Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories featuring the five finalists in the 11th annual Carroll Biz Challenge. The competition, which will conclude Thursday night with a live finale at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, is run by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. For more about the chamber and this event, visit carrollbizchallenge.com.
What started in 2017 as a fun and creative way to make Christmas gifts for family and friends has grown into a thriving handcrafted soap business in Hampstead.
Kim Beatty and Janice Campbell — the soap ladies, as they refer to themselves on their website — started their business in Southern Maryland and sold mainly via social media. It was then called TBS Soap Club before relaunching as Goose Ridge Soaps LLC, in November 2020.
Goose Ridge Soaps is now one of five finalists for this year’s Carroll Biz Challenge, an annual “Shark Tank”-style competition presented by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. The five finalists, all local entrepreneurs, will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges Thursday night in Westminster for a chance at the $10,000 grand prize and additional awards.
Beatty said her family and Campbell’s family were on vacation together last month in Maine when she got the call that they were finalists in the Biz Challenge.
“Janice just stood there with her mouth open,” Beatty said. “It was so funny. We couldn’t believe it. It’s overwhelming and really exciting. We feel flattered and blessed.”
Though their main product is handcrafted soaps, the company also sells natural skin care products, such as herbal salves, as well as hair and facial masks and facial oils for all skin types.
“But our main thing is body soaps,” Beatty said. “We have all different recipes and pretty colors, but our main purpose is that it feels good on the skin.”
One of their favorite soaps to create is called Sunrise ‘N Shine. Its ingredients include fresh carrot juice and calendula-infused olive oil; it’s scented with a unique blend of spearmint and citrus essential oils.
The women create their cold process soaps by combining a variety of oils, scents and colorants. Once mixed, the soap is poured into molds and once set is removed from the mold and placed on a rack. The soaps sit on a rack to cure for up to four weeks.
“Then they are stamped, packaged and ready for sale,” Campbell said.
Cold process soaps are better for the environment, they say, healthier for the skin and incredibly moisturizing. Customer requests for certain skin care needs have led the soap-makers to create custom blends that have become part of their permanent line.
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They currently sell their products online and at farmers markets.
If they win the Carroll Biz Challenge, they will use the money to purchase a larger space to create their products, Beatty said. The space will include a factory where visitors can see how soaps are made, a store to purchase products, and a space to host soap-making classes.
“We’ve done a few demonstrations and the feedback has been very positive,” Beatty said. “It’s a real old-fashioned process, and people come up to us at farmers markets to see what we sell.
“We want to grow in scale and the money would go right back into the business.”
Beatty and Campbell believe in supporting local, and they often donate a portion of sales to local nonprofits or donate products to help them raise funds.
For more information on Goose Ridge Soaps LLC, go to https://www.gooseridgesoaps.com.
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