Today we’d like to introduce you to Hillary Caceres.
Hi Hillary, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
The idea behind Sweet & Sudsy Soap came from a need as a parent. My business partner, Debbie, and I collectively have four girls. We shared the same bath time/shower struggles of our girls either not wanting to take a bath or pumping an enormous amount of soap on the shower floor while “flexing” their independence. We were shocked when we could not easily find super cute bars of soaps for kids on the market. We quickly realized this was something we could jump into and enjoy at the same time.
During the inception process, we realized a goal of changing the way people view bottles of soap products verse bars as a way to dramatically improve the environment. With more than 480 billion plastic bottles being sold worldwide – less than half of those bottles are collected for recycling and around 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Instead, most plastic bottles produced end up in landfills or in the ocean. With such devastation to our environment, our strive to produce more products with less packaging increased tremendously.
Over the two years – we have learned so much and still consider ourselves in the early stages. We have launched a collection of soap and shampoo designs that help “entice” children into getting clean such as ice-cream pops, donuts, mermaid tails, footballs, fruit slices and unicorn bars but there are so many new, amazing products in the works! We have relished in having our girls included in our venture with photos, product testing and design ideas. We even added our “Nature Bar,’ made from shea, mango and coco seeds, to our product line which is a huge hit with our husbands!
It has been an absolute joy building and growing Sweet & Sudsy Soap. We are both so thrilled we get to share fun, clean, love with everyone!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
If anyone tells you that starting a business is easy or can be run smoothly, I would be concerned! In fact, please get me a behind the scenes tour because perhaps I am missing something.
Back in the fall of 2019, when the first bar of Sweet & Sudsy Soap was sold, we had aspirations of being on the shelves of every local store and perhaps those even outside our area! We focussed on our wholesale pricing, packaging, product quality and more! Speaking to local business owners, we were getting as prepared as we could for our wholesale launch! Bam – 2020 comes and as did COVID. The idea of selling to local store owners that were being shut down no longer made any sense! We quickly had to shift gears and build an e-commerce website, learn shipping pricing, change our packaging and so much more to help support an online-only store. Don’t get me wrong – this challenge ended up opening up our vision and we are currently selling in many states across the country, but it was a tough transition at a young stage in our business.
How could we forget that we also have four young girls between the two of us! As moms, we have a common understanding that our family matters come first. During the pandemic, this has proven to be slightly more consuming due to quarantining, homeschooling, etc. but Debbie and I have learned to support one another and respect the times and needs that surround us.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Sweet & Sudsy Soap is a company that specializes in handmade soaps, shampoo bars and lotion bars. Our products are infused with simple and natural ingredients and are handmade with love. Our collection of everyday soap and shampoo bars includes cute designs such as ice-cream pops, donuts, mermaid tails, footballs, fruit slices and unicorn bars but also basic bars suitable for everyone. Add our loofah bag with any bar and your bath/shower experience will never be the same! The loofah bags makes it so incredibly easy for children to wash by themselves with any bar and adults can enjoy it in the shower. Plus, it hangs from any hook or handle keeping your shower and bath area clean!
Our new lotion bar is a game-changer for how people use body lotions – creams vs. bars! We hope everyone will see how much easier and convenient it will be to carry a bar of lotion around rather than those messy liquids! And in time, we strive the reduce the production and use of plastics in our industry.
Sweet & Sudsy Soap also offer custom-made logo bars and designs for brand marketing, promotion giveaways, special events, private labels and more! How fun to see your own name on a bar of soap that you design!
What do you like and dislike about the city?
I was born and raised in the northeast just outside New York City. When I moved to Houston with my husband and children, it was a huge transition to the long summer heat and enormous concrete size of Houston! I have to say, it has been five years and I am still trying to get used to both. During the lovely mild winters months and beautiful spring, I never miss being back in my much colder home state!
Houston also has some of the most amazing restaurants and medical providers. It seems strange to combine these two together but when we were faced with choosing between Houston and a much smaller city in the US, it was these two items along with the enormous Bush Intercontinental Airport that pushed us into picking Houston. I love being able to get any type of ethnic meal prepared well just a short distance from my home AND always knowing I have access to some of the best medical providers in the country, if not the world at my fingertips!
- Email: Hillary@sweetandsudsy.com
- Website: www.sweetandsudsy.com
- Instagram: @sweetandsudsysoap
- Facebook: @sweetandsudsysoap