Meet Gem, one of the co-founders of Pop Soap. Her and her brother Paul, have been in the soap business for not quite three years and they are already pursuing their passions full-time.
Being raised in an entrepreneurial family, both Gem and Paul have always taken what most of us consider hobbies to the next level. They have always asked how they can share their hobby with others.
While most siblings are happy to pursue their careers individually and see each other on holidays and the occasional weekend, Gem and Paul work together everyday making this a true family business.
However, this isn’t the only business they have started. Before Pop Soap, Gem and Paul were in a punk band that toured the world and also had a graphic design company. As with many of us, Pop Soap is the culmination of their passions. Both Gem and Paul have had a love for soap and pop culture. In fact, it was while they were watching the movie “Fight Club” that they looked at each other and said “how cool would it be to make soap?”
A little over 15 years later, after touring in their punk band, they made their first bar of soap. It was nasty.
Working on their soaps at night and weekend while they still had their day jobs, it took a couple of years to perfect their recipe for their soap. As Paul said, “Making soap is easy. Making great soap is hard.” Their first soap was named after the pop culture reference that started this obsession and is named “Fight Club” of course.
Other soaps began to follow including The Monroe (named after Marilyn), The Death Star, and of course Pulpy Fiction. After that, other all natural products followed including bath bombs, body butters and shower gels.
I asked both of them why they make soap. They both gave me the company line of “all natural alternative” and “soap should be fun” and other stuff that I can read on their website. After asking the same question several times to get past the company line, Gem finally told me “because it’s fun and I can’t wait to get out of bed to make soap.” That is the sign of a true obsession! This obsession drives them to be successful and still enjoy what they are doing.
Obsession is not the only thing that drives their success. They work extremely hard. Doing 3-5 markets per week, they are constantly either setting up, selling soap, or tearing down their display. Their display is simple, but very effective. This simplicity and standard setup helps them to meet their grueling market schedule while remaining consistent with each market.
However, the thing that I think makes them most successful with their customers is not only their soap, but their abundance of personality. I have never heard either one of them make a negative comment and have always seen them greet everyone with a smile that reflects in their eyes. They are boisterous and outgoing with personalities bigger than their business and they make everyone feel special, just like their soap.
You can find Gem and Paul online at PopSoapShop.com.