After surgery left Nataly of Nath Soap Company with hives, she had to change all the skincare products in her home. That's when she tried cold process for the first time. The hives went away, but her love for soap making stayed. She now sells elegant bars made with skin-loving and sustainable ingredients. Get to know Nataly below!
How long have you been making soap, and how did you get started? How long have you been selling your products?
I have been making body products for our family for about 6 years. I wanted to be able to provide them with clean, sustainable products and know what exactly we were using on our bodies. Back in 2016, I had a surgery that left me with a chronic case of hives that lasted for more than a year, I had to make very drastic changes with the products I was using and the things I ate. The hives subsided a little over a year later and my desire to learn even more kept growing. I started making cold process soaps as a way to replace the soaps we were using in our home. We all fell in love. As we kept using them and gifting to family and friends, they were all very excited and encouraging with the idea of me making them available for everyone, so Nath Soap Company was born in 2019 and it’s been quite the ride!
What do you love most about making bath and body products?
Making cold process soap has become a creative outlet for me. I love being able to be artistic and let my imagination run with all the different colors, additives, and ingredients.
What inspires you to create?
I can find inspiration almost anywhere, everything and anything around me can be an “aha!” moment. I might be cooking dinner and chopping colorful veggies and think about how to put those colors into soap. Fragrances and essential oil blends are also a source of inspiration, when I first smell that new scent, pictures and colors pop into my head. I do enjoy creating also the more “simplistic” one color type soaps with botanicals on top.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get started?
Research, research, research. Study the ingredients, the soap making process, from lye safety to ingredients to the chemistry behind the saponification process. Learn and practice and practice some more, take your time to test your soaps and get feedback from testers. I’m constantly studying, researching ingredients, and learning, it never stops.
From the business standpoint, I would say research your state/country requirements, labeling laws, cost of goods, inventory management, good manufacturing practices, business permits or licenses and, of course, business insurance and taxes. These are very important when you’re starting and have plans to grow.
What's your favorite Baraka product?
I love using unrefined shea butter from Baraka Shea Butter. All of our soaps are formulated to include the rich and creamy goodness that is shea butter. Pure and 100% natural, Baraka shea butter is handmade by women and families in Ghana using traditional methods passed down through generations. No chemicals. No additives.
I love working with suppliers that stand behind a social cause, through our purchase of certified fair-trade shea butter from Baraka Shea Butter, we make a direct impact on the hard-working women of Ghana. These women take great joy and pride in the quality of the shea butter they produce. Getting paid fairly for their craft provides satisfaction and happiness and empowers them with the opportunity to generate an income to support and create a better standard of life for their families.
Your soap is really elegant and precise. What's your favorite design/technique?
I enjoy creating with a lot of different techniques, I think that my favorite technique will have to be a tie between an in the pot swirl and a drop swirl, I love how surprised I am to find pretty little swirls after I cut the soaps. Honestly though, I enjoy trying out different soap making techniques and all the possibilities that allow me to be creative. I love how each bar is unique and one of a kind when it comes to designs.
Who’s another maker you admire? What do you love about their work?
Our community is filled with many great and talented makers, how can I even pick just one? One of the very first soap making videos I watched was of the Soap Queen herself, Anne-Marie Faiola. At that time, I was just starting out my research phase and was so impressed by all the knowledge and experience she has. Another soap maker that I’ve always admired is Shayna with Milkmade Soap Company, her designs are always so clean and the color combinations are so dreamy.
Have you experienced a fail? How did you work through it, and what did you learn?
I definitely have experienced a fail! I have left the fragrance out of my whole batch of soap, I’ve also had those misbehaving kind of fragrances that, as soon as it touches your batter, make it turn into a soapy mess. When I run into this issue, I just try to get it in the mold as fast as I can. This usually happens with fragrances I’m using for the first time, it has to be a really great one for me to use it again. I’ve learned not to rush and take the time to prepare and understand how the fragrance will affect the end result.
What plans do you have for your business moving forward?
I have a couple of exciting things happening with our business this year and can’t wait to share it with my customers. Even though we’re coming up on year three of being in business, I feel like we are still taking baby steps. This past year we took the leap with wholesale and it has been a very interesting journey, so I would like to nurture that side of the business as well.
Nataly's top Bramble Berry picks
- Bursting Beads - I discovered the Bursting Beads a while ago and can’t stop using them for my soap tops. They’re so pretty and make the tops look so elegant.
- Fragrance oils - Some of my personal favorite fragrances are Tobacco & Bay Leaf, Love Letter, Autumn Fig Harvest, and Cocoa Butter Cashmere. There are many more for sure, but the list is too long.
- Orange 10X Essential Oil - This is one of the best essential oils out there. Very strong scent and it does not fade in cold process soap.
- Jasmine flowers - I love adding botanicals to my soaps and jasmine flowers are one of my favorites too.
What’s the first Bramble Berry project you tried?
Back in 2020, I wanted to make some special gift boxes for my mom and my sisters for Christmas, so I ordered the Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Scrub Kit from Bramble Berry. It was so much fun to make and it was a huge hit with my family. They smell wonderfully clean and left the skin super soft and not greasy at all. The packaging was beautiful too.