In my ongoing quest to bring inspiration to your day; Sparklefly Candle Company has reached out to some other amazing entrepreneurs to share their stories and products. As always, I encourage you to explore these small business owners with me and remember to shop small this holiday season and all year round.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller
This week I deliver to you one of my absolute favorite women entrepreneurs on the rise, Danielle Vincent, of Outlaw Soaps. This charismatic and exceptionally witty girl has won me over! With a heart of gold and the gusto to make it happen, she is inspiring Indie Women across the US.
Danielle Vincent, Husband Russ Vincent and Roxy Vincent, Head of Animal Testing
Q: Tell me about Outlaw Soaps and how you got started?
I was working at the Oprah Winfrey Network as a product manager when Russ and I started dating. We had been friends for about 10 years, so it got serious pretty fast, despite him living in Oakland. By the following November, he moved down to live with me. We weren't really sure what we were doing, since we kept his place up here in Oakland, but it was really important to both of us to be in the same city.
We got married pretty much right away (I think the following Thursday) in our living room.
That weekend, we went on a mini honeymoon, where we happened upon a little farm store on highway 46. I picked up a couple bars of goat milk soap and took them home... they reminded me of that wonderful weekend whenever I smelled them.
That's when I realized the power of soap.
I loved those bars so much that I used one almost right away, and I kept the other next to my mirror on a shelf. Every morning, I'd smell the soap and remember that great time we had on our honeymoon.
A few weeks later, I happened to set the bar down with the ingredients towards me, and I thought "What? Only seven ingredients?! I could make this!"
Over the next couple months, we learned about making soap and sourced fragrance oils to get just the right scents... We launched on March 15, 2013 and it has been a mad dash ever since. I quit my job on April 4 to move back to Oakland with Russ and go at the soap business full time... and that's how we got started! Voila!
Q: What is your favorite aspect about being a small business owner?
Never having to get sign-off on marketing copy. Seriously. The number of approvals I had to go through at any of my old entertainment jobs was insane... everyone from legal, to standards and practices, to marketing, to QA, to sometimes even the art department had a say in what we published.
I think my second favorite thing is being able to redesign and relaunch my entire website in a weekend, again, with no approvals. Just "huh. I don't like where this... anything is. I'm going to scrap this and start over." At any of my old jobs, site redesigns took anywhere from four months (at the minimum) to three years, and I was the manager in charge of redesigns, so I was hands on with everything. It's just so freeing not to have all that approval stuff.
Q: What are some of your best selling products?
Our best selling product, hands down, is Blazing Saddles Soap. It smells like leather, sandalwood, and gunpowder (and some other stuff... it's a really complex scent). It's the sexiest soap ever, and that's not just my opinion. If you Google "sexiest soap ever," ours is the first soap result.
Bacon Soap is also a big favorite, especially around the holidays. Everyone knows someone who loves bacon.
Q: What should a customer expect when purchasing one of your products?
DANCING GIRLS! HELPER MONKEYS! A LEAPING GOAT! A THRILLING ADVENTURE THROUGH SPACE AND TIME!
Or, at least, that's what I aim for.
Mostly, a customer should truly be delighted. I believe that Outlaw Soaps is more than soap... it's an experience. Every package is carefully wrapped like a present and comes with lots of extra stuff, like a mini-horse. We want our customers to have a really special experience from the time they place their order until the last sliver of soap is used up.
Q: Who or what has been the biggest inspiration for you?
I have so many inspirations that it's hard to pick one as "the biggest." I'll make a list:
Marketing inspirations: -
Marion & Rose's Workshop http://marionandrose.com/
Kismet Andrews https://bar-maids.com/
Lela Baker http://www.luckybreakconsulting.com/
Morgan Higby Night
Marilene Kitada Richardson http://songcroftnaturals.com
My parents (sounds hokey, but truly, they are incredible people)
Russ Vincent (MY HUSBAND!!!)
Q: What types of information can I find on the Outlaw Soaps blog?
Assorted stuff. Honestly, whatever happens to spring into my mind to write about.
Q. Do you have any events or specials coming up?
We do! I'm putting together our November Clean Getaway Subscription Box. The box's theme is Billy the Kid (it's his birthday that month), and we're very excited and honored to have a Big White Yeti candle in the box (http://www.bigwhiteyeti.com/), in addition to a pile of Outlaw Soap goodies.
You can order that bad boy here: http://www.outlawsoaps.com/product/the-clean-geta...
You can also find Outlaw Soaps here:
Say HELLO to Danielle and leave a comment!