I'm so pleased to share this month's meet-the-maker interview that I had with the woman behind Soul Balm Sisters! She offers handcrafted cruelty-free, natural, vegan bath and body products like bath bombs and shower steamers; with a growing product line of body care. I've personally tried their bath bombs; and between the quality, affordability, and beautiful packaging, these make for an excellent gift or simply a treat for yourself.
As a busy small-business owner myself, I found inspiration and some really great tips from Wahne. She is a maker, a self-care advocate, a prayer warrior, and a busy mom to a teenage son. It was a pleasure getting to know more about the woman behind the brand.
Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career in the beauty industry?
A: I don’t think I had one moment like that. For me it was more like I wanted to run my own business and I had many interests. I wanted to be a fashion designer first, I started a web development company and then finally I landed on beauty.
Q: Can you break down your typical work day for us?
A: I have a full-time job and I am running Soul Balm Sisters and I have a teenager, so I start my day with prayers and jot down my intentions and goals for the day. I often do my intentions while in the tub and my day starts at 4 am. I have scheduled days when I make products and if I am making products that day, I check for all the materials I am going to need. I then check my work email to see what meetings and or task I have for the day and I then look at my son's schedule and put everything together in my notebook. I am a visual person and take pictures and notes .
A good friend told me that I should aim to accomplish just 3 things a day and so that’s my only rule even when I have a 20 item to-do list.
Learning to set priorities and remaining focused on those goals are constantly what I work on.
Q: How has Covid affected your business this year?
A: It impacted my ability to do events, which are the main source of revenue for my business, and has forced me to focus on growing my online business. I have had to learn a lot of new skills in order to pivot to being a online only business.
Q: If you could outsource one task in your business, what would that be?
A: I would outsource copy writing and any written communication tasks. I would rather talk than write.
Q: As a woman of color, what was the biggest obstacle in starting your business, and how did you push past that?
A: There are many obstacles to starting a business, and for me the biggest obstacle was overcoming negative self talk and self doubt. Financing is an issue for women of color, but I have not yet asked for finance. Also I am not sure I am always aware of the bias towards me because I am a WOC. People don’t expect you to know technical things and maybe know things they don’t know.
Q: I see that self-care is a big part of your brand. How important is self-care to you personally, and how do you make that a priority?
A: It is and I do mange what I eat and how things make me feel. I did more exercising before COVID and I need to get back to that.
I really focus on what I consume mentally and physically and how that impacts how I think and feel .
Q: Would you mind giving a personal example of a time you felt you were at a disadvantage in the beauty/wellness industry?
A: I think it may be more subconscious than not but I never really thought the beauty industry was a place for people of color because the standards you see of beauty did not reflect what I looked like. As I write these words it makes me feel profoundly sad for the younger me and the young girls and boys of color who may be feeling this same feeling of I don’t belong here...we need to work to change this.
Q: What does the future look like for Soul Balm Sisters? What are your ultimate goals for your brand?
A: I want my brand to be a celebration of my blackness and that people can see that
black IS beauty and black people are just people like everyone else.
Q: Who do you draw inspiration from when you face challenges that come with owning a business? Rich Dennis the founder of Sundial brands is my mentor in my head and everything he does inspires me .
Q: What advice would you give a fellow woman of color who is wanting to start her own business?
A: Do it and have the courage and belief that you can. Find mentors, Make friends and sometimes allow others to see your vulnerability as this can foster real friendships.
Business is all about relationships and that’s what you need to do to succeed.
Build more and better relationships with everyone within the ecosystem of your business, brand, and life.
Thanks again to Soul Balm Sisters for sharing their story with us. If you'd like to support this business, head to www.soulbalmsisters.com to shop, and follow Soul Balm Sisters on Instagram and Facebook.