How old were you when you started and where did your idea come from?
We wanted to be more sustainable. Mom got a shampoo bar from the mall and we tried it --- but it was expensive and didn't work on our hair. We wondered if we could come up with our own version. After a lot of research and experimenting, we formulated both shampoo and conditioner bars. First we used it, then gave to our friends, constantly reformulating. Tessa decided to sell them at her middle school craft fair, and they sold out! (So we knew there was a market for our product). Then we branched out to other zero-waste bars --- lotion, dish soap, body soap. It's satisfying to make a product that people need and is also helping the earth.
What was the biggest mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
We focused so much on making the bars that we didn't pay attention to other things - like packaging. Some of our bars melted during shipping. Others got lost in the shredded paper we use. We didn't include the packing list. So after listening to customer feedback, we changed our packaging to make it look more professional.
What are your future plans for the business?
We hope to develop other types of bars - maybe charcoal soaps for the face or laundry detergent. We're always dreaming and planning.
Any advice for other girls starting a business?
Have fun! And be open to feedback from your customers, friends and family. Also, pay attention to even the smallest details (like packaging!). When our customers open a package of our bars, we want them to feel happy -- our bars smell good and we wrap them in bright colored paper, include a personalized thank you note with a joke inside. We think this personal touch has brought us repeat customers, who both want to be sustainable and also love our product and the experience of our product.