October 6, 2022

Fairfield soapmaker turned hobby into business by keeping it simple

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FAIRFIELD — A hobby born out of necessity has evolved into a new business in town.

Nicole Georgakis, the owner of Keep It Simple Soapery, said she started making soap because the ingredients in commercial products irritated her sensitive skin.

“I was allergic to everything,” she said. “Since I was a kid, I would complain and I would itch. I didn’t accept that. I took it into my own hands, basically. I created my own products where I knew every ingredient was safe for me to use, where it came from and that it had natural benefits.”

The soapery, which recently on Unquowa Road sells homemade bath bombs, sun block, locally made candles and other skincare products in addition to its signature soaps.

Georgakis, who worked for years in the television industry, said making soaps became a way for her to relax and unwind after hectic days.

“Making soaps was almost like cooking for me,” she said, noting she has been doing it for nearly a decade. “I loved it so much that I would make extra and give it to friends.”

Those friends, Georgakis said, would encourage her to start a business or side hustle out of it. In 2019, she said, she decided to open a full-fledged business and sell her products.

“It was six months before COVID-19,” she said. “We had no idea what was coming ahead. Our whole business plan was gone, but we pivoted.”

That pivot included selling at local markets in Fairfield County, doing deliveries, selling online and anything else that could keep the business open. Throughout that time, Georgakis said, their customers appreciated being able to speak to a person intimately aware of the ingredients and process.

Louis Georgakis, Nicole’s husband and “not-so-silent” partner, said they intentionally sourced their ingredients, such as shea butter and coconut oil, from family owned businesses where they are unrefined and pure.

“We took about five years of true (research and development) of just finding vendors that were family businesses,” he said, noting the soapery works with a family in Africa that has its own shea nut farm.

“We found that by sourcing and really being able to control the supply chain all the way up to what is in the products themselves helps,” he said.

Louis said keeping those ingredients pure helps their products retain the natural benefits. Both partners noted their products are all-natural, organic, plant based and reef-safe.

“We try our best to be as environmentally friendly as possible,” Louis said.

There is a lot of competition in the soap selling world, Nicole said, especially online. But she knows her customers appreciate how and why she got into making it. She said people are easily turned off by the products they buy online that claim to be all natural and then do not work out.

Nicole said she makes some of her products, like bath bombs, in-store, noting students from Tomlinson Middle School love to come down and watch. She said she also does parties both at the shop and in people’s homes.

“I just did a teenage party of 10 14-year-old girls,” she said. “They loved it. They love to get their gloves on and work with the dough. Then they leave with soap.”

Nicole noted one of their best selling products is their soap for dogs. Also born of necessity, as their dog was constantly scratching himself, the soap includes the same ingredients as the ones they sell to humans, and really helped their furry friend, she said.

“It cleans the buildup away. It helps their skin turn pink again. He stopped itching the first time we used it,” she said. “It was the answer to my prayers.”

Nicole said her most popular soaps are cedar leather vanilla, vetiver leather vanilla and sandalwood vanilla. She said those three are unique in that they can also be used as shampoo bars. The Black Rock bar, which is for facial washes and is named for their neighborhood they live in, is also a popular buy, she said.

“If you are looking for a new a truly all-natural, reef safe soap bar or skincare product, where you know where the ingrediants come from and know that they are safe, this is the one place you can trust,” she said. “We live by it.”

joshua.labella@hearstmediact.com



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