Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in soap making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ruth Beckler, Founder of Good News Soap, located in Hartford, SD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Good News Soap is a soapmaking business. I make bar soap in small batches, with a focus on quality and artistry. I carefully crafted my soap recipe to achieve a perfect balance of cleansing power and gentleness on the skin, large bubbles, and silky lather. I also design each batch of soap with colors and techniques specifically chosen for beauty, and often with the goal of visually representing the fragrance. My customers are typically people who want to support small businesses, people who appreciate the quality, beauty, and uniqueness of handmade goods, and people who want to avoid the chemicals found in many commercial products.
Tell us about yourself
I am a homesteader, artist, and crafter at heart. I love to make beautiful yet useful things. Soapmaking started as just another craft I wanted to try, but I soon learned that there was no way my family could go through soap fast enough to keep up with the pace I wanted to make it.
I have wanted to start a business for years now, but for a long time, I didn't know what I wanted that business to be. Once I got into soapmaking, I had my answer. I also quickly realized that my product could be a platform for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. I include a scripture verse on the outside of each label and the gospel on the inside. My hope is that somewhere, someone reads that message and finds hope.
I am motivated by the enjoyment of the soapmaking process, the positive feedback I get from customers, and the hope that at least one person is helped along the way to trusting Jesus because of what I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There have been a lot of great accomplishments along the journey, but I think the biggest one was just getting started. I certainly thought about starting a business for a long time before actually starting. I was primarily held back by fear of the unknown, and I am proud of taking the step to get started. Another big accomplishment was definitely when I had my first order come in. That was really exciting.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is staying disciplined about all of the different things that need to be done. I have to manage my time and plan out when to do various tasks, and it doesn't always work out.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start.
You can do a lot of research on how to run a business, do's and don't's, how to do this, how to do that, and become really bogged down in the details or frightened off from starting. Let me tell you, there's always more to learn, and there's always more than you expect, so just get started and learn along the way.
- Ask for help when you need it.
No one is good at everything. It's ok to have other people step in and help. For example, bookkeeping is not my strength, but my husband is great at it, so he keeps the books. Find people who can help you.
- Stay out of debt.
I know fast money is attractive, but then you are under pressure because your business has to perform right away to pay back the loans. If you can start without debt, you have some time where you can figure things out and where it's ok if your business isn't doing much yet. It'll grow.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I've said before that Good News Soap is a platform for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, so I would be remiss if I did not do that now. Each and every one of us is born as sinners into a world of sin. There is no way, and never has been, for us to get ourselves out of the mess. For that reason, and because he loves you, God became human for a time in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived, walked, talked, ate, and taught during his time as a human, and at the end of that time, he willingly gave up his life to protect you from the consequences of sin. Jesus died on the cross for you. But he didn't stay dead. He has risen to new life again and now waits for you to join him in new life. If you repent of your wrong-doing and ask Jesus to be in charge of your life, he will gladly do it. You will become a new person, no longer needing to pay the price for your sins. Jesus will then begin to change you into a better person, and when your life is over, he will bring you home to heaven, where there is no sorrow.
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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