Interview with Emily from Suds by the Sea

If you haven’t heard of the newest up-and-coming young soaper from Suds by the Sea, you are in for a great interview today! I first found out about 15-year old Emily when she commented on our Facebook Photo of the Week post that featured another young soaper, Jasmine Hales. Emily told us that she was so excited to see that there were other young soapers around and I knew at that time that I wanted to learn more about her. Back in March I was able to feature some of Emily’s soaps as the Facebook Photo of the Week and since I started soaping at 16, had a special spot in my heart for her even before I learned more about her. Read on to get inspired…

Soap Queen: What got you interested in soap making?

I have always had a love for arts and crafts; however, soap making had never crossed my mind until I was ten years old. I was reading through a family magazine, when an article caught my eye. It was titled “Hand-milled Soap Surprise”. Immediately, it sparked my interest, I began experimenting, and re-creating commercial soap bars into soap (rocks) balls. After experimenting with numerous additives (some of which were from my Mom’s kitchen pantry—should have asked first about that-oops!), and using up nearly every bar of soap in the house, my parents thought it would be a good idea to invest in some quality soap-making ingredients (as well as some gloves and safety goggles!).  Having read about soap from scratch, I thought it would be a good idea to start there. After making my first successful batch of cold process soap, I could not bring myself to stop! My sister and I began giving some of it away as gifts to our friends and neighbors.  Word started to spread that I made handmade soap, and from there, the business began.

Soap Queen: How does the ocean inspire your products?

Since we live so near the ocean, it seemed only natural to name our business after it. The ocean is also a theme for many of our scents and color schemes as well as our photo backdrops, Facebook page, online store and blog.

Soap Queen: What is your favorite soaping technique?

My favorite technique is definitely funnel pour pattern in cold process soap because of its beauty and simplicity.

Soap Queen: What is your favorite BB product?

Everything that I’ve gotten from Bramble Berry has been wonderful, but my favorite product so far is Apple Jack Peel Fragrance Oil, it smells so yummy and crisp!

Soap Queen:What is the most important soaping lesson you’ve learned in business? Do you have any advice for beginners in business?

The best lessons in business so far have been:

1) Have good customer service
2) Get connected socially (make the most of Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.)
3) Keep your followers updated.
4) Spread the word to friends.
5) Keep professionalism and friendliness well-balanced.
6) Make it a point to get to know what your customers enjoy.
7) Tuck a business card, or flyer with your contact information in the bag (or package). Write on it a brief, personal note thanking them for their business. It is a great way to further the service that customers have received from you. It also invites them to come back and look at your products again.
8) Make friends with the Soap Queen : )

Soap Queen: What other bath and body products do you like to make?

I have really enjoyed making bath bombs, perfume, lip balms, sugar scrubs, and lotions in the past, but I’m still working on perfecting their recipes before I add them to our store.


Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Emily! I loved hearing about how you got started on soaping and can’t wait to see where the future take you and your soapy business. For more inspiration, check out Emily’s Facebook page, Online Store and Blog.

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25 Comments

  1. says

    Wow! Not only beautiful soaps but a great professional business sense! ALOT of adults (including myself!) could learn a few things from this young lady! You may interview my little soaper one day! She already loves to create and give little gifts! And of course help mommy as much as I let her! We love watching soap queen videos together! And I think we will be trying hair chalk this summer :)

    Thanks for all you offer! I can’t wait to get my swap box!
    Marilyn :)

    • says

      Hi Marilyn!

      We just thought her business lessons were great and we can all benefit from using them. What kind of soaping do you do with your daughter? Keep us updated on how your hair chalk turns out, we’d love to hear your feedback.

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  2. Ashley says

    Oh my goodness!! This is so inspiring! First off Emily you are amazing, and second your soaps are too! Last month I saw some of your great photos on the bramble berry FB page. I even saved some of them for pattern ideas. I have been making soap for 6 years now, and I never have put that much art into every bar. Now that I know more about you, I am starting new colors, patterns and more!

  3. says

    I love the soapqueen!!!!! It’s so very helpful!!!!! I first heard about soap queen and bramble berry from their blog! They have some amazing recipes and soap. I love their recipe on sugar scrub; it uses several different things from BB. Check it out here: http://islandsoapster.wordpress.com/
    hopefully if I press on, my business will grow too! :) –Lily By the way they are hosting a photo contest, so if you have never gotten the chance to try such wonderful soaps you should enter!

  4. Xinran Zheng says

    This is defintely inspiring!!! I’m also a high school student who likes to make cold process soap. I just finished making a batch for my teacher, and then I saw this interview. So exciting!!! This makes me feel like my business would also grow one day. Great job Emily!!! Yay!!!

    (Now back to homework…)

  5. Jan Mitchiner says

    This family is amazing. They support Emily’s soap making in every way possible . Katy is her”right-hand”. The enjoyment they experience while making the soap is really cool to watch. I am a neighbor so I get to see some of the process as they try different scents and designs. The love and laughter put into their soap making will make you “lather”! SUDS BY THE SEA forever!
    Keep up the good work guys!

    • says

      Good morning, Jan!

      I am so glad to hear you are a fan of Emily’s as well. Her soap is amazing and we could hardly believe that is was the work of a 15-year old. We were just so lucky to have Anne-Marie interview her for the blog and can’t wait to see what Emily has in store for her business next. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  6. Tammy says

    I LOVE every single product I have ordered from Emily and Katie! My 20 year old daughter and I keep experimenting every time we take a shower. “Try this one!” “Wait until you use this one!” We have several bars in our shower. We use them depending on our moods at the time. One of their items that have a soft spot in my heart for are the flip flops! I was able to let them know when I needed a larger quantity and they made them in a new fragrance (which I had voted on) and I give them away as gifts. They are a huge hit and little ones LOVE getting their own special bar! P.S. I stopped using bar soap MANY years ago and had only used shower gels until I saw their post on FB. I no longer buy $!0 to $14 shower gels from a national chain – I am a Suds By The Sea fan for life!

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