Reflecting on 2023

Reflecting on 2023

     In our New Years post for 2023 we identified three goals for Simon’s Soapbox. Our first goal  was to continue on together. We began our business with the slogan “We make soap together” and throughout 2023 we continued to work and learn together.

     Working together behind the scenes is something most people don’t get to see, but every week this year we’ve perfected our workflow. Whether we are measuring oils for master batching, mixing and swirling the soap slabs, cutting the bars or packaging we have smoothed out the wrinkles in our workflow - we make soap together!

     This year brought us a new opportunity to explore  – leading bath bomb workshops together. Our first bath bomb workshop was held at the Curiko studio and together we taught an amazing group of people how to make bath bombs for the first time. In the Fall we hosted our first bath bomb workshop at the Refill Stop, a soap refill store, here in New Westminster. Bath bomb workshops have been opportunities for us to demonstrate the value of people with and without developmental disabilities leading together.

man wearing blue gloves molds bath bomb while woman in orange shirt watches

     Our second goal was to develop new scent blends for our soap and learn new skills. We experimented with 7 different blends and over the year we introduced three new varieties to our collection: Bloom, Breeze, and Wildwood. Bloom has strong musky tones of patchouli and bergamot paired with lavender, while Breeze brings a crisp blend of eucalyptus and lemongrass. Wildwood is a sharp woodsy blend of cedar, fir, vetiver, and cypress.

     And new skills? Bath bombs and shower steamers! We don’t sell these on our website, but our bath bombs and shower steamers are available at the Refill Stop (865 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster).

 man holds plastic boxes of bath bombs outside a window with a sign that reads Refill Stop

     Undoubtedly, what brought us the most joy in 2023 was connecting with people. Customers, businesses, organizations – all these connections meant we shared our story and heard about new ideas and hopes. In the short term these relationships yielded fun collaborations (CallanBalm, BU Candles, PotteryWorks) and opportunities for bath bomb workshops (Curiko and PotteryWoks). In the long term, our conversations and connections centre around creating meaningful work for people with developmental disabilities. What can we build together? What ideas do YOU have?


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