We are excited to share a new Artisan Profile with you today. It's the woman behind one of our best smelling and most beautiful products...Muddy Mint soap! Simi lives in Longmont, just like us, and we've known her and admired her work for years. She started super small and grew organically on her own (like us too!) so we can really identify with many parts of her story. We just love learning about the real people behind the brands we all know and love, and this profile is another great one. All of Simi's answers are so thoughtful and interesting, we really hope you enjoy the interview below!
How did you get started? What were your first steps and how did it evolve from there?
Muddy Mint started as a hobby, back in 2015, when I bought my first bar of handmade soap off Etsy. I was looking for something to help with my dry Colorado skin and had read about handmade soap being more moisturizing, so I thought I'd give it a shot.
I fell in love with handmade soap right after my first shower. It felt completely different and luxurious and my skin loved it! That led me down a rabbit hole of intense research about soapmaking. I was obsessed and watched pretty much every soapmaking video on YouTube that I could find. Eventually, I worked up the courage to make my own soap!
Because of all the research I had done, my first batch was a breeze. So, I made more. I started giving it away when I had way too much to use myself. I eventually decided to start selling it after some great feedback from people. I opened up my Etsy shop in August 2016 and that's when Muddy Mint was born!
How did you come up with your name?
The name Muddy Mint comes from my mother's garden.
In July of 2016, I took my annual one-month trip to Canada to visit my family. I brought a bunch of soap I had made with me. My mom was super excited to try it, so every morning she would try a different bar of soap and leave me a written review of that bar! It wasn't something we ever talked about doing. She just did it, and it was so much fun, and also extremely valuable information.
Simi & her mom (in Croatia)
That summer, I was brainstorming names for a soap company, and I had learned (from owning a different business) to try and keep the name generic. So, I really didn't want anything about soap in the name. While visiting my parents, I often walk through my mom's garden. She doesn't have one of these tame, manicured gardens... it is wild and full of native plants and weeds. It is overgrown, but in an amazing way. The plants sometimes reach over your head and she also has lovely low areas full of herbs.
It was while walking through the herb garden one rainy morning, that I spotted the mint. It smelled so fragrant and was a little muddy from the rain the night before. Later, as I was looking at a coffee stain (that looked a bit like mud), the name struck me. Muddy Mint! I loved it right away. I checked to see if the url was available and that pretty much sealed the deal! Muddy Mint is like my mom's garden: wild, organic, always evolving but always staying true to it's values. It's a work in progress and a work of art. I can't imagine a better name for this business.
Tell us about your workspace!
I started making soap in my kitchen! That evolved to a little retail shop on Main St in Longmont called "Mud & Madder" that I opened with a potter friend. I had a cute little kitchen there that I worked in for about 1.5 years. Unfortunately, that shop didn't survive long... a divorce and other life changes meant that I was back at my house making soap in 2019.
Simi's previous work space
But, this time, I was in a 350 sq ft studio in the back yard and I absolutely loved it. There was a lot of space and natural light and I could be at home with my son and still work.
In 2020, I hired my first employee. That same year, our business grew five times, so by the end of the year, we were bursting at the seams! Plus, my partner Troy joined the business part time at the beginning of 2021, so with three of us crammed into the studio (plus all the soap!), things were becoming pretty squeezed.
Troy, hard at work cutting soap
In the Spring of 2021, we decided to rent a 1500 sq ft space on Main St and it has been integral to our growth. With all the extra space, came extra opportunities and we're still there today (although starting to outgrow that space as well!).
Do you have a favorite review or comment about your products?
We have a lot of fantastic reviews. A lot of them comment on our packaging and how much they love the smell and feel of the soap. Some talk about how it's the best soap they've ever used, which is such a huge compliment! Some of the reviews are really funny. But, my favorite isn't even a review. It's a message I got from one repeat customer. In her message, she says that she has literally tried everything and has never ever found a soap that worked for her, until she tried our Goat Milk & Oatmeal soap. It's literally the only soap she can use on her skin. For me, this is what it's all about. Helping people find something that doesn't irritate their skin and just makes a difference in their daily lives. You really can't beat that feeling. I will always make that soap, so this woman and people like her can keep using it.
What’s your favorite product you sell?
We are a soap company, so my favorite product is soap (of course!), even though we do make other products as well. My favorite scents in our product line are Rosemary Mint & Juniper and Turmeric Orange Clove. I also make body butter seasonally, and it's a recipe I worked really hard on. I spent a long time trying out different formulas and I am so happy with the results of that research. Our soap and body butter are the two things I use on my skin every single day. That's it!
Are there any great local artisans that you’re into right now?
We have so many talented folks in Colorado! Right now, I'm crushing on Fifth Element Jewelry
, based out of Denver. I admire artists that work with metal so much, and her work is really beautiful and totally my style.
Fifth Element Jewelry
Do you have a favorite local restaurant?
I'm a big fan of the folks that own The Roost
, and now Swaylo's
! The owners are fantastic and they always have amazing staff and delicious food. We also love 'Flavor of India
' when we're in the mood for Indian food!
The Roost, in downtown Longmont
What’s your favorite thing about Colorado?
Definitely the people! I love the outdoors and the weather, but the people made a huge impression on me when I first moved here from Ottawa, Canada in 2000. Somehow, their friendliness has become infused into my veins and I'm now one of those people that says hi to everyone all the time! :) We've met so many fantastic people here and it seems like people just genuinely love living here.
Thank you so much Simi for sharing your story with us!
You can shop all Muddy Mint's products on their website
, and we offer two of her most popular soap scents - Coconut Rose & Mountain Main in Build A Box
If you enjoyed this blog, check out some of the other artisan profiles we've done in the past: