Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Sanchez.
Julie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey into soapmaking began when I lived in Shanghai, China, in 2016. I was working as an English teacher, and I decided to take a soap making class as a way to meet new people and learn a new hobby. I ended up falling in love with it and took the class three more times! This eventually planted a seed that would blossom a year later.
When my teaching contract ended, I returned to the United States and went to live with my boyfriend (at the time) in Northern California. We were ranch interns at an intentional community near the Redwood Valley. While our relationship did not last, my passion for soap making was reinvigorated. Suddenly, I had an idea: what if I made a soap line inspired by scents from places I’ve visited through my travels? Like the scent of rain mixed with incense from the nearby temples that I smelled in Shanghai. Or the fragrant perfume of orange blossom and amber inspired by the sun-baked beauty of Rome. The idea blossomed, and the Adventuress Soap Co was born.
I returned to Denver, Colorado, and found a job working part-time at an environmental non-profit. I used my first paycheck to invest in my side hustle and bought a soap making supplies and fragrance oils. I spent the summer of 2017 experimenting with new soaps. The first successful soap I made was “Amsterdam,” inspired by the open-minded atmosphere of the city with the scent of cannabis flower and fern. I also started making perfumes inspired by the cities that I’ve loved and visited throughout the world like Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei, and London.
During the summer of 2018, I finally decided to open an Etsy store and share my passion for travel and scent with the world. I currently work full-time for my non-profit and work part-time on The Adventuress Soap Co. The Adventuress Soap Co is growing slowly yet steadily, and I am so excited to grow with it and see where it takes me.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has not always been smooth. Building anything from the ground up can be incredibly difficult. Luckily, I have an incredible family, and they have helped me so much along the way. My brother designed my amazing logo, and my parents have shown amazing support. Marketing myself has also been a challenge since I am not naturally extroverted and shy away from self-promotion. Luckily, there are so many resources out there to help you if you are building a business, whether you’re starting on Etsy like me, or are a brick and mortar. The internet, podcasts, and Facebook groups have been so helpful in teaching me how to market myself and leverage social media to promote my brand and product.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Adventuress Soap Co – what should we know?
Here at The Adventuress Soap Co, we make travel-inspired soaps, perfumes, wax melts, beard oils, and more. We are especially known for our perfumes, which are a big hit with our customers. We have sent our products to nearly 40 states and four countries including the United Kingdom, Norway, Malaysia, and Canada. The Adventuress Soap Co is unique in that no one else is doing what we’re doing. Our line is devoted to travel and all of our perfumes, soaps, and wax melts are inspired by scents I’ve encountered on my travels. Our focus is on fragrance since fragrance is one of the most visceral of the senses and has the power to transport you instantly back to a memory, place or person.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Resiliency and flexibility have been the most important. Any time you start something, a degree of resiliency or grit is required since it’s so easy to give up. In the beginning, when sales were slow, I was disheartened and thought about throwing in the towel. However, my resilient spirit would not let me. I leveled up and began teaching myself marketing, SEO, and taking better product photos and over time, I saw my efforts improve.
Flexibility is another characteristic that has been crucial. Starting any small business, you have to be flexible and realize that things don’t always go according to plan. You have to be flexible, respond to customer feedback and adjust accordingly. Perfumes I thought would be a hit ended up not hitting and perfumes I didn’t give a second thought to ended up being customer favorites.
- Perfumes – $15.00
- Website: www.etsy.com/shop/adventuresssoapco
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/theadventuresssoapco
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/theadventuresssoapco
- Other: www.theadventuresssoapco.wordpress.com