On Starting A Homemade Organic Soap Brand From The Kitchen
Hello! Who are you and what are you working on?
My name Warnisha Foster I am the CEO of Kiss My Crown Essentials. I founded Kiss My Crown Essentials in March of 2020 and I started offering my products a few at a time to see how they would go over with the public. My first product was Strawberry Rose’ Champagne Soap. The idea for this soap came from looking at my life as a single mom of four I started to feel burned out. I needed something to make me feel feminine, Make me feel like a woman, Grown and sexy. This did the trick.
The first month I introduced my products to the public it took off before my eyes. I sold over 500 of these soaps independently working in my kitchen. It was amazing and rewarding. I began to see that they were other people out there that were feeling just like me.
Our mission here a KMCE is to let mothers like myself know that we are seen, we are beautiful and we are a necessity.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I was a troubled youth. I grew up in a single-parent home. My mother went to prison when I was just nine years old. She was a victim of domestic violence. I remember just thinking to myself that I was ready to change my life. I wanted better for myself. I was tired of struggling. My grandmother is my hero she inspired me not just to exist but to live. At my lowest moment, I decided that it would be great.
After, I had my first child at 20 years old. She changed my life the moment I looked in her eyes. I knew I had to come up with a plan to provide and protect her. I tried several different businesses at first. I had an eyelash business first but I did not love it as much.
I came up with the idea to start to Kiss My Crown Essentials because I was tired of buying products that were advertised as being the best but left my skin feeling dry. What set my plan in motion was when my kids would have eczema flare-ups from using regular soap. That was it. I wanted better for them so I decided to make a product that was safer, full of nutrients, and body oil. I created a soap called Catch’em With Honey.
Never get comfortable just because you are making sales. Always continue to improve your products even when you feel that they are already great.
It was an aloe-based soap that was good for soothing and healing irritated skin, it included real organic oatmeal is amazing for relieving itching and has anti-inflammatory properties, and honey which has natural antibiotic properties. This soap worked wonders on my son I started to see such an improvement. I sold out that soap my very first week.
I became obsessed with skincare as I began to age. I wanted to create products that are natural, organic, but beautiful. So I began coming up with different scent combinations, researching the best soap bases for maximum skin moisture. I even tested out major products from top companies and I came up with my own thing. Natural products that boast freeze-dried fruits and flowers. This caught on quickly. Shortly after the research period, I rolled out a list of 10 products that I knew were going to be amazing.
I learned that in the soap market, there were hundreds of products out there but looking at the ingredients was scary! Most of the things that are in commercial soaps I dint want anywhere near my body or those of my kids. So I decided to be the change I wanted to see. I pushed my natural and organic products and other likeminded men and women wanted to be a part of my movement.
I wanted to create something that matters. I design my products with our skin in mind. I wanted to nurture and protect our skin. Going back to speaking on soap bases there were hundreds to choose from, I selected the ones that had benefits on their own before I even added anything to them. For example Goats Milk. It helps to repair damaged skin, it is a natural exfoliate, it contains vitamins A and E which have antioxidant properties. I make it my business to only use the best of the best soap bases which natural benefits.
I believe that as long as I continue to research and perfect my products they will be on store shelves everywhere. That is my ultimate goal but I will not compromise on the ingredients they will remain natural and organic.
My financial situation at the time was not the best. Although, I had saved up money to make this move it was a leap of faith for me. I still had the worries of everyone else like What if this does not work? What if I lose all the money I put in? Is this a good time to start a business? But you know what I told myself that I would not let my fear of failing to stop me from trying. I remember a saying that says “Nothing beats a failure but a try”. That stuck out to me and motivated me to keep pushing.
Describe the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing the product.
I design all of my products from home. I select the soap base that I want to use depending on the consistency, look, feel, and design I’m going for. My main soap bases are Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Goat’s Milk, and Mango Butter. Each of these has its own set of health benefits for the skin. I start by combining my ingredients like essential oils, carrier oils, flowers, freeze-dried fruits, etc. Next, I select the type of mold or shape I want this soap to take once it sets.
