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Meet Brianna Klingensmith of Brianna’s Handmade Soap in Arlington

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brianna Klingensmith.

Brianna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I became serious about making my own bath and body products about five years ago. At the time, I became a vegetarian after taking a tour of a farm animal sanctuary in upstate New York. This had an immense effect on me and it caused me to not only focus on the food I was eating but also on the animal ingredients that are present in so many skin care products. This experience also coincided with me researching not only the animal ingredients but ALL of the ingredients in the products I used.

My sister-in-law and a great friend used to be a chemist who worked for a large drug company and saw, first hand, how many ordinary chemicals found in most mass-produced bath and body products can affect our health. She made me aware of labels and encouraged me to look up the products that I use on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website. This website contains a large database of just about any mass produced bath and body product you can find. It assigns a health safety grade to each product based on available scientific research data. This was very eye-opening as well as disturbing! After absorbing all of this information, I began experimenting with making my own soap and lotions using only natural, healing ingredients. Once I started to make my own, I became hooked!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting a new business is not easy! I work as an engineer during the week and when I decided to give this business a try, I had no idea how all-consuming it would be. I think the biggest challenge for me in starting this business has been the feeling of being overwhelmed ALL OF THE TIME. This feeling has not gone away! I’m realizing that there is SO MUCH to starting and running a small business and every time I learn something new, I find out there are 10 more things that I don’t know and need to learn. For example, how do I approach stores to sell my product? Do I just walk in and ask? (surprisingly, this has worked well!) Do I need insurance? How do I make a website? Should I hire someone else to do it? How do I use social media for my business? The list goes on and on and I don’t think I will ever know everything there is to know!

Brianna’s Handmade Soap – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My biggest goal in creating Brianna’s Handmade Soap is to offer high-quality vegan soap and skin products that promote kindness over suffering. Brianna’s Handmade Soap is not only cruelty-free but actively strives to make a difference by supporting organizations that minimize suffering. I support Maple Farm Sanctuary by donating 5% of all profits to this amazing organization.

I am very proud to not only support an organization that I care deeply about but to also offer skin products that contain extremely high quality, plant-based ingredients. Our skin absorbs what we put on it and many of us are unknowingly exposing ourselves to chemicals that can have long term effects. When buying from Brianna’s Handmade Soap, consumers can be assured that their skin will be nourished by only healthy ingredients.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
In my journey so far, I have definitely felt successful. I started my business because of my love of animals and passion for clean, plant-based ingredients. I’m exceedingly happy that I have been able to share this passion with others. It is an amazing feeling to hear customers’ glowing reviews and testimonials to products that I’ve created. This means everything to me.

Going forward, I would love to be able to offer even more. I currently have a million ideas for new soap and skin care recipes but it is so hard to find the time! I make everything myself and I also handle all of the business’s day to day operations. I would love to get to a point where I can hire some help on the business end of things so I can focus more on creating new recipes and getting back to experimenting in my kitchen which is my passion!

Pricing:

  • Bar Soaps $6.25
  • Sugar Scrubs $13.95
  • Daily Face Cream $13.95
  • Handmade Soap Dish $8.45
  • Hand Knit Soap Scrubber $14.95

Contact Info:

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