We had the good fortune of connecting with Beatrix Krause-Sorio and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Beatrix, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
My main career, that of a neuroscientist, is predominantly a desk job. It entails lots of analyzing, writing, creating images and finding solutions to problems. While creativity is important in this job, the creative aspects only occasionally pop up. When the pandemic started and I was stuck in the house, I was never bored. I started painting and doing little youtube painting classes. It was a great and fun way to spend my time and to channel my creative energy. I am not an athletic person, so while other people would want to move their bodies, I was fine with creating things. However, I quickly realized that if I kept going with this activity, the house would soon be filled with paintings that no one would want (trust me on that).
I started to think what would be a suitable alternative. I wanted it to be something fun to make but also something that could be useful and that people would be willing to buy. At that point I already thought I could make my future hobby into a business. I had watched some really fun soap making videos and always thought I wanted to try that. At the same, I educated myself about small businesses and also understood that only because something is fun to make, people will want to buy it. I then dug deeper into the matter and figured out the perfect construct: my business could be 1) fun and creative, 2) eco-friendly, 3) useful, 4) and educate others about environmental and societal issues, while 5) the latter would already be helped by purchasing and using my products!
To make the final answer short: my creative needs bubbled over during the pandemic and my outlet turned into a business!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I want to take this opportunity to talk about my neuroscience career. I have a bachelor of science (BSc) and Master of Science (MSc) from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Subsequently, I completed a PhD at the University of Oxford in England and have now almost completed 6 years of postdoc time at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). This path is what brought me to California, without this, I would not be here, would not be married to the wonderful husband I have, and would not have a small business. In Germany, where I was born and raised, bureaucracy is a nightmare. I don’t know a single person who has a business in Germany, simply because things get so complicated, no one even thinks about it. But this academic path has been remarkably challenging for many years; my job always depends on research funding. There is funding for a few years and when it runs out, there is no money to pay me. The work load is extremely high, the salary is low and the stress of this unpredictable job security is nerve wracking. However, it has always worked out for me to follow my gut feeling. Many times this happened extremely last minute. Earlier this year, I was working every day without knowing if I will get my salary for that month. While this is not a normal situation, I have considered leaving academia may times over the past 6 six. However, it is the ONE thing I want to do and having a small business on the side has not only given me a creative outlet and a new life challenge, it has also given me confidence and a plan B. I still have lots and lots to learn about businesses, advertising, design and other aspects of the job, but it has been a rich experience and many new doors have opened for me. I have made friends I would never have met otherwise and I value this special creative network.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Disney Land for sure! Can’t get more fun than that! And then I absolutely love rooftop bars, especially if there’s a nice view. There is one in West Hollywood, called E.P./L.P. that also has a great restaurant on one of the lower floors. Santa Monica also has some great rooftop, penthouse or beach view restaurants I really like. I think what’s really fun is taking people to bars where you enter through a secret doorway. One of those fun places in Hollywood is called “No Vacancy”.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My number one on the gratitude list is my husband Aaron! He has been kind and patient and not only mentally supportive, but he also helps me with product photography and carrying oil pails of 35lbs through the building. Our kitchen is a mess most of the time because there is so much equipment I need to move around. While he doesn’t love the chaos, he continues to support me without complaints. I could list a lot of people here but my other main supporters are two local stores I make soap for. One of them, My Creative Outlet run by Martina, who also organizes the Chatsworth Maker’s Market, is one of them. Both stores make me feel very included into the local culture and both bring me the most wonderful creative challenges and business.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has ever purchased my products. It is important to me that my business and my products represent an awareness for our environment and health and I am enormously grateful and excited to see how much people care to support the same causes.

Website: etsy.com/shop/soapsquadnaturals

Instagram: @soapsquadnaturals

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/beatrix-krause-sorio/

Facebook: SoapSquadNaturals

Image Credits
Vanie Poyey Aaron Sorio

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