We had the good fortune of connecting with Marius & Shawna Gedgaudas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marius & Shawna, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We started our business because we found that our daughter had unbelievably sensitive skin. Since she was a baby every bath caused her to break out in red blotches. After exhausting every store brand and home remedy, we did what every exasperated parent does. We got on our phones and scoured the internet for answers. We had to research what was in the body wash and soaps we were using on her that may be causing this issue. Once we found out how many chemicals were in washes and soaps (along with watching a few documentaries on cancers caused by the things we put on our skin), we decided that we simply couldn’t trust anything we bought in stores. The only way to get honest soap we could trust was to make it ourselves. After some extensive research on cold process soap making, we started with that and eventually expanded to lotion bars, shampoo bars, bath bombs and other fun skin care items. From the first bath we were hooked. Not only did our soap not cause the red blotches on our daughter’s skin but it turned out that we were all happier using it. Also knowing that we weren’t putting a bunch of unknown chemicals on our skin made us feel great. We decided that we could make plant based products that actually help people and we didn’t have a ton of plastic bottles in our showers. Less plastic in the world is a wonderful thing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Marius is the creative! He works in Graphic Design. He attended LACHSA high school and then graduated from Art Center College of Design. I work more on the social media and business side. I attended Brewster Academy and then went to college for Photography. I currently work at an awesome Law Firm in DTLA. Like many families right now, we juggle with working full time jobs, raising three kids (in remote learning) while trying to get The SōK Company off the ground. It’s stressful but it’s also rewarding. What I love most is how the business has brought our family together and allowed us to create something wonderful. The kids love to contribute by making products, attending markets and even designing soaps.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of the many reasons we love living in Los Angeles is that we are 25 minutes from the snow and about 45 minutes to the beach. We can go see horses down the street or head over to Hollywood to see just about everything. When friends come (before Covid), we would head up Angeles Crest to check out the views of the city and then back down to get sushi or tacos for dinner. Some of our favorite spots are Blue Fish, Joselittos or drinks at Basin 141.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, we want to shout out to our amazing family and our loyal customers! Without your endless support, SōK would not be possible. You are our ride or die, number one fans and we love and appreciate you all! We also want to shout out to Nix Marie at 2227 Honolulu Ave in Montrose, CA for being the first store to take a chance on an unknown local soap company. Nix Marie is owned by two awesome best friends, Amanda and Dalynn. They have an eclectic assortment of clothes, jewelry and other carefully sourced items from independent designers and wonderful local artists including The SōK Company!