Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Sundstrom.
Jennifer, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started out making bath and skin products for my daughter. She has skin issues like eczema. I realized there was an art to making soaps. And, I dived right in. My husband said I should start a business. I did my first show at the Claremont Art Mart. Was so scared! I kept pushing forward. I have many of my customers telling me how better their skin felt and it made me feel great. Also, I was getting recognized in the soaping community. And also fiber communities. I started felting soaps about 18 months ago. Once again, another way to make functional art!!! So, I experimented with other fibers and did some amazing things. Now, I try to also get more soapers out there to try it. The past year has been a journey in this. I have gotten nothing but love from vendors I work with and my customers. I still strive to do more art with my products. Also, I love how my family has been so supportive. This truly is a family business. My husband helps me a lot and my eldest daughter sells with me. I didn’t realize by doing this, I would be someone that my children look up to! Somehow, going from culinary school to stay at home mom to this, is a journey. I never thought I would do this. It has been the best journey of my life. I enjoy creating functional art. Bath and body care that helps people. Also fun bath treats for the whole family!!! Everything I make, I leave a little of myself in. And, I hope the world keeps enjoying it. I also hope to keep inspiring other soapers to try felted soaps and the fiber arts. My little way to give it forward.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Well, the biggest challenge is also my biggest motivation. My youngest is autistic and my oldest is 10 going on 18. My children are amazing but it does get extremely hard running a business and a household full time when my husband is gone at work. Beyond that bath bombs! They were so hard to discover the correct recipe and mixture to make everything hold together right and work properly. I was so happy when I accomplished that goal. Another challenge was just finding where and when to sell. There are so many different events and shows it can get overwhelming emotionally and financially when your unsure of whether this 300.00 show is going to pay off or if this 500.00 event is worth it. I’ve been lucky finding good places to work at but believe me, I have been through many a shown that just did not pan out and ended up costing us way more then it was worth
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sense about Scents – what should we know?
I make functional art with bath and body care for the whole family. From women, men’s and children, soaps and felted soaps to bath products. One of my favorite products is my body butter. It is what has made the biggest difference in my family’s life! I’m mostly known for my Felted soaps…. and most proud of!!! I have combined fiber arts and soap art together. To be recognized in both the fiber and soap community is a big deal!!! Felted soaps are where I truly get to sign and make unique gifts for people. And at the same time help them! This is where my handcrafted soap gets to be fun unique and great for the skin at the same time. What set me apart is my way of taking an everyday item and making it art that everyone can enjoy. To toy bath bombs with unicorn felted soaps. I will continue to push my business to make the most quality items that are best for my family to yours that will blow your minds.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First off, my husband, he knew from the beginning that I would make something great. Pushed me when I wanted to give up. And every day supports me in this. My daughter who cheers me on, who wants to be like me, and helps me sell. My first show I sold at. Claremont Art Mart! The girls there are always supportive and a great place for anyone just starting out. They have helped me with navigating shows, how things are done and always there for me!!!! This is for you Stephanie, for starting the Art Mart, Amber, Gloria, Gia and May!!! Thanks for always being there!!! Also for Angie with Rambler handcrafted for bringing more into LA. Aracnes Demise my soapy bff!!! Seriously my daughter. Her skin allergies are the reason I started this. When she is having a bad time, I remind her I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. That something positive has come out of this negative. My family, they push me not to give up. Also, that I am an example to them with everything I do! My customers, all of your positive feedback make me strive to do better. Nothing better than to have a person explain how you make a difference in their life! How can I make their life better?
- Soaps $7
- Body Butter $10
- Felted soaps $10-$25
- Bath Bombs $5
- Website: senseaboutscents.com
- Phone: (909) 851-3116
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @senseaboutscents
- Facebook: @senseaboutscents