Soapy Suds-Handmade Soap director Rachel De Pauw started the business as craft for personal interest, meaning she’s yet to experience any tough days in business. For Rachel, it fits perfectly with her life. Here’s her story…
What were you doing when you decided to create your own business?
Living in Barcaldine, Queensland, I was a stay at home mum to two cheeky little boys, aged three and 11 months at the time.
What inspired you to start the business? When did you officially start it?
I have always loved various crafts and being creative. It was my mother that made the suggestion. Initially I started making batches of soaps and launched my company in March 2011.
What was your start-up cost? How did you acquire the money and what did you use it for?
Start-up costs were very minimal; it was just a matter of buying what I could out of household income and it all took off from there. Trouble was trying to contain myself when buying all my materials from suppliers! So many beautiful fragrances, moulds and other bits and pieces that I wanted to offer my customers.
How did you rise above the tough days? Those days when people said no, things fell through or someone said they didn’t “get it’’.
I was really fortunate because my business started as a personal interest craft and my passion for being creative. It has fitted in with my life so I haven’t really experienced any tough days. Another good thing is everyone always needs soap and what Soapy Suds creates are fun, unique and good for you!
How long did it take for your business to become profitable?
As in financially profitable, we’re working on that. Profitable as in personal achievements and happy customers, we’re going great guns! We’re just about to launch a new range so it’s very exciting!
What do you love most about being your own boss? What is the downside?
Soapy Suds allows me to indulge in my passion for creativity and gives me the flexibility I can’t find anywhere else. It provides me with quality time to spend with my boys while they are young. The one thing I can’t replicate is the social side of being employed and having colleagues; however, I love interacting with customers and showcasing Soapy Suds when we attend markets and stalls.
How have you been using social media to grow your business?
Facebook has been a great outlet to grow my business. Being located in remote, central Queensland locations it has enabled Soapy Suds to be just as active and accessible as any other company. I’ve been fortunate to meet some other wonderful business owners via Facebook as well. I’m still trying to get my head around Twitter though!
Where do you work from?
Soapy Suds truly is a homemade business! As much love and laughter there is in my home, my soaps are right in the middle of it with the soaps being created on my kitchen bench and all the labelling and packaging done on my dining room table – usually when the boys are in bed.
What is your favourite product/service that you offer?
My soaps are made from goat’s milk – we have had some awesome reviews and testimonials from customers who just love how soft and smooth it makes your skin feel. Personally, I love the cupcake soaps; they’re unique and can be made in a huge range of colours and just about any fragrance you can think of!
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
1. Do your research and make sure you love your product
2. Surround yourself with positive people that will give you the drive you need to make your business a success
Where do you work from?