Meet the Maker

Posted by Brigid McHugh

Usually when I write blog posts, I try to make them about things that my customers have questions about, or things that are currently important to myself and my brand. One thing that I get asked all the time as how I got started in this business. So... I figured it might be the perfect opportunity to take a minute and tell you guys a little bit about me and how Kilted Suds began. This one is going to be a bit of a ramble, so if you make it to the end, THANK YOU!

I suppose I should start at the basics right? My name is Brigid, and I am a mother of 2 wonderful children. I have a son and a daughter, am married and live in a small home in Dingman's Ferry, Pennsylvania.

Many years back, I was working as a bartender in a local restaurant. After a night of hangout with some of my coworkers we decided that we were going to try to make some of our own beauty products. I wanted to try to make liquid soap. I thought this would be a fantastic way to start getting rid of some of the chemicals and unnecessary products that are in my family's lives. Both my children have sensitive skin, my daughter suffers from eczema, and my husband has a lot of skin allergies. So I made liquid soap, thinking it might help everyone's skin. I brought it in to work and decided that all of us could get together and add essential oils and fragrances to the soap that I had made. I thought it would be a super fun girls night out with a bottle wine or something.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, all of our work schedules were just too hectic and we never got together to fragrance our soap. So I did it on my own. I made a bunch of shower gel and hand soap in all sorts of fantastic flavors and scents. I loved the product so much that I put them in Mason jars and brought them in to work with me. Like I said I was working at a little bar in a restaurant in my small town. So here I come holding all of this liquid soap that I made that I'm super excited about. I walk into the bar and I started showing all of my regulars what I had made. I sent a few of them home with some to try.

You know what happened? They loved it. People started asking for more, and eventually, if they could buy what I had made. So I did some more research into how to do things properly. I learned labeling requirements, researched packaging options, and all of the other things that go into starting a business. I played around with a few different business names, and finally settled on one that I loved, Kilted Suds. I started selling my liquid soaps and shower gels on Etsy and in person. It only took about 6 or 8 months of doing this before people started asking me for bar soap. Ironically in the soap making world most people usually start with bar soap and then eventually progress to make liquid soap. Apparently, it's way harder to make liquid soap then it is to make bars. I on the other hand, was terrified of making bar soap for some reason. It just seemed so difficult, so daunting, and honestly my family never used bar soap.

But again, I did some research looked stuff up online found some people who already made soap asked a million questions, and made my 1st batch of bar soap. IT WAS AWFUL! I mean it smelled great, but I needed more time learning and practicing. I had to figure out my own recipe, how to properly mold things for consistent shape and size, and so many other things. After that first batch though, I was hooked. I had already created my business, Kilted Suds. So now was just time to branch out and add bar soaps to that as well. In the beginning my labels and my packaging were sad. All of my customers loved them though. They thought that I looked professional and that I was doing great job of making a handmade product. I knew in my head though that I still wanted more from my brand. So I redesigned my labels, probably at least 15 times. I'm finally getting to a point where I love the way that my labels on my product presentation looks, but it's a constantly evolving process and I am sure the labels will change again.

Once I started making bar soap, I felt like so many doors opened up for me. I started taking classes to learn more and I added a ton of other products to my inventory. I started making sugar scrubs and lip balms and lotions and eventually face masks and beard oils as well. The more products I offered the more my customers loved my brand.

I honestly have to say had it not been for my being in the right place at the right time, or rather in the right job at the right time, I never would have had the opportunity to grow my business the way that I have. In the beginning my main customers were just the regulars at my bar. But they told their friends and their friends told their friends, and I started attending craft shows and local markets. About 3 years into running my business, I was able to quit my full time bar tending job, and stay home with my kids and make soap!

Since then, I have furthered my education, becoming certified in aromatherapy and the use of essential oils, holistic remedies, holistic beauty, and more. I am constantly taking classes, researching, and learning. This journey has been an amazing one so far, and I am so grateful that you are traveling along with me!

I could go on and on about how I got started and why I make the products that I do, I could go on and on about why I used the ingredients that I do and how I got the ideas for all my different products. That would be a really long blog article. I'm happy to share some of my story with you guys though, and I hope that you enjoyed reading it.

 

Have more questions about how Killed Suds got started? Leave me a comment below!

0 comments

Leave a comment