Soap-Queen: Lauren, your soaps are so creative with a clean and modern look. I’ve already gushed about how much I love them. So tell us…why Soap?
Lauren Miller: I have always adored bath and beauty products. Something about the feeling and the scent just makes me feel like I’m taking care of myself. But after becoming a full time mom, bath time became my only real alone time. Ten minute showers, in those early days with toddlers, was all I could fit in. So about a year ago over breakfast, I declared I was going to start making soap- And that was it! I did a Google search and luckily found Bramble Berry. I got my first delivery and have not stopped since.
Soap-Queen: I couldn’t agree more! I like to call soapmaking a consumable art form. OK, next question: Your soap is cutting edge design; before you came on the scene, I had not seen anyone focus primarily on cut outs as their main design. How did you come up with this focus?
Lauren Miller: I love to challenge myself and began with very few supplies. I’m always thinking about using what I already have which often becomes like a game. I started pouring color boards from soap and using what I had around the house. I favor bold colors, simplicity and clean lines so the cut outs match my personal style. I discovered this inlayed process guaranteed my design to last more than one use and not rub off as more traditional molded soaps. The challenge and the practicality hooked me.
Soap-Queen: As a current customer (of Sun Basil Garden), I can attest that your designs can get truly intricate. How long do you spend on your most difficult soap?
Lauren Miller: I grew up in a creative family and learned early how to work well with my hands. I’m pretty practiced and can work fast once I’m happy with my finished product.
Now, I’m a still a full time Mom, so interruptions are coming at me constantly. But because soap needs to harden it lends it self well to pouring in stages. I often have trays of bacon and eggs drying while I‘m also making our real breakfast. I never have a long stretch of time but 10 minutes here and there lends itself well to my schedule. I once made a pizza soap that I have not repeated in awhile as it almost broke me.
Soap-Queen: You have an Etsy shop. Do you sell anywhere else? If you do, what are the pros/cons of keeping the Etsy shop in conjunction with the other sales outlets?
Lauren Miller: Right now, as a Mom, Etsy works best for me. I can spend weekends living life with my kids and husband and have control over my inventory. If I’m out of a fragrance oil, I can hold off on listing that line until I reorder and have time to recreate the soap. If school demands take off, I can put my shop on vacation. Not to mention I love the community and the worldwide audience Etsy pulls. I recently opened a shop on Art Fire and have done a few craft shows. I’m launching into wholesale this September and getting ready for the Holiday season.
Soap-Queen: Oh boy! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the Holiday season! On that note, let’s take a little break. Stay tuned for part 2 of the Sun Basil Garden Interview. We’ll be back tomorrow!