This week we celebrate Virgil's Fine Soaps, where small business is a family affair!
Please tell us the story of your business...
Virgil's Fine Soaps is a brain-child of our oldest daughter Kellie who wanted a fun and productive way for our family to work together even though at the time everyone lived in different states. We all have sensitive skin and we often made our own soaps when they were little as a fun project but also to care for dry flaky skin. We worked together and planned to make super soft all vegetable oil based glycerin soaps with only the finest made in America cosmetic grade products. Our daughters are gifted in the design field with Kellie designing the branding and logo while Heather planned marketing, display and customer relations in the beginning. Our son Kevin is great at Marketing as well.
What do you like to do when you aren't busy creating your products?
When we aren't busy attending festivals and Farmer's Markets Virgil and I like to travel whenever possible to visit our children and grandsons. Regretfully, in the past few years our oldest daughter and co-founder of the business has taken ill and resides in a extended care facility but gratefully, we were able to bring her back from California so we can visit with her everyday. We miss her expertise but love sharing our VFS stories with her letting her know that her brand lives on!
Tell us a little more about your creative process...
We based the product line on the story of growing up with Virgil! Virgil and Grandpa always took the kids fishing but they never had a good Fisherman Friend's Soap to clean up all the smelly scents of working with the bait and fish so the very first soap we developed was the Fisherman's Friend. The Lemon, Anise and Sage essential oils remove the scent and stains but are also natural bug repellent anda powerful anti inflammatory combination so the soap helps to heal skin and clear up poison ivy.
Then they tackled the dirt and grime they always got into when helping Virgil in the family garden so they developed the Gardeners Green! Each of the soaps has a story like that behind it except for the ManSoap! Our son wanted a "Manly Soap" so Kellie put a ManSoap Label on the Fisherman's Friend and sales sky-rocketed!
How has being a part of the CL Family helped your business grow?
Celebrate Local has helped us create and outlet, in both the Easton Town Center store in Columbus and the Liberty Center store just north of Cincinnati, for customers who like a home produced high quality product on a year round basis. Most of our sales are during the spring, summer and fall during local festivals and farmer's markets. We do place our products in a few local small gift shops but the marketing team at Celebrate Local is fantastic and places our products in the stores where the customer is most likely to find it. The team at both stores are great at researching our products and sharing our story with the customers.
What is your favorite product?
My favorite product is realy hard to narrow down but I love the sunflower seed oil based lotions the best! They hydrate the skin without leaving an oily residue behind and the aloe and vitamin e helps to heal the skin. My number one favorite scent the Lemon Anise because it and the Lavender Rose really do keep the bugs away in the summer!