Today we’d like to introduce you to Krista Csontos.
Krista, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
While working for the Coast Guard, my husband was struggling with his skin reacting to daily shaving, and we decided to try to find a better way. After doing some research and testing out some lovely high-end products, we decided to try to make some ourselves! We quickly discovered that not only was the shave soap we were aiming for an actual soap, but it is a cream soap, which is probably the hardest kind to master let alone formulate. In the process of all of this, I had acquired the ingredients and equipment needed to try bar soap.
I have extremely sensitive skin, with a history or eczema. Countless doctors had conditioned me to use only one specific (boring) non fragranced plain white soap. But I couldn’t resist the allure of making a batch! The first one was simple – primarily olive oil, colored with turmeric, and scented with essential oils. It was amazing and I was hooked! Not only did my skin improve with handmade soap, but the combination of art and science makes my brain happy!
I have a background in Microbiology with years of research experience at a medical school so now soap making has become an obsession. I love to push the envelope, creating new designs and using new color combinations. We are big believers in bringing beauty into the mundane, and beautiful handmade soap is a perfect way to add joy to your routine without adding time to it.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been an interesting journey. Turning a hobby into a business is a challenge for me, because I am science minded, but certainly not business minded. I have been blessed by being surrounded by amazing, supportive, successful people who have nudged (and pushed) me along the way. I would advise others to seek out and surround yourself with people who believe in you and what you are selling. Be honest, but maybe more confident sounding than you feel. And always make sure that you are putting forth the best that you possibly can. Every time I have hit a crossroads, or been unsure of a next step, someone has come along to give me exactly the help that I have needed. Love Live Local on the cape has been a fantastic resource. Once I started doing fairs and meeting other makers and business owners, I started to understand the unique selling landscape that exists on the cape. Every step is a learning opportunity, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Find a community that is interested in helping build up other makers and latch on! And don’t be afraid of what you don’t know – be willing to learn!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Wash Ashore Soaps and Sundries story. Tell us more about the business.
We are big believers in bringing beauty into every aspect of life. Our soaps and body products are meant to not only be wonderful for your skin, but also a way to bring happiness into the smallest places. You have to bathe, you might as well do it with something that makes you smile. We handcraft it all in small batches. We have researched and formulated all of our products and love trying new designs, fragrances, and techniques. We also try to incorporate local ingredients where possible, which allows us to partner with other local businesses!
Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters’ coffee is found in our caffeinated soaps, scrubs and lip balms. Hog Island Beer is in our beer soaps, Bee Well honey in our Oatmeal Milk and Honey soaps. We have local sand, cranberries, etc in many of our products. And we are big on labeling – you will always know if the product you are purchasing is 100% natural, or mostly natural. But it is always wonderful.
We also love custom orders, and many of our most popular soaps originated with our customers or wholesalers coming to us with an idea.
Finally, what I am personally most proud of (and always blown away by) is when repeat customers come back to get their favorite product. They often tell me how that particular scent was all that made them smile while going through a hard time. And it stays their go to ‘luxury’ when life does not afford the time for luxury. Being able to bring joy to the smallest moments is what keeps us going.
It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
I have really loved Christy Wright’s book ‘Business Boutique’.
My Passion Planner is the organizer that keeps me heading in the right direction. http://www.passionplanner.com/
Spark Plug coaching has been a tremendous help to me in person and online. https://www.sparkplugcoaching.net/
- soaps $8
- emulsified sugar scrubs $15-16
- lip balms $3
- lotions $5-$18
- shower steamers $3
- shave soaps $16
- liquid foamer soaps $10
- butter bomb packs $8-$12
- mermaid scales $6
- soap favors/ B&B soaps $40/50 soaps
- Website: www.washashoresoaps.com
- Phone: 508-419-1224
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washashoresoaps/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/washashoresoaps
Fred and Krista Csontos