Today we’d like to introduce you to Maira Covarrubias-Loera.
Maira, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started making soaps for my family and myself almost seven years ago when I was pregnant with my second child, however, I developed a need and want for organic eco-friendly products 13 years ago when I had my first son. At that time, however buying organic products was out of my budget and only a few places had clean products. What I did was tried to substitute many products with natural alternatives but even then ingredients were harder to find. By the time I had my second son more stores offered organic, eco-friendly and substantially produced items that’s when I began to explore making soaps and cleaning supplies. I started with homemade baby wipes for my baby then moved onto soaps then laundry detergent and eventually disinfecting sprays. I was only making products to give as gifts and for my household use but last year before Mother’s Day, I posted some soaps I intended to give away as gift and I began to revive direct deposits of people who wanted to purchase my soaps. I was scared at first cause it wasn’t in my plans to sell my products but eventually the soaps I gave to people they would returned to me and tell me “I’m never buying soaps again I feel the difference in my skin big time!” That’s when I had no other choice but to start Ml Handmade Soaps.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been easy! It may look like a piece of cake from the outside but only those close to me know and understand the chaos behind soap making being a housewife and raising four boys. I feel God guiding me all the time and putting things and people in place to help make this ride a smoother one. My parents along with my husband and my older son are my team. I couldn’t do any of it without them. At first, I struggled letting go of fear that’s when my cyber buddy Carmen from @soy_asi inspired me to let go of my fears. I was always worried what if people don’t like my work? What if they don’t sell? She helped me understand I would never know if I didn’t risk trying it. Then I made tons of soaps but it was selling slowly so I didn’t see much profit in soap making and almost gave up. That’s when my cousin introduced me to pop ups and invited me to join Jay from @selfmadepopups and Jessica from @vendorama_ca which is now my vendor family. From there, people became familiar with my soaps, then balms, oils and bath products. At that time, many people closed their doors to my business people who could easily have helped chose not to and would tell me “I don’t need soaps.” I didn’t let that stop me when one door was shut in my face three doors opened. I then came across Sylvia aka @feamua who began to post my soaps and my work. That’s when I feel like many people began to see my soaps popping up more on Instagram and word got out quicker.
Please tell us about Ml Handmade Soaps.
I’m the most proud of my ingredients. Thanks to my father I grow most the herbs and plants used in my soaps that’s how fresh and organic my ingredients are! I’m also proud that I basically do all the formulas to my soaps, all the combinations of oils and scents as well as designs. I log everything form measurements of each ingredients to small sketches of the design of my soap. I label, package and delivery everything myself. I think what I’m the most proud of is my unique oil blends that I use in my formulas that have developed into natural remedies and have helped most of my clients in some way. Hearing “This stuff really works and is better than others!” Is like winning the lotto for me. I really do dance a happy dance in my head when I hear that!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have done everything the same I feel like everything was done at its moment. Perhaps had I done things differently, I wouldn’t have met the awesome people I did under those circumstances.
- Soaps are $6-$10
- Bath Salts $8-$15
- Balms $10-$45
- Address: 12044 Roswell Ave
Chino CA 91710
- Phone: 6264222006
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @Mlhandmadesoaps
- Facebook: Mlhandmadesoaps
Check out the VoyageLA Podcast:
Episode 1 with Content Partner Lisa Taitelman, Founder of Hiking & Wellness company Find Your Trail.