We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Brant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
One of the biggest challenges of being self-employed, especially in the age of COVID, is that it’s hard to set boundaries between work and life, especially when both work and life are inside of the same house. The nice thing about skincare is that it’s not a full time job. I can make a lot of product at one time and then sell it online, gradually. This allows me to squeeze in a couple hours here and a couple there, which keeps it fun. I’m much happier with the balance this allows my life than I was with working the 9-5 desk job.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I make handmade soap, bath bombs, shower steamers, and candles. Handmade soap is awesome because it’s real soap – made the old fashioned way that hasn’t changed much in thousands of years. It’s nourishing and moisturizing, unlike store bought “soap” which is actually a synthetic detergent and not real soap. I began making soap in late 2018 after reading a pinterest article. I took a safety class at a local soap maker’s house to make sure I was following best practices and then I continued to learn new things from Youtube and Facebook Groups. And through continued feedback from customers, I strive to continually make a better product. Getting here wasn’t difficult, but it took about two years to start making a profit. It wouldn’t have been viable as a primary source of income in the beginning. I want the world to use real, natural soap, preferably my soap, but even if you’re not buying from me, treat your skin to the real deal. Your skin deserves it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is an awesome city. There’s always something to do, which is great. I think we have a really good coffee scene and amazing food, so I would do some combination of a foodie and sightseeing trip. Morning: coffee at Cafe Moto, shopping in Barrio Afternoon: drive across the Coronado Bridge to Ferry Landing, rent bikes, drive all around Coronado sightseeing. And then eat lunch at one of the great restaurants in Ferry Landing. Evening: walk around Balboa Park or Little Italy and people watch
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In the Black Lives Matter and lifting up black-owned businesses, I want to give a shoutout to black makers, especially black female makers. The handmade cosmetic industry has lots of talented makers, many of them black women, who have taught me so much – on Facebook groups, on Youtube videos, etc. I appreciate you.