Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Milan, Owner of SARAH'S SOAPS, located in St. Catharines, ON, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
SARAH'S SOAPS soulfully crafts herbal skincare for all bodies using 100% natural, plant-based ingredients + wild-harvested botanicals to create simple, effective, and affordable goods. Our products are made without animal products, byproducts, or testing and are certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA. All our packaging is either reusable, recyclable, and/or biodegradable!
Our customers are those who wish to use natural skincare as a part of their everyday rituals with an ingredient list that they can easily read + understand. We truly believe that natural skin care shouldn't be a luxury - it should be the norm. You should feel confident with not only what goes on your body but the footprint + the practices your products leave behind.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been fascinated with all things plants + have been crafting plant-powered goods for SARAH'S SOAPS since 2013. With my background in Horticulture combined with my knowledge of healing botanicals + folk /bioregional herbalism, I am able to combine forces to create powerful, healing skincare for all bodies.
I take so much inspiration from the Ontario forests, which we mindfully + sustainably gather botanicals from - both native + invasive species that grow here. Something so special about working closely with the land is harvesting sweet blooms in the spring, tender greens in the summer, and deep roots in the fall. There is always so much to learn if you open your heart + soul to the earth!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In 2022, SARAH'S SOAPS celebrates nine years in business! Nine years as a solo entrepreneur is an accomplishment in itself - working alone has its highs and lows. Every year that passes, I see so much growth in my business and am inspired to try new things. I wouldn't have it any other way!
In the past nine years, we have attended over 100+ markets, been featured in many publications, sold thousands of products, won multiple awards, collaborated with other small businesses, and so much more. It has truly been a dream to see my vision that I had for my small business blossom into what it is today!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
When you wear so many hats as a solopreneur, your head tends to become a little heavy... It took me a while to realize that it is okay to ask for help + that you can't do everything by yourself. There was a time when we were not only crafting our products, marketing them, shipping, and selling, but we were also photographing our goods + printing our own labels.
Once I reached out to a local print shop in the area + hired a wonderful local photographer for some extra content, I had much more time on my hands. I am so happy that I have a team of people on my side with a shared vision for my goods.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Trust your gut - be authentically you and do what feels right! Your power lies within being different, so take that and run with it.
- Appreciate your customers - a business isn't much without its customers, so always check in with them regularly. Always ask for feedback and reviews. Be sure to thank them every now and then for supporting you on your journey.
- Don't be afraid to take risks - some of the scariest moments in business for me have been ones that have truly paid off. You'll never grow inside your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to take those big leaps - one day, you will look back and wonder why you didn't take those risks sooner!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Reach out to other small businesses to connect with them! Having a team of like-minded individuals behind you truly makes all the difference. In my opinion, there is plenty of room at the table for small businesses, and collaboration over competition makes all the difference in your small business journey.
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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