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Etta + Billie, organic bath and body products

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? At some point post college, I got really sick of pushing paper around and having nothing to show for it. I realized that I wanted to start doing something that let me be creative and offer people a tangible useful product at the same time. Around the same Etta+Billie_Soap_Anise Peppermint 1time, I had started making soap after I told my mother I needed a hobby and she gave me a book on soap making. I fell in love with the process and found a way to tap into my creativity. I love making products! I still have a day job right now but hope that sometime in the future I will be able to do my business full time.

What do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them? This is a really hard question because I love them both!!! I find inspiration in so many different downloadways, I feel as though I come up with ideas all the time. I started keeping a notebook with me so I could jot down my ideas. Execution is fun too because I get to play the mad scientist.

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? Creating something that is beautiful and smells great. Having repeat customers who have nothing but fabulous things to say about my products. The worst part is the clean up!!!

What are your creative influences? I am highly influenced by food and nature. I am a huge foodie and have been ever since I was young. I love all sorts of cuisines and I find cooking gives me so many ideas for scents and additives for soap. Right now I am obsessed with Cardamom so I put it in my oatmeal, E+B_soap_citrus poppy seedbaked goods and of course my products. I am also inspired by nature and the city, I find the colors and scents spark my creativity (not the nasty sewage smell of course but the smell of the ocean or the way it smells after it rains). Scent has always been incredibly important to me and I love natural scents, that’s why all my soaps are scented with essential oils (steam extracted plant oils). I don’t want fake smelling perfumy Lavender products, I want products that smell like Lavender I would find in my garden.

What’s the best advice you have been given about your business or craft practices? Mistakes are bound to happen, the key is to learn something from your mistakes and move on.

How do you stay inspired? Taking walks in the park or in my neighborhood. Checking out new cookbooks or Reading blogs and trade magazines.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Erin says:

    Great Interview Alana! I can’t wait for poppyseed soap. mmmmm

  2. Avatar Alana says:

    Thanks Erin!! The Citrus Poppy Seed smells pretty amazing ;).

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