The Person That Makes Soap For A Living. Inside Wholly Hemp (Part 2).

So last year i reported about a guy that started his own soap business. After doing it as a hobby, it became something serious when his employer went bankrupt. As you can see in the latest post everything was from home and still heating up.

But now, more than a year later he’s back with an update. And as you can see he made quite the progress.

The Kitchen.

The Kitchen

Last year (actually, almost to the day), I moved my small garage business into an *actual* facility and posted about it on reddit. Well shortly after posting I left to go visit my brother in college, and when I checked my phone I nearly fainted seeing I had hit the front page. The next few weeks are a haze – between being contacted by the editor of Men’s Health, getting into the local paper, meeting my hero Muhammad Yunus – it’s been crazy.

Well after a year, things have settled down (a bit), so I felt it was time for an update! Things have gotten a bit more packed in since the last post – last time I had just moved in and was still trying to figure out where everything should go. Well now I’m a year in, and I’m still trying to figure out where things should go. As soon as things get organized, an order comes in and everything needs to come off the shelves again. Up in front is the shipping station (where I’m hanging out when I’m not answering emails or hanging out on reddit) and whiteboard for brainstorming upcoming batches. Those big hopper things in the back are for filling jars and deodorant sticks – *so* much easier than a turkey baster!

Some coconut oil.

Some coconut oil

What’s a post about soap without a look at some ingredients?! Here’s a shot inside my barrel of coconut oil. I go through about a barrel every two months or so (depending on the season), and when empty the barrels get repurposed as compost bins and rain catchments by a local young entrepreneur.

Batch of upcoming soap about to be labeled.

Batch of upcoming soap about to be labeled

This is one of my holiday small batches, these things pretty much sell out before they’re even labeled and officially made available. Since the business is so small I can basically just ask my customers what scents they like, and then pick up the ingredients at the farmer’s market when they’re in season and whip up a batch within a few weeks.

Seasonal batch all labeled up.

Seasonal batch all labeled up

While there’s some scents that are easier to do consistently throughout the year, some ingredients are strictly seasonal, so when we make a batch like this 80% of the bars are bought up in the first few days. This is a box being shipped off to a store in Australia.

Pumpkin Spice Soap.

Pumpkin Spice Soap

Yes, I know. I’m caving to the demands of the #basic market, but a guy’s got to make money, right? Anyways, they may be on to something, Pumpkin Spice really does smell delicious. Thomas (the guy in the back) was so tempted he took a little taste of a bar. ProTip: just because it smells good doesn’t mean it tastes good.

More deodorants!

More deodorants

Last year I had one scent of deodorant, and one of the most common requests was for more scents, so now I have 4 scents in the mix and more being released seasonally :) This box is headed off to a store in New York.

Biodegradable shower scrubs!

Biodegradable shower scrubs

One of the main reasons I started the company (well, besides having my employer go bankrupt) was the ability to be creative. This is a small batch of shower scrubs that I whipped up with [finely ground] Mediterranean sea salt, shea butter, hemp seed oil, sunflower oil, orange, eucalyptus, lemongrass, sage, and geranium –

I’ve been a big supporter of the #BanTheBean campaign and have published articles detailing the negative effects of microbead pollution, so I make sure to only use biodegradable and safe botanical exfoliants :)

Really proud about this.

Really proud about this

Now it may just look like a wall, but to me this is 5 years of hard work paying off :) Each one of those certificates and plaques has a distinct meaning to me, and to see my name on the letterhead of organizations I’ve looked up to for so long truly is an honor.

Some bars headed off to Dominica.

Some bars headed off to Dominica

My degree is in Political Science and Social Business, so when I got into the soap business I knew I had to apply my social passion to my current endeavor. As a social business giving back is at the core of what we do, so for each order we receive we provide a bar of soap to someone in need around the world. When one of my old professors – who did their Peace Corps service in the small island nation of Dominica – came and asked if there was anything I could do to help with the recent devastating hurricane, I knew I couldn’t say no.

So for the past 2 months I’ve been sending all our short ends/unsellable soaps to Dominica. As an aside, the country is in dire straits, and they need your help. Unfortunately since it’s such a small country we haven’t heard much about it, however the country is so devastated that the government has set up a Kickstarter and Indigogo seeking assistance. When a government has to set up a Kickstarter for disaster relief, there’s a problem. So if you have a moment, please contribute in any way you can.

Ofcourse for more information you go to their website.

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