We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Martin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I first began Soap Distillery, my immediate thoughts were that it could be a fun hobby that kept me busy and kept my mind activated. I could use my creativity to create fluid projects for myself (i.e. make an all natural blue soap that smells like peppermint. Next week, make a green natural soap that smells like eucalyptus. Etc.). Once I came up with my scent theme, it was just a matter of creating as much as I could. I only wanted to sell them so that I could at least break even with the cost of my supplies! Once I could see how happy it made my customers, I decided to spend more time focusing my thoughts on how to grow and find more customers to share my products with.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’d say what sets Soap Distillery apart from other businesses is the uniqueness and brand consistency of our products. It’s really the same thing I am most proud of. I’m so honored to be where we are but I’ll tell you the road wasn’t easy. Business never is easy when you begin with nothing. I had no investors, no savings, and no high paying job to fund Soap Distillery, and it took me years of baby steps to get where I am now. Sometimes I wish things were different, but the longer amount of time allowed me to learn infinitely more information than I would have if I had a ton of money to start.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
That’s easy. We’d go to Parson’s in Logan, Best Intentions, The Handlebar, and Lost Lake.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh absolutely. It’s tough to pick just one person, but, I’d still say that hands down, my partner Ben deserves a huge Soap Distillery Shout Out. There was never a moment that he didn’t support me or encourage me. Even when I spent two years debating whether or not I should quit my regular full time job to run Soap Distillery full time (and probably drove him a little batty in the process!), he still steadily supported my decisions to quit and told me I would feel ready at some point. Hell, we even bought a house together, mainly so that I could have more space for Soap Distillery to grow. I quickly grew out of the house, and even though I was terrified to make that extra step, he still supported whatever decision I was going to make. He’s carried heavy buckets into the basement, he’s stayed up late wrapping and labelling products, he’s carried supplies to the car and set up my tents, and he even set up my full display when I pulled my hamstring and couldn’t walk well. No one else has done what he’s done for Soap Distillery.
Courtney Laper @courtneylaperphoto