October 30, 2012

Guess What! Interview with Cellar Door Soap Co.




"As anyone living in a zombie-filled, post-apocalyptic world can tell you, the only way to survive an oncoming horde of the undead is to mask your human scent..."



Last month I purchased some Zombie Repellent soap {you know, just to be safe} from my favorite Michigan soap crafter Cellar Door Soap Co.  I first noticed...er, smelled these all natural, creative handcrafters while vending in the same aisle at a local handmade show.  

After sniff testing every bar they had, I began to notice the beauty of the actual soap.  And the labels.  And the descriptions.  The entire package was so creative and good!  It was at that moment that my soap crush began.  Also, when I scooped up about a half year's worth of soap.  Hey...their prices can't be beat either, what else can I say?

Just like you probably are now {or maybe not} I was super curious about the back story of this company.  

Did they just appear into this world already amazing?  

Haha, yeah...no.  After asking a ton of questions while waiting for my soap to be packaged up this what I learned:

...the soap is handcrafted by a dude...Brandon Mitchell to be exact.  And, 

...each soap is vegan friendly, contain no synthetic ingredients, and use only natural ingredients.

Pretty great huh?  Of all the questions I had for Brandon though, I asked this one first:

How did you come up with the name?
I've always been a huge Lord of the Rings nerd, so when I was trying to name my company, I remembered something JRR Tolkien (author of LotR) had said. While he was a linguistics professor at Oxford, Tolkien had said that "cellar door" was the most beautiful phrase in the english language. I happen to think that the soap that I make is also very beautiful, so the name Cellar Door Soap Co just seemed like a perfect fit.

How and when did you decide to start your company? 
I started making soap in Jan. 2008 as a hobby. After a year and a half of hearing my friends and family tell me that I should sell my soap online, I decided to set up an Etsy shop. The soaps sold well enough that I decided to do a craft show. That pretty much set the ball in motion and it's still going strong today!

Is this your primary or secondary job?
I left my full time job in Sept. 2010 to pursue Cellar Door Soap Co as a full time business, and I haven't looked back since!

I have a four year old to "work" with me at home. How many kids do you have, and are they all still at home? 
I have a 13 year old daughter, Alex, who lives at home with her mother.

Do you follow a routine work schedule?
I try to keep a pretty strict schedule during most of the year. A typical week for me looks something like this:Mon & Tues - Make soapWed - Prep for markets/showsThur-Sun - Farmers Markets/ShowsEvery now and then I'll sneak in a day off, but those are rare luxuries!

I can't work without listening to music. What's your work vice?
When I'm working I have to have some sort of ambient noise around me. Usually I'll just rock out to something on Spotify, but sometimes I'll catch up on TV shows on Netflix.

What really pisses you off?
You know what really grinds my gears? Not much really... I'm usually pretty even-keeled. Every now and then something gets under my skin, but it's seldom the same thing over and over.

What product are you the most proud of?
I was super proud of my Halloween soaps this year! I made triple the amount that I made last year and still somehow managed to sell out of almost all of them before October even got here.

What is the last handmade item you purchased?
We picked up some cards from Nicole at Sloe Gin Fizz at the Traverse City Makers Mart a few weeks ago. Love her stuff!

What exciting things do you have coming up?
Right now, I'm making 10 different Holiday soaps! It's more than I've ever made for the holidays before, but I'm trying really hard to not sell out too early like I've done the last couple of years. Plus, starting Nov. 1st I'll have a space set up in the Yellow Door Art Market in Berkley! I've been on a waitlist to get in there for quite a while, so I'm super excited that I finally got in!
The smoky aroma of Santa’s workshop dances on the air every time you lather up with a bar of Santa’s Pipe soap! With notes of cherry tobacco with hints of vanilla and raspberry, you’ll feel like the big man is sitting right next to you in his sleigh!
The cool, crisp bite of winter air without any of the annoying numbness on your appendages... That’s Frost Bite!
The invigorating blend of Peppermint and Spearmint essential oils will help you shake off the effects of last night’s eggnog bender!
Sugared Spruce is a glorious blend of sugar and blue spruce. It’s clean, crisp and refreshing with just a hint of the traditional pine scent. The blue spruce adds a wondrous holiday element to your morning shower.

yummy samples!
Shortly after purchasing Zombie Repellent from their Etsy shop, I received a message from Brandon asking me what my favorite scents were.  Turns out, he surprised me with a bunch of samples with my order! All kinds of them.  Mini slices of soapy, smelly goodness.  

If you're in Michigan, you'll likely be able to find Cellar Door at a local Farmer's Market or handmade event.  Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter to stay tuned to their event schedule.  For all you new Cellar Door fans, their soaps can be purchased here and here.  

Their specialty soaps {perfect for stocking stuffers, btw} sell out fast, so go Go GO!



PS:  Cellar Door soaps also look cute in your house!