elusive gem or crystal that you’re still trying to perfect?
I think the pink tourmaline crystals are my favorite and it has been my number one selling soap to date. I’m still trying to perfect my bath bombs though.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs wishing to start their own small business?
My advice to anyone that has a good idea that they wish to share, is first write it down on paper, then start to add photos or sketches of how you envision it to look. Research how to create your product. The internet and the library are the best sources of information. For anyone interested in soap making I recommend the Brambleberry website. They have everything you need to buy and learn the art of soap making. The next step is to practice, practice, practice and share your idea with family and friends for feedback. And mostly, never give up and enjoy yourself, have fun and stay positive and with that attitude you can make great things happen.