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Meet Lydia Butynski and Larry Munroe of Soap To Please

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lydia Butynski and Larry Munroe.

Lydia and Larry, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Larry and I took a soap making class about five years ago with the idea that it would be fun to make soap for our friends for the holidays. It was fun and the soap was very well received, so we did it again the next year. Our friends liked the soap so much they suggested we start selling it. We’ve been making soap now for about 5 years.

We find it’s fun and challenging since we are constantly learning ways to mix different oils and scents. We enjoy doing craft fairs and having an opportunity to actually meet with our customers and explain what went into making the soap.

Has it been a smooth road?
Making soap is much like cooking, except you must make sure your measurements and weights are exact. If not, you get bad soap. I have had many experiences with bad soap, and the challenge is finding out why and making sure it doesn’t happen again. Sometimes there is just no explanation.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are reaching out from what was once a hobby, to selling. We make the soap in our free time and in our home, there is no big factory, no employees. When we say it is “small batch soap”, it really is small-batch soap. Our batches yield about 30 bars of soap. We make all the labels, we do all the graphics, web design and social media outreach. We started very small and we are still small, but since I recently retired, I have more time to devote to making soap and branching out to more markets.

Our plan from the start was to make soap with natural ingredients and to use only essential oils. We have used fragrance oils on request from customers, but we still stick by that model. We are now experimenting with palm oil free soaps. We also have a ylang-ylang scented shea butter and mango butter body butter, that is beginning to have quite a strong following.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego is great! There is an awesome craft community, with lots of opportunities to sell your product at farmers’ markets, craft fairs, and mom and pop specialty shops. It’s great getting to know all the other creative folks in our city.

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