We love highlighting the artists, makers, and small businesses that share their amazing creations with us! This week meet Brissa Ytuarte of Dulce Soap Co. She's balancing being a graduate student and running her handmade non-toxic soap business at the same time.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! I am a Juarez Chihuahua native, born in El Paso, Texas and growing up between both places throughout my childhood. I came to San Antonio to pursue my bachelor’s degree and I am currently finishing my master’s at St. Mary’s University. I have three lovely, large dogs who are simply the most loving. My husband and I met here in San Antonio as well, and we’ve been married for over six years now and love living downtown to check out local events, art/music, and food!
Tell us about the items you create, design, and/or sell?
I create small batches of non-toxic cold-process soap alongside other items, like candles, body butters, and lip balms. I get creative in the design element and use a lot of my inspiration from my childhood memories, the outdoors, and my mom’s baking! It was something I started doing about 8 years ago and only have been selling for about 2 years. It’s been crazy loads of fun!
What inspired you to start your business?
At the time, I was still in school and kind of bored out of my mind. That particular year was a difficult educational year in terms of coursework and study time, so our professors (pretty much) begged us to not work if we wanted to be successful. So that was the first time I quit part-time jobs. But I became extremely bored. I started checking out recreational books at the library and came across a “how-to make natural soap” book, and I became hooked. YouTube was still young in its inception, so there weren’t too many videos uploaded on there on making skincare items at home, but whatever I could find I would devour it. I always considered science my bread and butter, so it was easy to dive into a chemistry-based hobby.
What plans do you have for the future of your business?
I honestly don’t know. I used to plan this business’ future a lot more in its early stages. Now, I am nourishing it and growing it slowly because it has been a whirlwind of fast growth I was not prepared for. I don’t see myself doing a full-time job in this (yet), mostly because I love my full-time job so much, but I also can’t ignore that what I have created has changed some people’s lives. There have been several touching stories about such small things in Dulce that create an impact. For example, one cancer patient loved receiving Dulce soaps at the hospital because she hated the generic stuff provided, so she loved the lavender one and gave her a bit of normalcy before she passed. How amazing! I never would’ve thought. Not only that, but I also came in second place for San Antonio Current’s “Best Locally Handmade Product” in 2019 and I was so grateful. Right now, I am taking it day by day while I finish school and return to more soap making in the next two months.
Do you work with a team? If so, tell us a little bit about them!
It’s only my husband and I! He has helped brand me and creates all of my packaging from candles to soaps 100% of the time! He is a full-time graphic designer and experience user, so he is super talented when it comes to giving a company a voice through visuals.
What advice would you share with other creative entrepreneurs?
Don’t burn out; you will start to see success grow rapidly at some point, and you will be tempted to say “yes” to all of those opportunities. Don’t! Save some energy for yourself because life events will happen and you need to be prepared to be mentally balanced.
Tell us about an experience/lesson that shapes the way you operate today.
I am wanting to switch over to online platforms and in-store boutiques for my retail. This helps regain my work-life balance naturally. I am grateful for the amount of popups throughout the journey but at this point in my life, I am going to try and do less of those and be picky about which ones I apply to. Just for the sake of time.
Who has mentored you along the way?
Christine and Leslee from Babes Support Babes have been my mentors!! I love them dearly and support me along the way. I am so grateful for their advice and their time given to me.