Thanks to the first maker that was featured on my site, Stefanie of Supernatural Lacquer, I was introduced to this amazing soap brand. I love that indie makers do that...they seriously support and advertise one another. If it wasn't for the indie community, I wouldn't know half of the brands that I do.
Coincidentally, the maker of Tarabusi Creek Soap is also named Stephanie! If you didn't know, I'm a huge handmade soap lover. Once I started realizing all the nasty and hazardous chemicals companies put into their soaps, I steered away. I've been an avid handmade soap customer for some time now, and I'm happy to have Tarabusi Creek Soap in my rotation! Just looks at how pretty these are.
Let's get to know the maker behind these gorgeous soaps!
You started this by making soaps with your dad, can you explain your relationship and how you worked together?
Well, about twelve years ago, my dad was really into blacksmithing. He had taken a few trips up to this lovely forest in northern Michigan called Hartwick Pines, where him and a bunch of other blacksmithing hobbyists filled up the woods/recreation area with their forges. My dad would bring me, but being only about 9, I wasn’t really allowed anywhere near the forges, so before we left home we had made some little goat’s milk melt and pour soaps so I could sit out there with my Harry Potter book and my big glasses and sell soap while my dad did his thing.
Fast forward to two summers ago, before I was leaving for college in the fall, I had spotted the old box of supplies up somewhere in the rafters of our garage. I pulled them down, curious, and was amazed to find that the melt and pour base we still had left over was completely fine (I bought new stuff to sell, just to be safe!). When I started getting some cool looking melt & pour soaps, I started exploring the idea of cold process. That turned into a very great interest of mine—creating my own recipes. My dad doesn’t partake in the making of soap anymore, but he’s always got new ideas for me to try and hands my business cards out plenty. We have an awesome relationship, and him and my mom are my greatest supporters.
Tell me 5 words that explain your dad, and have him give 5 words to explain you.
My dad’s words for me were; Integrity, Compassionate, Thoughtful, Tenacious, and Loving. (And, a bonus one, Snarky!)
If I could describe him, I would say he’s; Creative, Loyal, Driven, Caring, and Wise.
How do the scents come to you?
Generally, I get lots of requests and ideas from people who are excited about seeing me create something that they pitched one day. The scent combinations of mine, that I do come up with on my own, are generally very fruity, sweet, and strong!
With that said, what's your favorite scent/concoction you've created?
I think my favorite so far has to be the White Tea and Orange Peel blend I put in a custom batch for Stefani with Supernatural Lacquer! (@supernaturallacquer) She came up with the idea of it, and it worked out great!
As an indie shop, do you find it hard to put your brand out there and make sales?
Oh, absolutely. I’m my own marketing department, purchasing department, sales department, production department, and management department. I’m also a full time student in my senior year of college and work another part time job, so managing my brand is one of the toughest things to squeeze into my busy life, and with college being my primary concern, sometimes I do have to put that first. But, it’s a passion of mine that can’t wait until graduation, so I’m out here kicking it and I do get a regular amount of sales in a work week.
As someone who makes their soaps vegan, what are your feelings towards the vegan lifestyle?
I absolutely admire everyone who goes vegan. I’m trying! Every day I make more conscious choices towards the vegan lifestyle. One day I hope I can become completely animal product free, too.
What indie brands do you support and buy from, whether it's makeup, jewelry, skincare?
Oooh… I’m absolutely in love with Allyson Travis’s stickers (@atravisillustrations). I know that’s not in your list, but her work is awesome! I’m also a huge fan of @supernaturallacquer’s polishes, they are to die for! I have plenty of other people I’ve been watching for a little while on Instagram and Twitter, though I just need some money to branch out and try other individuals, haha!
Has a book, movie or TV show ever changed your life?
I’m really into Netflix originals because of how real and uncensored they are—for example, Orange Is the New Black, because of how connected you get to the characters, and I just started Shameless, which is supposed to be kind of a dark comedy about the struggles a family of 6 kids goes through with their alcoholic father abusing the disability check system. Kind of dark, but those are the kinds of shows I love! I also am a big fan of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights by the Bronte sisters, for kind of a similar reason—dark, honest, and gets your mind working on the bigger picture.
What is your favorite album of all time and why?
Oh man, good question. Right now it’s Sia’s “This is Acting.” I absolutely love Sia.
What is your favorite skincare item, lipstick/chapstick, and body product currently?
I adore Nyx’s matte liquid lippies! They’re my favorite, they don’t smudge much and are so gorgeous once they dry.
If you could go back 10 years and change something, would you and what would it be?
Hmmmm… I would probably change our involvement in the Iraq war, honestly. Not to get too political, but, yeah, I would change some of that aspect, or try to change how the housing market crashed. Not that I could change that alone, but if I could change something, those would be it!
What are some of your favorite hobbies, outside of Tarabusi Creek?
I love writing, and I love politics. The two go hand in hand when I’m writing articles based on what’s going on in modern day America, and it really just gets me fired up to make a difference in the world.
What is your favorite season and why?
Spring! Closely followed by fall. I don’t mind winter, but up here in Michigan, spring and fall are the most beautiful times of the year. Summer’s nice too, but there’s about a month between mid July to mid August where it gets over 100, and I’m not so down with that, haha! I like my snow, too, so Michigan’s the perfect place for me.
As someone who is currently studying engineering, how do you think the soap business will end up?
Oh, this one day will be my own store front. I fully plan on following this online shop into fruition in the future, and eventually you’ll hopefully see me combining my engineering education of systems and manufacturing processes with my love for soap!
Lastly, what is your dream vacation?
I would love to go to Puerto Rico. My mother is very Puerto Rican, so that’s where I would go, to experience my family’s homeland.
There you have it....Stephanie in all her Netflix obsessed glory. Stephanie has a wide range of scents and bars, to go with anyone's personal preference and personality. She also has handmade candles and jewelry, which I haven't really ventured into, but obviously plan to.
If you are going to make a purchase, let me know what you end up getting and use the code HARVESTMOON for 20% off your entire order! Happy shopping.