Handmade soaps are such an easy luxury to indulge with and Carrie of Pink Squirrel soaps has some of the best. Learn a bit more about her and her process below.
Carrie, introduce yourself!
I’m Carrie Warner. We have a big blended family of 8 kids so it’s always crazy around our house. I am a girly girl.
I love ruffles and lipstick and glitter and all things pink. I love retro, mid-century, modern style. I’m a legit member of the Doris Day fan club and love to wear vintage style dresses and jewelry.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating?
I love shopping, baking, reading, going to movies, and hanging out at home.
What do you create and what makes it so special?
I make handmade artisan soap (and other bath products, but soap is my favorite.) All handmade soap is better for you than the detergent bars you buy at the grocery store.
It’s more moisturizing and nourishing for your skin and there are fewer chemicals and synthetic ingredients.
My soap is extra special because not only is it good for your skin, it’s cute too. My philosophy is that we use soap all the time, so why not make it something to bring a smile to your face by being cute, cheery, or nostalgic.
My soap bars are often themed around holidays and seasons so they make darling and useful gifts and decorations for your home.
What inspires your creativity?
When I’m looking for inspiration for new soaps, I like to look at fancy drinks and cocktails.
I’m not much of a drinker, but some of those frou-frou drinks are just so pretty! I’m also often inspired by pretty desserts like layered cakes and sugar cookies with fancy frosting.
How are your products created?
I use the cold process method. Which means starting from scratch with oil and lye. I love being able to control every ingredient that goes into the soap.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been making soap for just over 6 years. I started when essential oils began getting really trendy and popular.
I went to some of the classes and parties and bought several oils. In my research on how to use them, I stumbled across soap making. and fell in love!
It’s the perfect balance between chemistry and preciseness with creativity and design.
I started experimenting and making batch after batch. Pretty soon I had way too much soap than I could ever use. I started giving it to family and friends and began selling by word of mouth, finally signing up for my first boutique. This spring is the 4th anniversary of my small business!
Where do you create?
I create in my kitchen at home. I keep most of my supplies in rolling carts so I can roll them into the kitchen to have handy when I am creating and then roll them away to store when it’s time to clean up (usually when people are coming over. 😊)
Do you keep creative journals or sketchbooks?
I have several journals and notebooks where I keep my ideas, notes, and inspiration.
Since color is an important element of soap, I have my own box of crayons that I use to sketch out design ideas.
I keep notes on every batch of soap I make. Things like temperature, measurements, and exact ingredients and additives are important to remember so I can recreate the batch or troubleshoot if something goes wrong.
How did you choose the name for your business?
I get asked this a lot. The short answer is that Pink Squirrel is a tribute to my grandma. It was her favorite ice cream flavor.
The long story:
I think of soap making as a retro or heritage craft that people have been doing for centuries. So when I first got into it, the first person I wanted to talk with about it was my grandmother. (It turned out that she never really made soap, but she had lots of memories of watching and helping others make it.) It was a fun conversation filled stories that I never would have heard if I hadn’t asked her about soap making.
When it came time to name my business, I thought of those stories and thought of those old fashioned housewives making soap for their families and new that I wanted a retro-sounding name. I thought of retro things my Grandma loved and remembered her favorite ice cream flavor was Pink Squirrel. (It was based on a ’60s frozen cocktail made with amaretto) My grandma didn’t drink but loved the cherry almond ice cream.