We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlotte Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charlotte, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I earned my masters degree in chemistry in 2017 and already had one child. I knew I didn’t want to stick my children in daycare and I knew there were ways for me to earn money from home. I started with tutoring high school and college level kids then taught summer chemistry kid camps and also taught high school biology at a charter school. Then just before Christmas in 2018, I saw a friend make soap and it intrigued my chemistry mind. I learned it was completely a chemical reaction that could be done in my own kitchen so I started making soap and was hooked. All my friends and family wanted to start paying me for my soaps and my business just grew from there. I loved the idea of using my chemistry degree to make useful, high quality products with ingredients I could read and understand. And now I can share my love of chemistry with all my customers who also love handmade soap.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
First, I have my masters in chemistry. I spent a summer as an intern at the Berkeley National Lab and also spend years doing chemistry research as an undergraduate and graduate student. I use my laboratory skills in my chemistry based soap business to formulate my own recipes, keep meticulous batch notes, and stay safe with proper PPE using dangerous chemicals. In my business, I love being able to create something new so I’m constantly trying new scents and have releases each month of whatever I have made the 4-6 weeks prior. My customers love it and I love it. Best decision I made for my business was starting my own website. It made taking orders and keeping track of shipments so much easier. In my business, I wanted to be in charge of my own schedule, so I made the difficult decision not to wholesale my soaps or products because I wanted to be in charge of my own deadlines. I got to where I am today with consistent social media postings, sharing my story with friends and family, and creating high quality products that people want to continue reordering.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Favorite Spots are definitely the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. Then I would take them to dinner on our way home at Phil’s BBQ. Other places to visit would be Old Town San Diego to see all the shops and try the foods.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to Liola Luxuries, a small business soap company in canada. https://liolaluxuries.ca/. I love sharing ideas back and forth with her and she inspires me to keep going and that I can make my business as big or as little as I want it to be.