Amanda Pye isn’t your typical entrepreneur. She’s a recreational camper with a passion for luxurious but compact soaps that are perfect for taking on road trips. As a child, she traveled all over the country and her grandparents had a trailer they took with them everywhere. It was a love that never left her and when she combined that love of travel with her love of artisan soaps, Saint Paulia Soaps was born.
“I've always loved the idea of artisan soap and I always thought the way they look and smell was so elegant. The problem I found was that when I would use them, my skin would be left feeling dry and irritated.
“I started doing some research and one day while I was watching a YouTube video, I learned about the formulas and 'super fatting'. I thought to myself, ‘I could make my own soap that would look and smell amazing and would also leave my skin feeling amazing.’ Then I realized there was no way I could be the only one having the same problems with artisan soaps. I decided to start making some and see if others wanted them.”
She created a Facebook page to help her business grow, thinking she would just be spreading the word to friends and family, but she quickly realized that strangers wanted to buy the soaps too. She had found her niche and when a friend mentioned to her how Saint Paulia Soaps filled their RV with beautiful scents and were so light and easy to travel with, Amanda revamped her designs specifically for soaps on the go.
As an RVer I know exactly how each square inch of space is golden and most soaps and luxury products are left at home because of their bulk, but not Saint Paulia Soaps! These lightweight and compact artisan soaps are great for adventuring. Just, don’t bring them into bear country wilderness (they smell so good)!
Amanda says, “I think bar soap in general is perfect for the road. They are solid and compact so no spills and they are super easy to store. The difference is at Saint Paulia we strive to use the best ingredients available and my formulas are the result of years of testing in order to ensure that they won't dry out or damage skin and because we know our products will be used in small spaces, we go a little light on the fragrance so as not to be overpowering but still enjoyable.”
I asked Amanda how long she’d known travel soaps would be her next big adventure. “I think I’ve always known I was going to be an entrepreneur. Even as a little girl I was always trying to come up with ideas for products that I could sell. I always thought I had something to offer but I didn't figure out what that was until my kids started growing up and moving out and I had the idea (and time) to make and sell soaps.
“We are just recreational campers at the moment but we do plan on following in my grandparents footsteps later on and just go wherever we want.”
Amanda’s advice for others traveling full time who want to start a business venture is to be willing to adapt and accept change. She says the full-time travelers are most likely to already be great at that. Her second piece of advice is to remember to take care of yourself. “…you can’t pour water from an empty cup.” Business owners, she says, put in a lot of hours and sometimes forget to sleep, de-stress and relax.
I asked Amanda what was her favorite Saint Paulia Soap product and after a lengthy pause, she admitted that she loved all the products but if she was forced to choose (she was) it would be the shampoo and conditioner bars. “…because I just love how versatile they are, the shampoo doubles as a body wash and the conditioner doubles as a shaving bar and you aren't sacrificing any of the quality like you might get from commercial all in ones but I still always come back to the soap. I love how it feels on the skin and how it smells when I'm showering.”
With all this emphasis on creating hand made artisan soaps, I was beginning to think Amanda had no time for real adventure, but she quickly corrected me. “I have had many wonderful camping adventures…”
She goes on to tell me about her favorite – “A few summers ago, we had decided to take the kids camping closer to home... just about 2 hours south of where we live in Colorado. When we arrived at the campground, we discovered that there was a fire ban. Talk about everyone being disappointed. Everyone knows camping is about... well camping... and campfires... and campfire stories. We love sitting around the campfire and telling each other stories. We all looked at each other a little lost until we realized that our son had the forethought to bring along some board games ‘just in case.’ We ended up playing Clue by lantern light.”
It's that sort of adventurous spirit we love in Amanda! No campfires, no problem. What might have ruined some camping experiences for others was made fun and ended up being a favorite memory.
If Amanda could travel anywhere, she says it would be India. “India is made up of thousands of different unique cultures, languages and religions and is a vast melting pot of ideas...”
What’s next for Amanda and her Saint Paulia Soaps? She has so many ideas, she admits it’s hard to focus on just one at a time, but she says she wants to add more men’s products soon and hopes to be in more stores across the country. I know I’d love to see them when we’re out and about and I’ll be keeping my eyes open.
All Photos Credited to Amanda Pye
All Writing Copyrighted to Fern the Camper
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