Danielle Vincent might just be the most brilliant person I know and she is authentic, right down to those gold boots. She lives her brand and folks, Outlaw Soaps is kind of a big deal. They are all over the USA in several states and online at Think Geek and Urban Outfitters. We met a little over a year ago through Lucky Break Consulting and became soaping soul sisters within days. I am proud to call Danielle my friend. We belong to a Mastermind Group where we are planning [soap] world domination and she's my go-to person in the middle of the night, we're both insomniacs. "Normal" inspires me to take risks, with my business, my craft and most importantly my attitude.
1) Tell me about Outlaw Soaps, when and how did you get your start?
Russ and I decided to start Outlaw Soaps three years ago, January 6th. We were living in a warehouse in downtown L.A.. He was working as a handyman and I was working as a digital product manager for the Oprah Winfrey Network. We both knew we did not want to spend our lives in the city, so we had been thinking about ways that we could both make a living and move to the boonies...well, we happened upon a little farm store off the highway 46 on our honeymoon (at the end of November) and I picked up a bar of soap. The soap was so wonderful - I sniffed it everyday just to remind myself of that wonderful weekend, and all of a sudden - BAM - it hit me: If these people lived in Montana and sold soap to a store in California, I probably could, too. (It sounded a lot easier in theory than it was in actual practice).
I knew Russ was good with detailed consistent execution (what soap making needs) and I knew I was good with business and marketing, so it seemed like a perfect recipe for a business.
As we did research into other soap companies, I learned there wasn't really anything like what we wanted to start. There were a couple distant competitors, but they were either all-natural (therefore limited in scents) or low quality.
My friends stared pouring ideas out to me with great enthusiasm - things like Unicorn Poop and Bacon Soap were both suggested by friends.
A couple of lucky press breaks later, we were selling soap.
2) What inspires you?
Our customers. The people who actually buy our stuff are really inspiring. They're fun and funny and interesting and cool. When I get a note or a review from a happy customer, its all the inspiration I need to keep going. Oh, and the money is very inspiring to me, too, but that's not very romantic. I just like being able to pay the rent and eat.
3) What can customers expect when they shop with you?
We try to make the experience of shopping really special, from their first interaction with us to when they receive their order in the mail. I love sending care packages, so I look at every order as a little care package.
4) Tell us where we can find your awesome soaps and lotion?
Right here: Outlawtradingco.com
5) If you could have any celebrity, dead or alive, as your company spokesperson who would it be and why?
Steve McQueen, he's absolutely our guy. I guess Hunter S. Thompson would be a kind of kick-ass spokesperson, but he was pretty unpredictable and tended to turn on people - especially employers.
6) What's one question that you've never gotten in an interview that you wish people would ask?
"Danielle, tell us about naked mole rats! What is so special about these little hairless goo-sacks?"
Thank you Danielle! I know there's a lot of exciting news and happenings with you and Russ, feel free to update us here. [My dear reader, this interview took place in January, but I'm lame and did not get it posted in a timely manner.]