Solette Beauty Quotable Magazine

Featured, Interviews

Caitlin Blue of Solette Beauty

Quotable had the opportunity to interview the inspiring Caitlin Blue, and learn how she built and maintained her booming business. Caitlin is the Founder and CEO of Solette Beauty, a line of personal care products that reflect Caitlin’s passion for clean and eco-conscious beauty. Learn how Caitlin’s business blossomed from a small soap-making business to the bustling line it is today, and how Caitlin’s everyday lifestyle has helped shape her into a strong, successful female entrepreneur.

First of all, tell us about your business and what it’s all about, in your own words!

I have always loved beauty and personal care products and about 5 years ago I started making my own soap. My business started out as a hobby and within a year I was selling a few things to friends, family, and at a few local markets. My products are now carried in over 100 specialty stores and we just launched in a large regional retailer this past fall. Our line consists of whipped body cleansers, sugar scrubs, body butter, and handmade bar soap.

Tell us about your products and what makes them unique and why you (and others!) love them.

Our products are designed to be beautiful and delight the customer. We use a ton of flowers, patterns, and a soft color palette to create a unique product line that looks different from many brands on the market today. Ingredient selection is a huge part of our brand and with our new launch, our packaging will be more eco-friendly than most brands out there. As a plant-based vegan, it was important to me that every product be 100% vegan and cruelty free.

How did you get started with it? How did you know how to make these products and decide it should be a business?

In 2018 I was doing some research on clean beauty and I came across a recipe for cold processed soap. I have always been very crafty so I gave it a go and within a few months I was completely hooked and I had more soap than anyone could ever need. I started gifting to friends and by the end of 2018 I decided I wanted to make this a business. It took me about 3 years to get into a place where I could leave my corporate job and I’ve never looked back since!

Did you start selling online or in stores first? How did you gain traction online and get people to buy?

I started at in person events like farmers markets and curated events. I highly suggest doing in person events if you’re just starting out. It can be very difficult to build a customer base solely online. Most of the customers I met in person now purchase regularly online but if I hadn’t been at those markets, I don’t think they would even know about me.

How else has it grown over time? What went into that and what did it take to make it happen?

I am a big proponent of continuing to educate yourself. Investing in courses, books, and workshops has helped me get better at marketing and social media. I have a robust business background but I really needed some guidance on other areas. I have taken courses on photography, videography, copywriting, and I recently completed a 9 month course and became a certified cosmetic chemist. All of these experiences have helped me continue to grow my business year over year.

You’ve been really successful on social media and youtube with videos sharing the behind the scenes of making your products but also of running a business. How did you make that happen and why do you think it resonates with people so much?

After talking with other small business owners, I realized that I had knowledge and experience that a lot of people didn’t. I worked 11 years at a major corporate retailer and what I learned from my time there was invaluable and I wanted to share that with others. I started my YouTube to just share my experience and that has now led to other projects like working 1-on-1 with clients in my consulting program and doing Facebook Lives each month with my community. I really do believe that everyone can be successful and that competition doesn’t have to be cut throat so I want to be a person that is known for sharing and helping build others.

You recently rebranded your company. Did you have fears around changing the name? What was the process like and why did you do it?

OMG Yes! I was so nervous at first. But I believe everything happens for a reason and now that I am seeing the final pieces all come together, it’s so exciting and I’m even more in love with the new brand. The reason for the re-brand came from my desire to be a brand with a purpose. When I started my first brand Fiorella Soapery, it was a hobby, and I felt like I wanted to make an impact. With my new brand, called Solette (roughly translated to “little sunshine”), all of our plastic packaging is made with recycled ocean plastic that has been removed from waterways and repurposed. So not only are we able to recycle our containers after they’re in use, we are helping to clean our oceans which is something I am so passionate about. I know my customers are going to love that we are working together to keep our planet beautiful all while delivering high quality personal care products.

You now also offer business consulting to others looking to build their business. How did that come about and what is it like?

Starting to do consulting was really an extension from doing YouTube for 3 years. I was getting so many personal DM’s and emails from people that found me on YouTube and were looking for more in depth guidance. I started offering my services earlier this year and so far have had some wonderful clients. I realize how much I love to help others grow and I am such a creative person so it’s really fun for me to get in depth into other categories of business and help these owners navigate some of the roadblocks I have experienced in the past.

What’s your plan for the future? Any other new things/changes/updates coming?

I have so many ideas for new products and line extensions for the future but I have learned that it’s better to walk before you run so I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I’m really excited to put this project out into the world because I’ve been working behind the scenes for over a year. My biggest goal is to bring people a product line that adds joy and beauty to their everyday lives but that is driven to make an environmental impact to protect and preserve the beauty of our planet.

How do you practice self care while running a business? Do you take a bath with your soaps every day?

For me, self care is about making sure you take time for yourself and it doesn’t always mean having an at home spa day. I love to travel and the ocean is my happy place. I don’t know what it is, but when that ocean air hits me, all my troubles seem to float away. As far as my products, my current favorite product is my body butter because of the way it makes my skin feel, especially after a day at the beach. I love to put it on before bed and wake up with moisturized skin, it’s so pampering!

Do you have specific morning/daily routines you swear by?

My favorite part of the day is early morning before the world wakes up. I usually get up around 5:30 am. I’ll make a cup of coffee, sit outside with my dog Lucy, and sit in nature while I go through all the things I’m grateful for. This has really helped me stay calm during times of chaos and it really does put things into perspective making some of the problems that arise seem small and not so bad.

Any advice for other entrepreneurs?

Enjoy the process. Sometimes when you’re first starting out it can feel like you’re not growing fast enough and it’s really easy to compare your business to someone else’s. I also recommend taking photos of everything. I cannot tell you how many times I go back and look at my soapmaking studio in my garage and think to myself, “wow Caitlin, you’ve come so far, you should be really proud”. Having those photos to look back on has really helped me stay humble and grateful for where I am in my business.

Anything else you’d like to share?

If you are thinking about starting a business but are scared or fearful of failure, I encourage you to face your fears and start today. Fear is what holds so many people back from doing something they love and creating beautiful things for the rest of the world to enjoy. We need your unique ideas and products to make our lives happy too!

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