We hope to introduce you to all the great Etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 45th in our series with Danielle of BakedSoapCo.
First of all, tell us about your shop.
I started Baked Soap Co. towards the end of last year (2012). The shop carries handmade, artisan soaps inspired by favourite bakery desserts: cupcakes, cake and pie slices, donuts, macarons, meringues, chocolates, petit fours, and whatever else gets dreamed up. Everything is made from 100% pure olive oil which is incredibly moisturising and great for skin.
How did you get into soap making?
I'm presently finishing my PhD in neuroscience and love to exercise my creative side, when time permits. Originally this manifested itself in baking, and over a couple of years I made dozens of wedding cakes and celebration cakes for friends and family. I found myself helping a family friend at her soap shop and fell in love in with it. The baking background has definitely lent well to soaping! Baking and soaping are very similar, they just involve different ingredients and different tools. The decorating is the same across the board, and having had lots of practice piping a real cupcake has made it much easier to do so with soap.
Some of your creations look like they are fresh out of the oven. How do you achieve such a realistic look?
I try to use real baking tools as best I can - bundt pants, cake pans, different piping tips, and sprinkles, for example. I also try to stick to colours and scents you'd find in real bakery products. Lots of chocolates, caramels, and buttercreams for the cake pieces, and more vibrant colours and fragrances for the icings and decorations.
Which of your soaps is your favorite? If you could eat one, which one would you eat? Why?
Donuts! The pink glazed donuts with sprinkle beads are definitely my favourite. I think it's because it reminds me of my favourite strawberry glazed donut, which you can get in the US (the only thing I've ever had from Dunkin' Donuts, which I indulge in any chance I get) but can't seem to find up here. And I would definitely eat this first. While I've made batches and batches of edible treats, donuts have never been one of them.
Do you have any new recipes you are working on? What can we expect from BakedSoapCo in the future?
I've got a few new things that I'm waiting to try out; coconut pie, maple cakes, tropical fruit fragrances; you can certainly expect a début of some fun, vibrant soaps in the near future.
You are fairly new to Etsy. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Pay attention to the help and tips Etsy gives to new shop owners; there's so much to learn, and it's really helpful. Take time to showcase your products well, as the image on the screen is the only interaction your shoppers will have with your products until they purchase them. Join teams, follow other shops - get inspired and spread your shop around the site. And have fun with it!
Check out the other items available from Danielle in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on her blog and Facebook.
Interviewed by Gavin of FoldItCreations in January 2013 in Toronto.