After pouring the soap in the selected molds I have about 2-6 hours to gather the materials for wrapping the soaps once they are set. That usually includes shrink wrap, my logo stickers, and ingredients labels for the back of each soap. I think of my business like my baby, therefore most of the packaging, labels, and designs are done by me.
Each order I fill and ship is carefully customized. I allow customers gift messaging when shipping my products because too often gifts are bought with little to no thought invested. My customers are invested, they are wowed each time they receive gifts from me. No two shipments are ever the same.
Since launch, what has worked to attract new customers?
Listening!!! Customers tell you what they want and what they need, being willing to listen is what works for me. I put up polls on my social media asking what types of scents they were into, what colors they like. Based on those interactions I can gauge what my consumer base is interested in. Also, building rapport with my customers. All of my customers are my friends. I spend time emailing or texting them to find out how they liked a product they recently tried. They love it because they feel like more than a dollar sign. And that was the goal.
Also, building a rapport is what worked for me. I treat all of my customers like friends. They can message me anytime with questions about my products and skincare. And I create those personal interactions for them. I never want my customers to feel like their only interaction with me is transactional. It’s not. Even after they have purchased a product of mine, and I ship it out, I am tracking these orders. Once I know that an order has been received I message them to ask them how they feel about the product, are they, satisfied and each time they are wowed.
As far as growth advice for new and upcoming businesses. I would just say to never get comfortable just because you are making sales. Always continue to improve your products even when you feel that they are already great. Things can always be better and the needs of your consumers will often change. Change with them!
To encourage my customer to come back I implemented a loyalty program. If customers continue to return and buy products they get exclusive discounts. I even started a friend of friend discount so that when my customers shared my products with other both parties would get discounts off of their purchases.
Though I love Amazon so much I never really thought about selling there. I just love to be so hands-on with products. That the thought never crossed my mind. Admittedly though I could see how that could be a beneficial move. I'm not opposed to selling on Amazon.
How is everything going nowadays, and what are your plans for t future?
The future looks promising I recently started a podcast. It is fairly new but it was a way for me to talk about my journey in depth. I will drop some jewels about starting a business, what steps to take, and how to be successful. I plan to continue to roll out new products that my customers will love just like the first ones. They will be bigger and better and that is happening real soon.
Have a clear plan. Sit down and find out what product or service you are wanting to pursue and then research that product or service in-depth. Find out what competition is like in your area. Find out who your target market will be.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
One thing that was helpful to me was that I did not jump into starting a business. I waited patiently while perfecting my craft. I learned a lot about business start-ups and failures by reading. I learned that having a positive mindset in the face of adversity that you will surely face will keep you grounded. Never forget the reason that you started.
As long as you remember your reasons for starting your business be its financial stability or just an additional source of income, that will be the main source of motivation. Those reasons will be the reasons that you keep going on the days when things get tough. Inevitably, there will be tough times, sales might be low, equipment might malfunction but you have to keep going. Push yourself to the point that you cannot even bear the thought of giving up. In the end, it will be worth it.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
- Weebly by Square
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
Never give up. I know that sounds very cliché but it is the truth. When I started my business I could count on my hands how many people believed in my vision. Everybody I knew told me it would not work or they just chose not to support me. I went through a lot of hurts because I was being doubted. But everybody loves an underdog story. Be the underdog that they underestimated. Dream big but be practical.
Have a clear plan. Sit down and find out what product or service you are wanting to pursue and then research that product or service in-depth. Find out what competition is like in your area. Find out who your target market will be. Plan a soft launch of your business and see how it is received by the public. By doing all of those things you can get an idea of what you need to include in your business plan that will set you apart from everyone else.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
I am not looking to fill any positions at the time. However, in the very near future, I would like to hire someone for marketing. As my business grows I want my brand to continue to grow and to do so I will need more hands-on deck.
Where can we go to learn more?
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
Get our 5-minute email newsletter packed with business ideas and money-making opportunities, backed by real-life case studies.