We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Bre Natale a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Bre, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
I came up with these idea to make soap years before starting Green Theory as a business. It came about as I was trying to switch to more natural alternatives for skincare and household products. I also took an interest in buying more sustainably from fair trade companies. Sometimes it means spending more on products that were produced in better working conditions, no child labor, etc. I started by making homemade toners, serums and eventually soap! At first, I was intimidated because making it from scratch, also known as cold process soap, involves quite a bit that I was unfamiliar with. However, I knew it involved math and science which are two subjects I enjoy. I learned how to make it by doing extensive reading and research on the topic. I read several great books on soap making. Books always have the answers and they are a wonderful way to learn. After months of reading and research, I was ready to get soaping. My very first bar of soap was a scrubby bar known as a salt bar. This bar was perfect! After this first batch, I did a lot of trial and error to make what I think is the best bubbly and creamy bar of soap. I took into consideration 3 things. The first was searching for the best ingredients for our skin. What you can often find on the shelf in the store is more akin to detergent than soap. Second, once I knew what ingredients I needed, I focused on sustainably sourcing ingredients. It can be easy to just hop on the internet and buy the first thing that comes up but I wanted to make sure my soaps were all around going to make the world a better place. I didn’t want to use ingredients that are harmful to animals or nature to gather or buy cheaper quality from companies with low standards for their workers. This more specifically applies to ingredients sourced from other countries, where they are found. Last, I wanted to try to make a bar everyone could afford on any budget and educated on how to get the most out of each bar.
Bre, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Here at Green Theory we make handmade and all-natural soap, with plastic-free packaging! All of our soaps are made using natural and luxurious oils, natural clay for colors and natural fragrances or essential oils. Once we started soap making and were in the space of more sustainable and Green Living, we decided to see how we could make the impact even bigger. We realized we could maximize the difference by adding other home goods, baby items and more that were alternatives to plastic and unnecessary waste. We focus on selling higher quality with a better impact on the planet as well as not having to replace and waste due to buying items that aren’t meant to last. This also led us to our latest venture which includes furniture up-cycling and selling Vintage & Thrift items! Not everyone can see themselves for hours in a thrift store trying to find that one perfect piece. So what we do is spend those hours and long drives looking for the best and sweetest home additions and clean them up and photograph them in a way that makes it easy to scroll through and look through from the comfort of your home. When these items are shipped, all packaging is plastic-free and recyclable.
Do you sell on your site, or do you use a platform like Amazon, Etsy, Cratejoy, etc?
We use a Shopify store with our own custom domain to sell online. I have done a lot of research as well as used other platforms and find Shopify to be the most user friendly as well as the best rates versus others. There are so many helpful insights and analytics you are privy to that can help you grow your business and understand your customer base. There are different plan options depending on the size of your business, which I find helpful as well. As you grow, you can up your plan and get more benefits from what they offer.
Okay – so how did you figure out the manufacturing part? Did you have prior experience?
At Green Theory, all of the products with our name on it are manufactured by us. So much of the fun and excitiment in what we do is the creating. There is. so much trial and error to see what works and further refining products until they are exactly what we were aiming for, sometimes even better! We use only natural ingredients. All bars are colored with natural clays, flowers or essential oils. For fragrance we only use natural fragrances or essential oils. If the bar is an exfoliating bar we use natural luffa or another natural exfoliant like salt or seeds. In making sure our products are completely natural we can be assured we are not harming the environment by making and using this product but in turn making it a better place with less waste and no toxic chemicals. Often times when our skin reacts badly to products, it is either the artificial fragrance, color or preservatives. Since we make each product ourselves by hand we can ensure quality every step of the way.
- Website: greentheorymarket.com
- Instagram: greentheorymarket