When Russ and I founded Outlaw Soaps, we were living in Los Angeles in a big warehouse with a bunch of other people.
Even though our lives didn’t resemble it at the time, we had a grand vision of moving out to the country and having a house with chickens, goats, and a garden. I wanted guests to come and enjoy this life with us.
We went to work trying to figure out what business would enable us to move out to the country. After quite a lot of research, we came to realize that soaps are a very good business and can be done from anywhere with a workshop.
Once we had the vision for the soaps, we knew we could create them in ways that were evocative of the life we wanted. We also knew what our friends wanted — lives filled with whiskey, campfire, wilderness, bacon, and magic.
So was born Outlaw Soaps.
Over the past three years, we have been working tirelessly to make that vision a reality.
Business has grown with significant help from such customers as ThinkGeek, UncommonGoods, and Urban Outfitters, as well as several independent shops like Marion & Rose’s Workshop in Oakland. We have been featured in Yahoo!, WIRED, VICE, Food Network Magazine, Oakland Magazine, Uncrate, and many other totally reputable media outlets.
We’ve been friends for more than 10 years, in a relationship for 4, and married for 3. Our non-soap life is made out of laughter, adventure, wine, whiskey, road trips, and camping. The rest of our life is soap, and that’s a wonderful life. Thank you for supporting our business. It really means a lot to us.
About Danielle Vincent
Danielle Vincent, born in Los Angeles, and raised in Seattle. After more than 10 years as a corporate Digital Product Manager for such sites as Oprah.com, ABC.com, and ABCFamily.com, Danielle quit her career and pulled up her rubber gloves to make a living manufacturing and selling soaps as Outlaw Soaps. Her experience with social media, product management, web analytics, business, and design have made Outlaw Soaps into a personal experiment as she finds out what happens when she applies her largely digital learnings to the real world.
About Russell Vincent
Russell Vincent, raised in California, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, and other dusty, cold, wild places. He even had a horse named Geronimo when he was a kid. His passion is helping people and fixings thing….oh, and fire. He quit his corporate job over ten years ago to do what he loves. That’s included selling vintage European cars, working as a producer for the Discovery Channel, and now being the Handsome Handyman. Known to spend most of his vacations camping in the desert, he loves road trips and being outdoors, the smell of the forest, ocean and plains.
As you can see…
Outlaw Soaps a company for adventurous people, by adventurous people. We live like the products we make: we love campfire, whiskey, and ill-advised explosions… standing a little too close, but being sure to wear fire-proof clothes.
We know there’s a time for quiet conversations, bb guns in the desert, and a time for asking your friend to hold your beer because you’ve got a great idea. (note: it’s never a great idea… and that’s why there’s YouTube)
Russ and I have built a business around what we find fun and interesting. It’s not for everyone… We get a lot of bruises in the regular course of life. Our hair is usually a mess. I probably have dirty fingernails.
But it’s our life, and it’s pretty damn fun.
Outlaw Soaps is a way to connect yourself with happy memories and inspiring environments — to remind you why you get out of bed every morning: because the world is fricken’ beautiful. Our scents, including Blazing Saddles, Lust in the Dust, Mountain Hideout, Hair of the Dog, and the rest, are here to remind you the daily grind is not the grind of your life. Get outside. Look at all those trees. They are awesome.
The best ideas happen in the shower and this is no accident. Showering is a time when we relax enough to open our creative minds up to new ideas — ideas that we’re either too busy or too self-critical to entertain during the rest of the day. It’s a time when we can recharge. We can figuratively and literally wash off what’s bothering us and start clean.
Take that shower and make it all yours.
Outlaw Soaps can change the experience of showering into a night on the trail, a roll in the grass, a night out with friends, or a day in the breezes of Joshua Tree. It’s not just about smelling “pretty.” Some of the best smells aren’t “pretty,” but they are better than pretty… they’re real.
Urban Daddy recently wrote “If you could somehow fuse the general feel of colonial America with the general mad genius soap-mastery of Tyler Durden from Fight Club, you’d get… something really weird. Like these soaps. Which, by personal hygiene fragrance standards, are a little weird. Good weird.”
Yahoo!, WIRED, VICE, Uncrate, Cool Material, The Awesomer, Thrillist, and many other excellent publications have written some amazingly nice things about our soaps.
Founded on January 3, 2013 and launched on March 15, 2013, Outlaw Soaps is based in Oakland and made by hand by husband and wife team Russ and Danielle Vincent.
The soaps are all vegan and have never been tested on animals, except our dog Roxy for bath time (she is actively petitioning to end baths for animals). In addition, we’re very eco-friendly.
It’s important to us that we maintain a level of transparency in our business. It’s how we honor our partnership with you, our customer and investor.
Supplies: as I mentioned before, we will be buying supplies in greater quantities. Some of our supplies have gone up in price, so this will make it possible to maintain our prices despite that increase. Supplies will cost about $6k.
New Boxes: next month, we’re reducing the sizes of our soap bars from 4.5 – 5.5 oz to 4 oz and reducing the price to $7.50 or $7 (as low as we can get it). That means we need to order new boxes. New boxes for our full size soap bars will cost $2,000.
Samples and Sample Boxes: In response to customer feedback, we are going to be focusing on making our sample-size bars as delightful as our full size bars. This means we need to buy boxes for our samples. Trust me, they’re hella cute. Boxes and supplies for our samples will cost $1,000.
Whole Foods / REI / Bass Pro Shops / Cabela’s Outreach: one of our big goals for this year is getting national distribution through these national stores. This will mean that you can buy directly from your local markets, saving shipping and giving us a more regular income stream (wholesale reorders are a big deal). All of these stores require extensive outreach, though (samples, free fill, etc) and that costs money up front. New retailer outreach will cost $500.
Advertising: We have had some great success with advertising on Facebook and feel ready to stretch our wings a little. On the agenda are some videos and some display ads. We want to invest $500 in advertising.