When we tell people we make natural, handmade soap, people who don’t know us very well ask if we sell at farmers markets or on Etsy. They envision pastel colors and lavender seeds lovingly sprinkled on the top of our bars. They envision paper ribbon and Birkenstocks.
But then we tell them it’s more like campfire, leather, gunpowder, whiskey, and clove, and they get a sparkle in their eye and say something like, “Whiskey? I could get behind that! What did you say your company’s called?”
When we started Outlaw, Russ and I decided to start with handmade soap as a practical matter: We didn’t have any other readily available vehicle for our creative scents!
My friend had a small soapmaking business that she ran out of her living room. Between Deborah and internet videos, Russ and I figured out how to make natural soap smell like anything (even bacon!).
And so we did. We started with campfire, then we tried whiskey (starting with real whiskey, which was a bad idea), and we worked on all kinds of things.
And as we started experimenting with scents, we also started experimenting with colors and techniques for swirling those colors. It was fun, and by the time we launched in March of 2013, we had been making soap after work and on weekends for a few months.
That first day, we sold out of soap.
Because soap takes 30 days to cure, we had to wait another 30 days before we could sell any more soap! It was torture!
Over the years, we’ve developed other ways of pouring soap so we’re not just making a few bars at a time (now our batches are a couple hundred bars at a time). We’ve added products like solid cologne, traditional cologne, body wash, lotion, and air fresheners. We’ve even launched seasonal products like candles and hand balms from time to time!