Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shiela Musser, Owner of Eileen's Natural Soap, located in Fort Loramie, OH, USA.

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

My business is the production of all-natural, handcrafted soaps, lotions, shampoo, and much, much more. I sell soaps for all ages. Most of my customers are between 20 and 60. The majority of my customers are women; however, they buy for their men as well as themselves and other family members.

Tell us about yourself

A handmade Christmas gift was the start of my soap business. My husband is an avid gardener, so I asked him to grow Loofah so that I could combine soap and a natural sponge (loofa) for Christmas gifts. When the loofa was finally ready to be harvested and processed to be used as sponges, I thought I better look into the soap half. I had never made soap before. During the first batch I made, I wondered why anyone would make this expensive soap when it was so cheap at the store. After I used my soap, it all became clear - my skin was so soft, and I just couldn't get over the difference. After the success of the gift, I continued to research soap. I realized that companies during WWII had to turn to artificial ingredients because all resources were going to the war effort. After the war, they never went back to natural ingredients because the fake stuff was cheaper.

I started selling my soaps, and customers would ask me about other products, lotions, shampoo, and so on. I have enjoyed the whole process - research, testing products, helping people, designing labels and boxes - creativity rocks my world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment was growing to the point where I needed a building to manufacture my products. I started in my kitchen; it took over my house. We made part of our garage our soap shop and then outgrew that. Growth happened with the size of our soap shop and with us as owners. Buying supplies, making and creating products, dealing with customers, and finding stores to carry our product. It is all steps of accomplishment. You have to keep forging ahead one step at a time.

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

The hardest thing for me as a business owner was keeping up with social media the online posts. As an owner, you have to be proficient at all jobs. The online area is where I had the least time and knowledge to thrive - just adequate, and that was always tugging at me to do better, haha.

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

You can look up all kinds of suggestions on how to start a business - I think it has to be something you are passionate about, really enjoy, and absolutely plan to keep banging your head against the wall - figuratively speaking. I am a firm believer in prayer - running, and owning a business; you will need a quote from my father "keep the faith, but pray like hell."

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

A friend sent me a graph called - A Day in the Life As an Entrepreneur.

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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