Hello and welcome to the first small business spotlight! This is going to be a recurring segment on the blog - my hope is that you will gain some insight into the small business life, and maybe even find a new love for a unique Irish business.
Today I'm interviewing Karen from SOAK bath salts. Let's dive right in.
What do you do?
I promote self-care and create bath products to support self-care rituals at home.
What do you love about it?
I love connecting with my audience and seeing people take time out for themselves.
It's a long story!
I am a single parent with a child with additional needs. At times it can be quite tough and challenging when I am parenting alone, with little or no support. Some days one is battling with services in this country to get or find the right help for my child, other days I am trying to balance working in a demanding job and trying to balance parenthood. It can be quite exhausting and stressful.
I knew I wasn't the only parent in the country who struggled with getting the right balance in place, and I felt there was a need to help people find self-care time at home. Hence creating products that encourage people to set aside time for themselves in their own home. It's the perfect project for me.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Connecting with people and seeing people looking after themselves. Also, being able to donate money to the charitable services that have helped both my son and I -- Pieta House, and for 2022 the charity will be Liquid Therapy in Donegal.
What’s your least favourite part?
Tell me about your daily routine?
My routine will depend on my son's needs, I kind of have to work around him most of the time. I have also learned that I need to listen to my own body more -- if I'm tired, I need to rest.
How do you come up with new ideas? Where do you take inspiration from?
The sea, nature, walks, running, music, friends.
How do you find your work-life balance? Is this something you struggle with?
The work life balance is something I continue to work on. As I need to be there for my son, and it is really important that I look after my own health too. I keep reminding myself that rest is just as important as work. And baby steps are still steps towards the bigger goals.
Is there any other part of business life you struggle with?
Accounts and taxes!! I can't wait to be able to afford help with these!
Any essentials to get you through the day?
Coffee and music. They both give me good energy to get jobs done.
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting a business?
That I really can do this, if I believe in myself.
What’s one unexpected fact about you that people may not know?
I am a techno DJ and I ran music events in Dublin that promoted female & LGBTQ artists in Dublin. Plus, these events raised funds for charities such as Pieta, Focus Ireland, Womens' Aid, and Shoutout.
Wow. I totally
didn't expect Karen to be a techno DJ, how cool is that? Check out one of her mixes here
. It was also great to get to know the reasoning for her focus on mental health, and I applaud the way she supports some very worthy charities as part of her business.
On a personal level, I can vouch for Karen's gorgeous bath scrubs -- Breathe Deep is unreal!