Dayton Innovation: Living Simply Soap overcomes odds in pandemic

Business Name: Living Simply Soap LLC

Location: 112 E. Main St., Tipp City

Owner’s name: Tanya Brown

Years in operation: 9

Number of Employees: 9

Describe what your business does: We create and sell handmade soap, bath bombs, cream, lotion, scrubs, lip balm, bubbling milk bath sprays and candles. We make over 50 fragrances and formulas for women, men and children.

What inspired you to start this business? I have always been attracted to beautiful soap and fascinated by the chemistry of soapmaking. Once I found the courage to actually make a batch I fell in love with the process and all the creative possibilities. I started selling my soap because I wanted to make more and more! The Farmer’s Market in Tipp City was the perfect venue and when customers came back for more that was all it took…the fire was lit! I have never doubted this was what I was meant to do and the rewards of creating this business seem to never end.

How has your business embrace innovation? We love trying new things…making new products, trying new fragrances, designing new packaging, pushing ourselves to connect with current and new customers. The possibilities are endless and we enjoy keeping most processes in house. That’s what keeps us excited to come to work everyday! The ideas never stop coming. That’s something we encourage in each other. And so often the very best new ideas come from our customers! A business needs to stay in touch with what it’s customers are asking for and be nimble enough to react quickly. As a small business that is easier for us than a large enterprise.

What’s your biggest challenge right now? With the COVID-19 outbreak packaging and some materials have become very difficult to acquire. It’s a bit nerve wrecking to think we may not be able to get bottles or lotion pumps. It’s a bit touch and go right now. We have great relationships with suppliers and they are working hard to keep us supplied.

What’s your biggest opportunity right now? People need good, soothing soap and hand sanitizer right now and that’s what we do. We have implemented $5.00 flat rate shipping and free curb side pick up and both were well received by our customers. We also provide free gift wrapping for pick up and shipped orders. That has been a huge benefit for our customers especially during this time of social distancing when they depended on delivery for gifting loved ones. I think what we make brings people comfort and joy to others especially during stressful times.

What do you want readers to know about your business today? I guess I would want them to know how much love and passion we have for what we do and each other. A business isn’t just about your product or what you sell or how much money you make. A business is about people. Your customers and employees. Providing a product you make that others enjoy and find helpful, creating relationships with customers and suppliers, building a team that appreciates each other and feels how greatly appreciated they are their employer…it’s just doesn’t get any better than that for me!

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