For this week's Feature Friday I talked to Alison from Dirty Ass Soaps. Her sushi soaps are what originally caught my eye, and I soon discovered that she creates all sorts of soaps that look and smell like real food! Her unique product line adds a good dose of originality to the CNY Etsy Team's wide variety of talented artisans. Read on to find out more about Alison's unusual soap making philosophy!
First and foremost, what is it that you make/sell?
My name is Alison Kowalsky, and I make vegan soap with a twist. I prefer my shapes and scents to mimic real life food and toys. When I first started out, I was making the typical bar soap that most people think of when they hear "hand made soap". It wasn't that exciting for me, so I came up with an original idea on how to make a soap cupcake. Soon after, I got a dare from one of my friends to make a soap cheeseburger. After I accomplished that, my brain started creating all these ideas on how to make really fun soap. Now I have a lineup of over 40! sets of soap, some of which I don't even have on Etsy yet!
What do you most enjoy about your craft?
I enjoy the creativity of making soap. I look at something and try to form it into soap with my mind. When I first started out, I used prefab molds but now I try to make my own and make a lot of my soaps moldless. This is tough to do because the soap is hot and in liquid form. I do enjoy challenges as well. When someone says: I bet you can't make _____ into soap, I love proving them wrong. This happened with many things, it started with the cheeseburger and evolved into a sushi set! One thing I am working on producing more of is cake slices which are realistically textured. The ones I make right now take a long time because they aren't made from a mold.
How has your experience on Etsy been?
My experience on Etsy has been incredible! In the short time that I've lived in Boston, I've made around 300 sales. I made it a point to be successful with this because I enjoy what I do. I also don't see anyone else on Etsy going to the extremes like I do, where they've made their entire soap lineup just food and/or toys. I consider Dirty Ass Soaps to be unique and one of the more memorable shops online. No one can ever forget a name like "Dirty Ass Soaps" or a Bacon Cheeseburger made from just soap, that's for sure!
What would you like to see from the CNY Etsy Group in the future?
I love the fact that CNY Etsy is a group that's made up of members from my home town. I would love to have the team participate in some of the upcoming Indie Garage Sales. The IGS was started 3 years ago and went from a small craft show with 4 or 5 vendors to a huge event that is currently hosting 20+ vendors. Even though I currently don't live in CNY because of school, I do my best to organize and run these shows 4-5 times per year with a small group of dedicated and hardworking friends.
To see more of Alison's funky soaps, click to visit her Etsy shop or her wesite.
If you have any additional questions for Alison, leave a comment below and she will answer it for you!