Before the turn of the century, we all made our own soap and it was quite a process. So when mass-manufacturers made it easy to buy a bar at the grocery store, it was quite a timesaver for the average housewife. But like many things in life, buying commercially-made soap came with a downside: the user lost all control of the ingredients. This might be okay for some, but for those with allergies, sensitive skin or an aversion to chemicals, it's not such a great tradeoff. That's why the handmade soap business is booming.
Diana Gale is one of those soap makers. Her line of bars, butters and body washes are free of detergents, non-organic alcohols, phthalates, formaldehydes, silicones or phosphates. Now here's Diana to talk more about life as a handmade soap maker and seller.
What kinds of items do you make and sell?
Diana: I make artisanal body products – bar soaps, body wash, body butters, bath bombs, scrubs, beard oils, masks & lip products, and I sell pure essential oils …
Why did you choose that field or did it choose you?
Diana: Funny you should ask! It definitely chose me – clear out of the blue - 2 years after I was injured in a freak accident and I thought my life was over. Making my products has allowed me to heal.
Tell us about your favorite piece either currently in your store or in the past.
Diana: I love, love, love my V Bar, which took 3 years of trial and error R&D. I am repeatedly surprised at the wonderful ways in which it approves my appearance head to toe.
Talk about the decision to start selling your work? Was it a difficult decision to make? What, if anything, was holding you back?
Diana: I was really kind of talked into selling. I started out making soap as a hobby to help myself heal… and people started paying me not only for my body products, but also for my graphic designs… so really, the universe brought me TWO new things I didn’t know I could do!
How do you market your business?
Diana: I definitely do not market enough at the moment. I wrote a business plan to apply for a grant, which will help me a great deal with marketing and getting my products out there where buyers can see them.
What inspires you?
Diana: The Art Deco Flapper Era inspires me more than anything!
What frustrates you?
Diana: Knowing that I have an awesome product that just needs people to try it so they’ll never go back! Etsy also frustrates me…
What’s something you’ve kept since you were a child?
Diana: My sense of humor and love of music… so that’s 2 things!
If you could get up tomorrow and do anything at all, what would you do?
Diana: Hire some employees & consultants to help me with the business…
Your friend is going to sign up with IndieMade tomorrow (while you’re off doing whatever you wanted to do). What advice do you have that will help her be successful?
Diana: Take good photos & learn how to write interesting copy!
Is there anything else you’d like to add or say to our audience of creative people? Feel free:
Diana: I love to be of service, so feel free to connect with me on Facebook and social media!
Visit Diana at Star 9 Divine Beauty & Bath
And follow her on social media: