Welcome to Hey, Maker!, our first maker feature in four years! (Almost) every week, we'll showcase one of our awesome artisans with Q+As, house and studio tours, and instagram takeovers. Our first Hey, Maker! is with Tina of Change Soap Co. The organic skincare maven makes organic soaps, scrubs, serums, and more in scents so delicious, you'll want them all! Change products can be found in our Chicago storefront, and are coming soon to apt528.com.
Follow us on instagram @apt528 to see Tina's Apartment Takeover and get a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at Change.
First question, NSync, Backstreet Boys, or 98 Degrees? It's super important!
Seriously, this is the most important question ever!! In my middle school days, my life goal was to marry Lance Bass from N’Sync! My aunt took me to see Janet Jackson in concert and N’Sync was the opening act, before they were very well known. It was love at first sight, and I’m pretty sure I wore my N’Sync shirt from the concert 24/7.
What's your favorite music to throw on when you need an extra jolt of energy on long days?
My 10-years ago self would be mortified, but I’ve fallen in love with country music! I love Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and The Band Perry. And of course Taylor Swift, even though she’s not really country anymore. I’m not nearly coordinated enough to know the actual line dance moves, but if nobody’s around, I’ll bust a move and make up my own dance while I’m working! One day my four year old walked downstairs where I was working while I was wearing a full on activated charcoal face mask and making hair mists while dancing, and he walked up to me and gave me a kiss, and walked away. He’s so used to my bad moves and face masks that he doesn’t even take a second look at me!
It's a crazy morning and you only have 5 minutes to get ready and head out the door. What's your basic 5-minute (or less!) beauty routine?
This sounds like every morning around here! I don’t wear a lot of makeup which makes mornings quicker. I’ll dab a couple drops of serum on my face for a little glow, throw on a little mascara, and mist Pink Sea hair mist in my hair to embrace my wavy bead-head hair. Oh and I don’t leave home without lip balm, I’ve even been known to dab it on my cheekbones for a little extra glow!
You started making soaps to create natural alternatives for your son. What encouraged you to push it from a hobby into a business? What was the first product you made?
The first successful soap I made was super gentle with lavender essential oil and calendula petals to soothe my little guy’s skin. It really helped him, and it’s now in my line as Relief soap. When I made the first batch, the recipe made 20 bars of soap, so I had lots of extra! I gave it to my family and friends to try because I wanted to make more. They loved it and asked what else I could make, and insisted started placing orders!
I imagine finding the right scent combos and ingredient mix is a bit of trial and error. What's your biggest disaster story?
My biggest disaster was a painful one! I was getting ready to make a batch of soap and I was getting my ingredients together. I went to open a new one pound bottle of lemon oil, and the lid was stuck. So, I did what any impatient girl would do, and I pulled it as hard as I could until it flew off, and lemon essential oil splashed all over my face and in my eyes! Did you know that it takes 150 lemons to make just one ounce of lemon essential oil? This stuff is super concentrated! I felt my way up the stairs since I couldn’t open my eyes, and my kids were horrified because my face was bright red and splotchy. My husband helped me flush my eyes with cold water for about 30 minutes (I later learned that apparently flushing with oil is better), and I was ok. But I’m a lot more careful when I open the bottles now! Oh, and I remember thinking thank goodness it wasn’t peppermint oil!
For some people, making the switch from commercial to natural products can be scary. Do you have advice for those that are on the fence and thinking about making the transition? What product did you have the hardest time letting go of?I read a pretty scary statistic that I’ll never forget: women put an average of 168 chemicals on their bodies every day, and 60% of what we put on our body is absorbed into our bloodstream within seconds! This scared me, and made me think about what I was putting on my kids too.
For me, deodorant was by far the hardest thing for me to switch. Did you know that it’s really bad to keep our body from sweating? Apparently sweating is our body’s way of naturally detoxing, and traditional antiperspirants contain aluminum and other nasty ingredients. I discovered Rustic Maka deodorant and have even become good friends with the founders of the company, and now even my deodorant is natural!
There are outrageous amounts of serums, creams, and potions on the market but somehow, you managed to keep it narrowed down to a lineup of essentials. How did you decide what make the cut?
Serums are what have taken the most experimenting out of my whole line! There are SO many out there, all with a different promise of what they will do. It’s funny because I used to be terrified of getting oil anywhere near my face because I thought I’d break out, so I’d use products that stripped my face of any possible oil. Once I learned that oil actually fights oil, my whole routine changed! Some girls collect shoes or purses, but for me it’s oil. I have a collection of oils, from rose hip to almond to argon, and I tested every possible combination to find what works best. I choose oils that balance both oily and dry skin, and that are amazing at hydrating which, in my opinion, is the key to a glowing complexion. If I’m lazy at night and I don’t put my serum on, I’ll wake up, look in the mirror and think, “wow I look old!” When your skin is properly hydrated with good, quality ingredients, you look younger and healthier! Who knew?
Packing orders. Laila is not only a guard dog, but a huge help around the studio!
You already have the perfect assortment of goods but I imagine that as a maker, you're always think up something new. What do you see happening for Change in the coming year?
I am always dreaming up new scent combinations and how I can use different ingredients! I’m intrigued by what caffeine can do for skin and I’m playing around with a couple different recipes that incorporate caffeine. It can help with puffiness, cellulite, and fine lines, it’s amazing! And it’s obviously a main component in my favorite food group, coffee.
Don't forget to check out Tina's Apartment Takeover on our instagram @apt528.