Today we’d like to introduce you to Niema Stone.
Hi Niema, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My name is Niema Stone of Soapstone Soaps LLC Detroit-based, woman and minority-owned company producing natural handmade soaps. Our roots began by attempting to alleviate eczema, a common skin condition, which my husband suffers with daily. In 2009, I began to research the process of how to make natural soap. Within a year I started making cold process soap. I did market research for about two years. With a lot of trial and error, I was able to perfect my recipe. Presently, I have more than twenty types of handmade soaps. I have increased my skincare line to include body butters, body oils, and deodorant. I also teach soap-making workshops in Detroit.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. I work full-time as a teacher; I am not able to dedicate as much time to my business as I would like. As a result, my business suffers. I feel like I am stuck. I do get some sales, but they are not frequent. I am getting better with knowing my numbers and recording what I make throughout the month. But with Soapstone Soaps being just a team of me, I am pulled in many different directions. From ordering labels, posting, making product, sending emails, etc… However, I really enjoy making products. It’s almost like therapy. When I am in my laboratory (a room in my basement), I am in my on world. When I am making soap, the combinations are endless. It’s almost like creating a work of art.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I have been making soap for over a decade. When I first began making soap, it was not pleasing to the eye or skin. A lot of times the soap would leave a red mark on me because it would be too harsh. It did not smell good, I remember one time when I was making soap, I nearly burned the house down. I think the pot was really old and it started to melt in the process of me melting down the oils. Minutes later a volcano erupted. Oh my God, was all I could say! What am I going to do? I managed to grab some flour and put it on the pan to make it go out. Thank God the kitchen was not burned down and I cleaned everything up before my husband came home. Needless to say, I never told him about that. Although I make other skincare products, cold processed soap is my first love. I think it is a beautiful thing when you can take a thought from your head, put it on paper and then actually create it. I keep my soaps simple, but pretty. They smell amazing and feel even better on your skin! People often tell me the difference they feel after switching from commercial soaps, to Soapstone Soaps.
For many years, I thought would I, could I teach soap making to other people. Several years, I kept shooting the idea down. I guess I was my worse enemy. Eventually, I built my confidence up. I took a soap workshop and a month later, I started teaching my own workshops. I am extremely proud of this! I am proud because, I am able to educate people on the process of how to make cold process soap with using lye, which can be very dangerous. I teach workshops every other month in Detroit, MI. If you would like to register for my next workshop, here is the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/soapmaking-101-workshop-tickets-82719882395
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Many people that I knew before Covid-19 began are sadly no longer here. So, one important lesson that I have learned is to appreciate every day here on earth. Be thankful for the small things like being healthy physically and mentally and last but not least surround yourself with loved ones.
- artisan soap $8-10.00
- body butter $24
- body oil $ 20
- deodorant $10-12
- soap workshop $ 65
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.soapstonesoapsllc.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soapstonesoapsdetroit/