My first and forever why
Everyone has a why. Why they make the choices they make. Why they do the things they do. Their why is what gives them focus, integrity, and motivation. Companies also begin with a why. The owner of a company, I believe, does not start by thinking of ways to take advantage of the little guy or turn a quick buck. At least, I hope they don't. Part of the new business jargon, which I hate, is "Don't forget your why." This short, catchy phrase has made me think about why we do what we do. Let me share with you our why.
I delved into soap making because I had an abundance of fresh, raw goat's milk. I needed to find something useful to do with the milk to make milking the goats, keeping the goats, and forcing my bib overall wearing wonder buns to jump on board with the goats worthwhile. I don't have a long, drawn-out story. I don't have some emotional tale to share with you. I got my goats as pets. I loved them and all they brought to our lives, and I needed to find a useful way to deal with all the milk they graciously gave us. I did not receive a divine message. I had goats who produced a lot of milk—end of story.
As I dug deeper and deeper into the research of natural soap making and, ultimately, all the terrible, unhealthy, and even dangerous ingredients that are common in commercially made soaps and bath products, my why became crystal clear. I wanted to give people a choice. I like having choices. Choices make me happy. I like knowing that I have option two if option one does not work out. People deserve to have healthy choices made with integrity, and are made with a conscience. My why is to give options to my audience.
My why is also to educate. I don't want to preach or push my products onto anyone. However, if one has a question, I want to be able to answer them with honesty and understanding. I wasn't always on board with natural products. If I'm being transparent, I was a Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret girl in college. I liked all the scents and options. However, when we adopted The Bean, I became acutely aware of all the chemicals, by-products, and garbage that are in mainstream bath and body products. My girl had a lot going on when she was born. I didn't want to throw anymore at her already overwhelmed little system. Finding natural baby products was a challenge. Ultimately, I used Bert's Bees products on her. This was before they sold out to the big-name manufacturer who currently produces their products. They aren't what they used to be. I digress.
I was unaware that the products we use daily on our largest organ are filled with petroleum by-products, poisons, and ingredients that can affect our nervous, endocrinal, and reproductive systems. Now, I happily and willingly share the information I found while researching natural soap-making practices. If it's questioned by doctors and banned in European countries, is it really worth the risk? In my humble opinion, it is not. That is why I choose to use as few ingredients as possible. That is my why for keeping things clean and natural. You deserve to have good soap that is affordable, long-lasting, natural, good for you, and gentle.
Maintaining my why has never come into question. Could I use cheaper products with a lower quality to drop my prices? I could, but not in good conscience. Could I choose to use cheaper, lower quality essential oils and fragrance oils filled with synthetics and God knows what? I could, but it would insult everything I hold near and dear. Sacrificing quality to improve the bottom line is not an option for us. It's not who we are or want to be.
My audience has turned into my soap family, and my soap family is another why for me. If I don't allow my daughter to use it on her skin, I won't use it in my soap. I don't care if my soap doesn't achieve artificial bubbles that stand a mile high. Bubbles and suds are merely an illusion created by the commercial soap industry to claim cleansing properties falsely. I won't allow "my family" to put garbage on their skin or buy into dishonorable industry standards. We're straightforward, honest, and transparent and will keep it that way.
Slowly, we are building our family. After all, nothing with staying power was built overnight. I compare it to losing weight. If you lose ten pounds in a week, chances are it's just water and not fat. It has no substance. It won't stay off, and you will fail to meet your goal. Building a business is the same concept. One must work slowly, diligently, consistently, and with the intention of meeting one's goals. There are no shortcuts. If one does take shortcuts, it's a recipe for failure. I don't like to fail. That is another why for me.
Whys are important. Know your why. Make a plan and stick with it, no matter what "it" is. Don't fall into the trap of taking shortcuts or cutting corners. You will be sorry you did in the end. Your why can evolve, but the fundamentals should stay in place. Do something that when push comes to shove, you can lay your head down upon your pillow at night and know you did your absolute best. No one can ask for more from you, and you can't ask for more of yourself. So, my dear reader, stay safe, be smart, don't forget your why, and keep washing your hands.