Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Stark.
Hi Tara, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi, I’m Tara! I have always loved crafting but rarely found the time. That was until 2016 when my two daughters left home to pursue their dreams. I suddenly found more time on my hands than I ever really desired and knew I needed to find an outlet as the face of motherhood was changing quickly with only my son left at home. I began watching videos of soapmaking and the interest was sparked.
I ordered a variety of oils, lye, and a soap mold off Amazon and made the easiest recipe I could find. My first batch of soap was a simple Lavender bar made with just three inexpensive oils. I was intrigued and I wanted to know more. I began researching the chemistry of soapmaking. I wanted to create a bar with all of the best qualities, long-lasting, skin nourishing, good lather, and bring on the bubbles! 30+ recipes later, I found the one that would become the staple soap recipe of Great Scot Soapery.
Great Scot Soapery wouldn’t have begun without the support of my friends and family. As I tested recipe after recipe my little soap room was getting overwhelmed with the amount of soap on the shelves and I needed to make space for more. Around that time, my husband committed to going on his first mission trip to Mexico with Hero Makers. I thought I’d try to sell a few bars to friends on Facebook to help him raise funds for the trip. I had no idea what would happen next. I sold out of everything! It funded his trip completely and grew the confidence I needed to really follow this dream!
Since then I have increased my product line. Adding lotions, bath bombs, shower steamers, and beard oil. All with the same goal in mind, to create the best product possible so that when someone purchases a Great Scot product they know they are getting great quality. You can find most of these products online now and most weekends at events around the Kansas City area.
When this began I didn’t have a business plan. I was simply filling an empty space in my heart by creating something tangible, much like the ladies in my family before me. My grandma has always been an inspiration in the way that she lived, a true Proverbs 31 lady. Even in her 90’s, she hosted a craft club, making things that she and the ladies would see in crafting magazines or something my mom would find for them on Pinterest.
For as long as I can remember, my mom has had a knack for creating as well. From scrapbooking to woodworking, she’s always shown me that being creative is fulfilling.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oh the struggles, yes they’ve been plenty.
Building a website was not the easiest thing to learn. I’m really not sure I ever learned how to do it, I spent a lot of time clicking buttons and hoping for the best. Somehow it worked well enough to get some traffic and serve its purpose.
Other than that, I think most of my struggles are easily chalked up as lessons. Lessons to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that God has a plan for this business.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am most proud of the name my customers have affectionately given me, The Soap Lady. The first time I heard it was in a phone call from a woman that had purchased my Tuxedo soap for her grandson at a craft show. He loved it and like any loving grandmother, she wanted to make sure he didn’t run out.
She called to ask if she could get more for him and his football team since they’d been winning since he began using it. When I answered the call I heard “is this The Soap Lady?” and not much more after that. The feeling that I’d instantly become known as more than just a hobbyist filled my heart.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
The soaping community is full of wonderful, supportive individuals willing to share their ideas and inspiration with one another. We all have our own individual style that sets us apart but we love to share our creations and learn with each other.
Most of my inspiration has come from the ladies of Lovin Soap Studio, Royalty Soap, Sorcery Soap, Caprica Soapery, and Scandalous Soap Co. Without them sharing their wealth of knowledge I would not have attempted my most challenging, yet rewarding creations.
Being a member of the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild has been a valuable resource in learning current laws pertaining to this industry.
- Goat’s Milk Soap – $7
- Bath Bombs – $5 and up
- Lotion $7 – $12
- Beard Oil – $9
- Shower Steamers $5
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: greatscotsoapery.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/great.scot.soapery
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greatscotsoapery
Amber West of West Photography