Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skin care and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Silke Johns, founder of Soakind, located in London, England, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Soakind - and as the name suggests, it is all about products that are kind to your skin. I use a great range of natural, gentle ingredients (most of which are vegan-friendly), are mild and not irritating on the skin. I try and use as little plastic packaging as possible!
My customers are those who care about the environment, care about gentle and natural skin care products, and who may have sensitive skin. As someone with many allergies and eczema, I have gained a huge wealth of information on ingredients. I am always happy to help with questions!
Tell us about yourself
I am a mum of three little children and started off by making bath and skincare products privately, simply for my family. With my eczema, I found many commercial products too irritating for my skin. These were often packaged in tons of plastic. My smallest child also developed a little bit of eczema, which for me really was the point where I started thinking carefully about the products I put on my kid's skin!
Friends and family loved my products and encouraged me to start selling, so in 2019 I decided to create Soakind, get all the legal aspects sorted, and started selling my extra gentle, natural, and mainly vegan-friendly to the public.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
2021 has been my biggest year so far! I have a brand-new range of extra gentle soaps - they not only use plant-based oils as all my other soaps, but I also developed this new range with safflower oil as the main ingredient. It is extra gentle and so nice on sensitive skin. At the same time, I also developed a new whipped soap range that also works beautifully on sensitive skin and is such a versatile product. These two new ranges took a year to develop and have been a huge hit since release!
Personally, as a family, we no longer need to buy any shampoo or shower gels and have beautiful, natural hand and lip balms. My kids are proud of my products and prefer them over shop-bought products - what more could I wish for!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Juggling not only the production of my products but all the admin that comes with it. Very few people know about all the legalities that go with cosmetic making. Sadly, there are still many people selling without following rules and regulations. I need to keep a record of each ingredient with batch numbers, need to create my own batch numbers, accurate labels, submit each product to the cosmetics portal, etc. There is a lot going on behind the scenes!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research - setting up a business may look a lot easier until you find out the costs involved in setting up (in my case, legal documentation for recipes, testing products, insurances, equipment...)
- Practice - make sure you have practiced enough before selling your products/services to the public
- Don't be too harsh on yourself - it does take time to create a new business!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be kind to your skin, your mind, and your environment!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.