The first thing you're going to notice about Dori is her infectious smile. The second thing is going to be the GORGEOUS soaps on her table. The first product I tried from her line was a Calendula-infused Rosemary and Honey shampoo bar and I was HOOKED! I smelled like a goddess and my hair was SO SOFT. I think she's some sort of soap wizard, and she's also the boss babe of the week here on the blog!
Owning a small business also allows me more room to maneuver.
How did you get started with your business?
Believe it or not, TSK is a purely accidental business. I began my career as a chef in 2013 and two years in I was involved in a major car accident where I was rear ended at about 85mph while at a complete standstill on the freeway. From there I was unable to work or walk on my own for about two years.
During that time my partner and I moved from Sacramento to Long Beach and in 2016 I began tinkering away trying to find a natural remedy to get rid of new hives I developed from pain medication and back braces as well as eczema and psoriasis issues I’ve had my whole life.
The first product I developed was my Kokum Meringue body butter which I give all credit to the health of my skin and hair. It’s the only thing I’ve used on my body since. I sent a selfie to my mother and she was shocked because she never saw me with clear skin. She asked me to put it on Etsy so she could buy it so I did. Soon friends and other family members were purchasing as well as people all over the country.
From there I taught myself the science of soap and TSK began. Originally called The Skin Kitchn (the name was taken so I abbreviated it and it’s now pronounced ”Tsk “)
What do you enjoy most about being a small business owner?
I’ve always had side businesses growing up from photography and party and dessert. I’ve always liked having a business of my own because I was able to showcase my own creativity and art and directly relate to my customer and supporters. Owning a small business also allows me more room to maneuver. If I have a job I hate, I find I don’t have to stick it out longer than necessary because I still have my business to support me financially and fulfill my current purpose.
With TSK, the best part is meeting new people at events and hearing from customers all of the ways my products have served their skincare needs. I have customers who suffered with eczema , lupus and even cancer and My recipes helped alleviate some of their symptoms.
What’s the hardest thing about being a small business owner?
Being a small business owner has a ton of challenges. Expenses can pile up right alongside new opportunities to showcase. And as a more micro business, trying to get it all done and paid without burning myself out is incredibly hard. It’s a major reason why I am not as active on social media as other owners who have a team. I can’t bear the thought of having to also be on camera and recording everything alongside everything else I do. It’s very easy to spread yourself thin, but I’ve learned to choose my battles, to not be greedy and to enjoy my life first and foremost. It’s very easy to become a workaholic and forget that there’s more parts of life and myself waiting to be discovered. It’s ok to go slow.
What's the best advice you have for women who are just starting out?
Have faith in yourself and don’t get distracted by “other people”. Even if they are in your same category. Don’t start off stressed. When you are still small, you have more room for fun, more room to decide where you want to go with your idea, and if you want to commit to it enough to be full time or if you even like business ownership at all.
Everyone is different so just start without fear or stress. Also, don’t give in to pressure to become a big business. Staying Small can be beautiful and fit for your lifestyle. Enjoy the ride. You never know what may happen for you , who you may meet, or what you may discover .
What is one skill you have that unexpectedly benefited you in your line of work?
Two things: my career as a chef and my lifelong love of photography. Taking eye catching photos has always been easy for me but now I’ve moved more into directing the photography rather than taking the photos myself.
My career as a chef helped quite a bit. My customers always ask about my story or how I seem to know so much about ingredients and their effects on the human body and I always remind them, my ingredients are plant based food grade ingredients. As a chef (if you are into health and nutrition) you’re likely to study herbs and different ways it can affect the body. A lot of spices and herbs and plants can heal the epidermis when applied topically so that has helped me tremendously in recipe development to treat certain conditions from hair fall to dark spots.
Everything you apply to the skin is then absorbed into the bloodstream so it’s very important to me what I serve to people in their food as well as their skincare. Also, my soaps especially always get mistaken for food and desserts So I also attribute that to my pastry chef days.
I knew there was a reason I wanted to eat everything on her table! Be sure to check out TSKsoaphouse on Instagram, Facebook, and on the web - and get yourself some LOCAL HANDMADE GOODS!