Small business owners tend to wear many hats...
Event planner is one of them. Running a small business can be a challenging endeavour, but making sure that you have the proper tools to get the job done is the recipe for success! We receive so many questions (+ compliments!) on our tent at markets and we are happy to finally be sharing all the nitty-gritty with our small business friends.
We chatted with the team over at Surf & Turf Instant Shelters all about running our small business + our experience with their wonderful canopies.
Q: Tell us about your business, how and when it started?A: SARAH'S SOAPS started back in 2013 when we began crafting small batch skincare on our quest to find products that were good for our bodies, and easy on the Earth. We have spent the last 10 years formulating, wildcrafting + producing 100% natural and vegan skincare with gentle + effective formulas. All of our products are cruelty-free + vegan and are packaged in compostable, recyclable and/or reusable containers. We have been voted Niagara's favourite skincare over 5 years in a row and are happy to be sharing our love of plant powered skincare North America wide!
Q: What brought you to Surf & Turf?A: After working many years at outdoor markets, we were searching for a product that was durable, reliable + affordable. A few of our small business friends already had a Surf & Turf canopy, and we knew that was the brand we needed. We wanted to support a local company that provided their customers with quality products, at an affordable price point without compromising on quality.
Q: What products have you purchased from us and why did you need them?A: We take part in dozens of outdoor markets a year, throughout all 4 seasons and we needed a tent that would keep us and our products safe all year long - Surf & Turf checked all of those boxes. We purchased a Surf & Turf's 10ft x10ft Robusta Pop-up Gazebo + had the canopy customized with our business name and logo, which helps us stand out in a crowd of tents and allows our customers to easily find us at markets! The waterproof walls keep us and our product dry and safe all year long. No matter what weather is thrown at us, we can rely on our set up!
Q: What does sustainability mean for you and how does it manifest in your practices?
A: Sustainability is at the forefront of our creation process and is instilled in to every aspect of our business. We feel a deep connection and a great responsibility to this Earth, which is why we take great care both in our mindful harvesting practices, as well as in our production. I have spent many years studying plants both led by self learning + practical education, studying how to tend, care for, propagate, seed + grow plants. Ethical wild harvesting practices are always in place when foraging. We craft our products with minimal ingredients, sourcing from other local, small businesses as well. We knew that we needed market equipment that would stand the test of time - using reliable equipment keeps unnecessary waste out of the landfills, and saves us from having to repurchase a tent year after year.
Q: What were some unexpected challenges when building your business?
A: Building a skincare business is tough... Sometimes, life throws lemons at you, and you have no choice but to turn them into skincare products. Maybe your supplier suddenly runs out of a key ingredient, there are supply delays or your customer's order gets lost in transit. It's these unexpected challenges keep you on your toes, constantly forcing you to pivot and try new approaches.
Q: What are your top 3 personal favourite products that you offer?A: Lately, we are loving our SUMAC + WILD ROSE lip butter to hydrate our lips, our CARROT + OATMEAL bar soap to cleanse the body without stripping it of essential moisture, and our ARNICA + EUCALYPTUS salve to soothe sore muscles, aches + pains. All of these products are 100% natural and plant powered so you can feel good about what you are putting on your skin!Q: What kind of venues can people find you selling at?A: We travel all around the Niagara Region to share our goods and ship our products North America wide (with hopes of soon being available worldwide) at www.sarahssoaps.ca. We take part in year round markets, both indoor + outdoor all across the Niagara Region with our Surf & Turf canopy tent. You can also find our products at select stockists!
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs in your space?
A: Building a successful skincare business requires long-term vision and perseverance. Stay true to your brand's values and mission, even during challenging times. Adapt to market changes + embrace innovation. Cultivate strong relationships with your customers and suppliers. Listen to your gut feeling... usually its right!