I’m SO excited to share this month’s business spotlight – Rachel Chieppa from The Daily Scrub! Rachel works especially to build her business and sell her goods locally. She’s here to share her experience growing her business through her local market – and she really has some amazing things to say. I loved reading her story, and I know you will, too! Rachel pays close attention to all of the details of her business from creating the soaps with amazing ingredients – yes, they’re even vegan, and keeping them as natural as possible is important to her. Her presentation is amazing, and her soaps are just plain beautiful.
Here’s a bit about Rachel:
I’m 33. Married to my soulmate, Jeff, who encourages me to be all I can be! We have a fur-child named Charlie! He’s a Boston Terrier! I’m a graduate of Virginia Tech with a BS in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a Masters in Public Administration. We love to mountain bike!! I love to be crafty! Always have! I grew up in a house where my mom was always working on a project. Whatever she was making she gave one away to everyone she knew and then she moved onto the next thing! I love to draw, paint, crochet, sew, etc. I am always striving to learn a new craft skill/technique! Making soap is a part-time artistic outlet for me!
You can see more about Rachel on her blog.
~ How long have you been in business?
Officially, 2 years! Unofficially, 4 years!
~ What made you decide to start your handmade business? And what made you choose the products/services that you offer?
I’ve always made something. I always wanted to have a craft-related business, but never could find that one thing that people wanted. I tried cards, sewing purses, etc. It wasn’t until I ventured into soap making that I found that thing! I dabbled off and on with making soap, but it wasn’t until a fellow vendor at the farmers market where my mom and I sold cut flowers offered to show me some soaping basics that it really clicked. I went over to her house for a brief lesson and after that I took it to a whole new level! I researched and researched. I was so interested in the many different styles that different soapmakers had. There were so many scent combinations and color combinations. It was a blank canvas! It was a chance for me to use my artistic side to create a useful product! So, I decided to take the soaps to the farmers market and sell them alongside our flowers. Customers loved them because they were different! And…that’s all she wrote!
~ Has your business evolved or changed since you first started it? (ie., did the vision, products, or your style for your business change?
Yes. Like everything you have to find your style. In the beginning the soaps were more simpler. I wasn’t sure what I wanted my style/image to be. As I got better and more confident the color combinations and scents got more complicated! I like to say I went wild! I think in order to stay relevant and keep your customers interested, you have to constantly be changing. My husband is always helping me to come up with the next idea. He builds all of my molds!! The Daily Scrub is always evolving and looking for something new or different to try. Maybe it’s the shapes, sizes, colors, etc. Keeping it new and fresh is the key!
~ What things have you done that you feel have promoted you or your business?
I always try to be a good person. I truly care about my customers. I want them to feel a connection to me. And, being giving to others. Give more than you receive. I am so blessed. God has been so good to me.
~ What platform do you use to sell your goods? (markets, etsy, big cartel, etc.)
I use ETSY, but most of my business is local people, craft shows, the Petersburg Farmers Market, Facebook, and word of mouth. I’ve recently gotten into some retail locations and that has helped to expand my reach and offer customers other buying locations. Facebook has been huge for me! I feel that I have worked hard to focus on getting good at that particular social media outlet. People find me there and message me. Then, we work through Paypal!
Rachel will be sharing more on specifically building her business in the local marketplace in her post next week!