I actually had no intentions of starting a business at all! Every year I make a little something to add to everybody's Christmas gifts. I had always wanted to make soap but never got around to doing it. One day back in 2006, I was browsing Craigslist (I used to be obsessed with that site) and I came across somebody giving away all their soaping supplies. Giving away. For free. Needless to say, I called them up right away. Turns out they were moving and didn't want to take everything with them. Why they didn't want to sell it is beyond me, now that I know how much that stuff was worth. And I'm kicking myself for getting rid of some of the molds. At the time they were way to big for me so I passed them along to other soapmakers.
Well, that was my motivation to start on the Christmas projects. Since I had never made soap before I decided to do melt and pour. (The kind where you buy a base, melt it down to add your scent and color, and then pour it into molds) Everybody loved it and kept trying to convince me to sell it! I had tons of fun making it but I really wanted to be able to control the ingredients so I took a course on cold process soapmaking (making soap from scratch). I did start selling the melt and pour soap at craft shows and Etsy while I was learning to make it from scratch.
Some of my Christmas gift soaps:
Strawberry and Cream soap rolls. One of the very first soaps in my Etsy shop. (And yes, this is the actual picture I used. What was I thinking??)
After that I was hooked, and started learning to make more things like lip balms, body butters, and perfumes. Before long, I was running a business!
And here's one of my current soap pictures for a quick comparison. What a difference!