How I Got Started: SoapGirl’s Rebecca Day
Does the name SoapGirl ring a bell? Does the cool packaging look familiar?
That’s because Rebecca Day has remarkably turned a household staple (unless you’re French, we suppose) into a popular lifestyle brand stocking shelves from Urban Outfitters to Whole Foods.
In 1997 the Richardson, Texas native co-founded a boutique clay and design studio with her future hubby. The duo designed and created handmade and handpainted tile and ceramics for twelve-plus years.
“Getting dirty was part of our job and I developed a love for handmade soaps during that time,” says Rebecca. “The transition into making soap was organic, the process is surprisingly similar to working with clay, even utilizing some of the same ingredients.”
Today SoapGirl hawks cleansers as well as other skincare creations including lotions, masks, toners and shampoo bars.
“As a lifetime consumer of beauty products,” she says, “I am thrilled to take matters into my own hands and make everything from scratch using ingredients I have personally sourced.”
When did you decide to start your business and why?
I started making handmade soap for my family in 2010. I thought it would make great gifts and as an graphic designer I took the packaging very seriously. I developed the brand/packaging in 2012 and we’ve been growing ever since.
What’s the story behind your business name?
My husband David refers to me as “the girl.” We were trying all sorts of names and one morning I literally woke up and knew SoapGirl was my name. I did my due diligence and now it’s a registered trademark.
Did you go to school or have professional training in your field?
My husband and I have studio art degrees (his in ceramics and mine in painting and photography). All of this has contributed to our vision/product/quality/work ethic.
Is this your full-time job?
It’s definitely a full time job along with being a mom to our 10-year old son Jasper and graphic design, my other love.
Do you have any employees?
Yes, two: Emily and Sarah. I couldn’t live without them.
At the start of your business, did anything completely surprise you?
Yes, I had no idea that throwing an Etsy store up could get the attention of national and large scale buyers. I’ve been working with Urban Outfitters for three years and started working with Whole Foods last January.
What was the hardest part about starting your business?
The hardest part is the time, we need more of it. We can’t possibly do everything we want in the short day we are given. We also swear that fun will not be compromised for soap, so we drop everything when it’s time to go tear it up with our son at Comic Con or Ren Faire, no matter what deadlines are looming.
My favorite part is research and development. I make everything for my own family’s use, so when I see a need, I want to fill it. I absolutely love finding new methods and ingredients that make life better.
If you could go back and do anything differently, what would you change?
I’m so happy with the trajectory I’m on I don’t think I would change anything, even the mistakes or time spent spinning our wheels. It’s all part of the journey.
What has been your proudest moment so far in your business?
Launching the bulk soap program in Whole Foods. People are sending me photos of my display from all over Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Do you have any tips for newbies in the industry?
Make something that you believe in, that’s true and that you put your heart and soul into. The world will recognize it.
Find SoapGirl at soapgirl.co and our spring Flea Style event March 12th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fair Park in Dallas.