Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angela Carillo, Owner of Alegna Soap, located in Bethpage, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a soap maker, and my customers are pretty much everyone since everyone needs soap. I do target women my age (65 years young) who want affordable luxury. I also do white and private label soap making and teach classes in NYC and in my home studio on Long Island, NY.

Tell us about yourself

I started out as Dominick & Ruth’s daughter, became Brian’s wife, and ended up Steven and Elaine’s mom. These are wonderful things to be, and I’m very grateful to be them. But as I got older, I needed something else. I decided to take my soapmaking hobby and turn it into a business to challenge myself and push out of my comfort zone.

I love having a purpose in life, and my business gives me that. I do daily Facebook Lives and try to incorporate gratitude and kindness into my soapmaking process, my customers, and my life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Soapmaking has encouraged me to do so many things I never thought I would. From speaking in public at soap conferences, writing a book, traveling to Haiti, and teaching soapmaking to women displaced by the earthquake, I continue to stretch myself. I am becoming comfortable with pushing out of my comfort zone and feeling uncomfortable.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Learning to say 'No" to things that I felt were not good for my company or for me was difficult. People have ideas and tell you what you "should" do. If may be a great idea, but it might not be right for me. Saying "yes" to everything is a sure-fire way to burn out.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start before you think you are ready. If you wait, you will never will. If you feel 80% prepared, go for it.
  2. Don't strive for perfection; good enough is good enough. It never will be perfect.
  3. Look to other businesswomen for support and help. When I started Alegna Soap, I got more help from people some might see as my competition (other makers who had businesses) than anyone else. Collaboration, not competition, is a mindset you can cultivate.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Starting a business is hard work. I kept my full-time job for the first ten years, so I didn't need to take out a loan. Navigating Covid was a challenge I hope to never see again. But at the end of the day, I have pride in knowing this is something that I built, I created, and I'm no longer only defined by someone else.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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