Good morning. We like The Rock so much that we decided to spend another week here! Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to James Clarke of Bubble Pixie Soap Co.
Crafted with quality natural ingredients, awash with scrummy scents, and wrapped perfectly in the most incredibly patterned papers, Bubble Pixie’s shop is eye-candy as much as it is luscious soap. A relative new-comer to the scene, having opened shop just this past February, I would predict big things lie ahead. I so look forward to watching this Atlantic-based business grow and succeed!
James, why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself.
I’m James Clarke and I live in Mount Pearl, NL where I make all the products for bubblepixie soap co. at home. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual) and also worked as a buyer and interior decorator for 10 years before starting this venture in February of this year. I live with my fiancé, Ian, and our two hilarious Chihuahuas, Rocco and Lola. I am obsessed with Madonna, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and baby animals.
How did you venture into soap-making and how did you learn the processes?
Before I started soap making, I was a buyer for a home decor store that carried a large selection of bath & body products. This was always my favourite category to buy as I love fragrance, colour, and beautiful packaging. After seeing more and more small businesses join the market, I decided to do some research to see what was needed to create a line of products. For 4 years I researched, read, watched videos, and learned everything I could about soap and bath & body product making. I tried all different types of methods until I finally decided what method and what final product I personally liked the most and did the best for my skin.
Tell us about your packaging. You design it yourself and it’s GORGEOUS! Does the soap tell you the story for the packaging, or do you ever get a design in your head and let it determine the soap?
I’m a die hard for gorgeous packaging. It’s the first impression of a product, even before the fragrance, and it often determined whether I would even bother to look at a line when I was a buyer. I wanted something whimsical and fun with lots of colour so that’s where the idea of the bubblepixie and the mod packaging stemmed from. Often times, the fragrance determines my colour choices in a pattern and other times I have a specific pattern in mind already that I want to use. However, I always choose what fragrances I want to make first before even considering a pattern. I’m just as drawn in by fragrance and the array of choices as I am packaging and have a difficult time deciding what ones to make! I started with 10 fragrances and I’m around 50 right now. Lol!
You’re products are made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, detergents, surfactants, or GMOs. For the uninitiated, can you explain why this is important?
For me it’s important to make products without these substances because, basically, they can be harmful to your skin and harmful to your body in general. I’ve used products with these ingredients for years but once you try a natural soap that has been created in small batches by someone who takes pride and care into what they’re doing, you can never go back. Your skin feels completely different and so much better! Some of these ingredients can be much more harmful and dangerous to a person when used in large amounts or repetitively, as the skin absorbs whatever is put into it. On a smaller level, a lot of people believe that they cannot use a fragranced product because they have an allergic reaction, breakouts, dryness, etc., but they don’t realize that it is usually not the fragrance itself, it is the actual ingredients in a product that causes this.
With the long stretch of cold and snow ahead, do you have any great skin-care tips to share that will help us avoid or combat the dry, flaky skin that accompanies winter weather?
Use a good quality soap that is 98% natural or greater and be sure to moisturize! Our soaps are moisturizing with the high Shea butter content but during winter, extra moisture doesn’t hurt. Use a fabulous body butter or lotion to keep your skin from drying out (we’ll be making one in the New Year). Our Lip Service is perfect for winter protection. It leaves a protective barrier on the lips to block out the cold while healing and moisturizing irritated or chapped lips. It is a very rich, creamy balm that applies smoothly, leaves a matte finish, and tastes amazing!!
If you were going to get one of your products in your Christmas stocking this year, which would it be and why?
I’ll have to stick with my very first product and say the shea butter soap. There are so many fabulous fragrances to choose from and a bath or shower with a bar just feels so luxurious even after the very first time using it. Probably the Winter Wonderland (with Candy Cane) soap for this time of year because it just smells absolutely amazing!! And soap is my favourite product – I love making it, I love selling it, I love displaying it, and I love buying it.
And this is my favorite question for makers…. do you have a handmade item that you particularly treasure?
Hmm. I don’t have one single item that I treasure more than others. My background and degree is in Visual Arts so I’ve collected quite a few pieces over the years from other local artists who I went to university with and I truly love those. They bring me right back to a time where all we did was create, create, create and they’re filled with so many fond memories. This is also a huge reason why I make bath & body products now – I missed creating something. I hadn’t created anything since I finished my degree in 2005. I wanted to return to my roots and create items that people can enjoy and love as much as I do. Instead of art, I chose soap as my medium.
Finally, look in a crystal ball and tell us what things look like for you in five years.
Hopefully, fingers crossed, I will have a very large and successful product line including soap, bath & body products, and home fragrance. I’m hoping to have a much larger production facility (I currently operate in one room in my home) with employees and possibly a brick and mortar storefront. I’m also planning on developing the wholesale side of it much further to reach a larger customer base. I want bubblepixie soap co. to become a recognizable and reputable brand. Oh! And I hope to have a larger house with my fiancé, Ian, with lots of space for my two Chihuahua babies, Rocco and Lola, to be able to run around and play! Crystal ball, don’t let me down! Lol!
Thank you so much James for opening your shop up to us today and giving us a brief glimpse inside!
With scents that will warm during the coming months, balms that will soothe, and oodles of stocking stuffer sized goodies, if you’ve been waiting on starting your Holiday shopping, you might have come across the perfect place to begin today. Be sure to visit BubblePixieSoapCo.