By Sydney Seidel
Blog Content Contributor
During the COVID-19 lockdown, a time when many of us were bored and anticipating what the world would look like post-pandemic, one couple turned their hobby into a bubbling new business.
Amidst the initial shutdown of the world, Kevin and Michael Douglas-Smith began researching what was in their store-bought soaps only to find an alarming amount of chemicals and other substances. Their findings gave the couple the “courage to pick up soap making supplies instead of a puzzle” during 2020, which eventually led to the establishment of the Douglas-Smith Artisan Soap Company.
The mission is especially personal to the Douglas-Smith’s as both Kevin and Michael live with skin conditions that can make it hard to find products that won’t irritate their skin.
The handcrafted soaps are made free from detergents, synthetic lathering agents, glutens, parabens, phthalates, animal byproducts and soy. In addition to that, they are also all plant-based and made by scratch through the hands of the owners.
“It’s bad for your skin, and it’s bad for the environment,” said owner and product manager Kevin Douglas-Smith when talking about the foreign matter that is found in most other soaps.
The Douglas-Smiths do not just bring awareness to this reality by selling their environmentally friendly soaps. The couple also donates soap scraps to Eco-Soap Bank which is a non-profit organization that works to save, sanitize and supply recycled soap with hygiene education all across the world.
What began as a small Etsy shop turned into an even bigger phenomena than what the couple expected at first. This was particularly due to the Etsy shop completely selling out of its entire merchandise just within the first 24 hours of opening. The next step for the business: a store of their very own.
Originally from Nashville, the founders of the company decided to move their small business to North LBJ Drive which is near one of the most popular hotspots for San Martians, the Square “We moved to Austin where we became familiar with the neighboring town. We soon fell in love with the area and decided we wanted to wait for the perfect place to open up,” said Kevin Douglas-Smith. “Now here we are.”
Their new store officially opened in August 2021. Inside the store, shoppers can find a variety of deliciously scented soaps from clean, floral smells to holiday favorites like “Frankincense and Myrrh.” You can also find items like bath bombs, beard balms and tattoo care collections.
One of the most unique aspects of the store is that shoppers can look behind the register and see where the soap is made and how it is made. The rows and rows of soap make the store a very fragrant and relaxing environment to be in.
If you are interested in learning about the Douglas-Smith soap and how it gives back to the environment, visit Handcrafted Soaps to learn more. Also, make sure to stop in to smell all the delicious scents in person, so you can choose the right soap for you.
Written by: Cayla Soriano