Cozying up with Kenisco Soap Bar

For many soapers, opening a retail store is a dream come true. Sites such as Etsy & eBay make it easy to complete sales online. However, there’s nothing quite like a brick & mortar store to display your creations and interact face-to-face with customers. With a year and a half of soaping under their belts, Erin and Kirsten opened Kensico Soap Bar in 2012.  Read on to learn her top advice for soapers.

Soap Queen: How long have you been soaping for and how did you get started?

We started creating bath and body products over a year and a half ago, and opened our retail store in September 2012. During our decade long friendship, we talked about creating a business that would be fun for our children and be a part of our neighborhood. After exploring several business ideas, a lightbulb went off in workshops held in NYC by Marla Bosworth. We were excited about creating a unique shopping experience as well as place for crafting, and wanted a place that was comfortable for all ages.

Soap Queen: What sort of advice would you give to those soapers just starting their businesses?

Lots of research. Starting a business is quite a learning experience. You will make mistakes, which is okay as long as you learn from them.  Also, find a mentor that will support you and be a wonderful sounding board. People appreciate creative products and will keep coming back for more.  

Soap Queen: How did you come up with the name for your business?

We live in Valhalla, NY, the home to Kensico Dam which was built in 1915.  When we came up with the idea of the store our children were attending Kensico elementary school.  We wanted a name with local history that people could identify with. And since we are fortunate to have an open studio space with large work counter , we thought Soap Bar would convey the feeling of creating at “the Bar”.

Soap Queen: What is your favorite type of product to make?

We have different strengths. Erin enjoys the creative aspect of the melt and pour. Kirsten has fun creating cold process soaps.

Soap Queen: What inspires you to create?

Between the different holidays and seasons, and our customers requests, we are always finding fresh inspiration.

Soap Queen: What is your favorite Bramble Berry product?

Hard to narrow down! Both of us love the fragrance oils – Waterlily Orange, Rain, Pinot Grigio and White Ginger and Amber are some of our favorites.

Find Kensico Soap Bar:

On Instagram
On Facebook
On Google+
On their website

19 Responses to “Cozying up with Kenisco Soap Bar”

  1. Love Erin and Kirsten! The store looks great!

  2. Maria says:

    I have been to the Kensico Soap Bar and it a colorful fun place bulging with creativity and fun gifts.

  3. Kirsten says:

    Thanks so much for asking us to a part of the Soap Queen blog! Huge honor and you continue to inspire us every day.

  4. Do you guys actually do projects with customers at the soap bar? That’s so cool! Your store looks like a really fun place from the pictures and the soaps are beautiful!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Margaret!

      Isn’t that a fun idea? I love that they provide a space for others to get crafty as well! :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

    • Kirsten says:

      Hi Margaret!
      We love to have customers come in and make their own soap. Our studio space is in the back of the store and can accommodate soap making sessions and parties. Thank you so much for the compliments!

  5. Patricia says:

    Congrats, ladies! Looks like a nice clean shop!

  6. Nancy says:

    The store looks great.It has been our dream for a long time. Good luck.

  7. Pam says:

    What a darling shop it looks like so much fun!

    The white wrapping paper they use under the labels is that eco friendly wrap? Nice looking packaging too!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Pam!

      Isn’t the shop cute? I’m not sure about the wrapping, maybe Erin or Kirsten will pop in and answer your question :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

    • Kirsten says:

      Hi Pam!
      The white paper was deli paper sheets. We recently switched to a polyolefin shrinkwrap that is biodegradable and lets the soap breathe.
      Thanks so much for the kind words!

  8. Oh lovely… I am literally in love with those soap bars.. Going to pin theses beautiful images… Thanks.

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