All hail the melt and pour queen, Debbie Chialtas. When I first encountered Soapylove’s signature product, the Soapsicle, I was enchanted. Debbie has put a clean twist on one of our favorite sticky treats, the popsicle. Whether her Soapsicles are striped with rainbows, layered sandwich style, or embedded with surprises, it is hard to see them without smiling.
But Soapylove doesn’t stop at soapsicles. Debbie regularly stocks her Etsy shop with her many experiments in glycerin soap design. Some of her most whimsical creations have included:
Soap Tarts: rectangular shaped soaps that resemble a certain toaster favorite.
Madras Soap Bars: scallop edged bars, embedded with a delicately colored plaid design.
Maple Bar Soaps: square bars engraved with a wood grain design.
Heavenly Day Soap Bars: Rectangular bars embedded with a cheerful landscape.
Baby Shower Soaps: polka dotted soap bars in a variety of cute shapes.
Soapylove got its start on Etsy.com. In a community of over 100,000 unique artists, many of which are soap makers, it can take a lot to stand out in the crowd. Debbie attributes her success to the bright colors and fresh designs that seem to keep her customers coming back for more. I myself, visit Soapylove often, just to see what Debbie has come up with next!
Debbie has agreed to give us a little question and answer action. Enjoy!
How did Soapylove get started?
When I was pregnant with my son, in 2005, I started Soapylove as a hobby, making soap bars and soapsicles just for fun. It became a total obsession! Probably like most professional crafters, I was just making more than I could use or give away! I wanted to keep making soaps but needed a way to offload it all. Then I discovered Etsy and started selling online. I started getting wholesale requests and the rest is history!
Do you have any other great passions or hobbies (other than natural skincare and entrepreneurship?)
My first creative love affair was in fashion. I have a BFA in Fashion Design and have worked in the apparel industry for over 10 years. However, I have found fresh inspiration in soapmaking and am ready to hang up my fashion design hat!
Can you share a little bit about your experience with Etsy?
I discovered Etsy while browsing through some Craigslist ads. A seller was advertising his shop there. Once I found Etsy, I was totally hooked. The concept of having a simple shop that’s a part of a larger site is awesome, plus the ability to only list what you actually have to sell is perfect for me. I was worried about having an online store where I could be oversold in a heartbeat. The site is so cool and professional that I think it helps all sellers look better than they could on their own!
Does your company have a motto or philosophy that you would like to share with us?
Our motto is “Feel the Love!” Everything should be quirky, fun, and unique. Bright colors, wonderful fragrances, and surprising designs are what I try to bring to every new style I put out there. I want my customers to know that they’re getting something special and that I really appreciate them!
What is the biggest challenge you have faced while seeing your company to where it is today?
Definitely juggling a career, a side business, and my family. I handled this challenge by getting help (hiring independent contractors) and putting limits on the amount of orders I could fill. My family and my career have to come before Soapylove, but I squeeze time in when I can and it seems to be working!
What has been the most rewarding moment in Soapylove history?
I think my most rewarding moment will be coming in 2009. I just signed a contract to write a how-to book on glycerin soap crafting and I’m so excited! It won’t be published until then, but I’m really looking forward to seeing my book in a store one day!
Can you share any special techniques, tips or hints for other Melt & Pour Soap makers?
My favorite thing to do with MP is combining colors within one soap design. To do this well, you need non-bleeding colorants. If you use FD&C colorants, your colors will start bleeding together within a few days (save FD&C’s for single color designs – they’re awesome for glassy, bright colors!). Oxides and ultramarines are totally non-bleeding. Buy them dissolved in glycerin for ease of use, but if you buy them powdered mix them into liquid glycerin, a few sprays of rubbing alcohol, or into your fragrance oil before adding to your melted soap base.
How long have you been a customer of FromNatureWithLove.com?
Since I started making soap in 2005. I love browsing the site for all of the amazing options they have!
What are your favorite ingredients that FromNatureWithLove.com carries?
Definitely all of the colorants! They have the most colors I have seen anywhere!
I’d like to send out a huge "Thank You" to Debbie for doing this interview with us. I have been a big fan of Soapylove for a while and am delighted to have gotten to know her better. You can get to know Debbie better too by visiting www.Soapylove.com, the Soapylove blog, the Soapylove Etsy Shop, or by trying out some Soapylove in person at one of the fabulous shops that carry Soapylove products. Congratulations on your upcoming book, Debbie. Be sure to let us know when it comes out!