Founders at 'Soapistry'
Roopa Vasanth & Maaya Mukund
Lucky are those who earn money doing what they love. While sometimes this happens at the beginning of one’s career, others find their passion eventually. But when it does happen, it is inspiring nonetheless.
Roopa Vasanth, an architect by profession, found her true calling in soap making when she attended some classes. Together with her daughter, Maaya, she runs “Soapistry”. They make handmade soaps, body butters and deodorant cream.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with the two boss ladies:
What were the steps you had taken to start “Soapistry”?
Maaya: Once we decided that we wanted to turn this hobby into a business, we started to search for a graphic designer for the logo and branding. When we found her, we didn’t have to tell her a lot for her to understand what we were looking for. We just gave her a vague brief and she did an amazing job. That was the first step. Mom was researching a lot about ingredients and where to find them. We also researched and planned a lot on delivery and packaging because it can be easily damaged. Initially we just started with brown paper bags but now we have our own kits with our logo.
Roopa: We learnt a lot as and when we moved along. We couldn’t and also didn’t have to invest a lot so we took one step at a time. Slowly we added things to make our brand more popular. We didn’t have a lot of capital, so it is something that started small and has been growing steadily.
Who decided to make it commercial?
Roopa: It was me. Back in 2019, I was in a space where I didn’t know what exactly to do. I am an architect and interior designer but I really wanted to learn something new. Maybe I was just bored. So I went to a soap-making class for fun. There were some other girls there who already knew so much about soap-making and I was just completely blank. It started from there. I learnt the basics there and did a lot of research. I followed a lot of Pinterest handles and invested in some moulds and ingredients. Initially we made some batches of soap and tested it on ourselves. Then we thought of just putting out a few. So Maaya posted it on Instagram and we sold out pretty quickly.
Maaya: There was no plan when we put it out there. I just posted a story on my Instagram and everything mom had made sold out in four hours. That was an eye opener for us and motivated us to do it. We did not have any branding or even a name then but it just encouraged us to do more.
What have you learnt from starting this journey?
Roopa: I’ve learnt that it is not easy. It takes a lot of work, even though I am just working out of my home. It is a learning process. There are still a lot of difficulties along the way.
Maaya: The biggest learning we have had is how to cater to our audience so that they come back. They are not just buying the product but they are also buying the experience.
What keeps you guys going?
Roopa: We are planning on increasing our product line-up so coming up with new ideas and designs always keeps me going. All the events that happen like Valentines Day and others are a good occasion to come up with new ideas.
Maaya: I think one of the main things that keeps us going is the customer feedback. If they didn’t like it, what could we do to make it better and what would they like more? Some of the customers have come back to us saying that they couldn’t live without our products. Small joys like these really make it all worth it.
To know more about the conversation watch the video below: