We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Coligan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
When I first started this business, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know what kind of situations I would face. I’ve lost my store during the hurricane to then have an email from HEB asking if I’d be interested in pitching my products to them. I’ve been so close to bankruptcy only to get a huge break and have hundreds of orders come through in one week. But I always remember why I started this, and it keeps me going. I feel like the only time a business truly fails is if you do not learn from your mistakes and give up when you could push harder and redirect your focus. I love what I do, and I am good at it, and because of that I will never give up on it.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’d like to think that what sets Urban Soap Bar apart from others is our workshops. We travel to Assisted Living Facilities, Day Habs and Community Centers and provide home and community-based workshops where we have manipulated our classes to be therapeutic and interactive towards those that are special needs or have certain limitations. When I started doing this, it was just for fun and became a type of therapy for me, and I love to share that feeling with others who could use it just a little bit more than I. Watching their faces light up when they’re making these products and getting to see their reaction when they are done is the highlight of my career. This hasn’t been the easiest career choice, but it is most certainly rewarding. I have faced many moments where I was ready to throw in the towel, but when I get a picture from a client or customer about how happy they are with the results of my workshop or how excited they are about their products it just ignites that fire in me. If I could share one thing from my business to the world it would that feeling of having a product that they’re happy with or taking one of my workshops that ignited that same fire inside of them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston has some of the most exciting and neat places to visit. So many parks and museums and activities to do in Houston. My favorite stops has got to be the Japanese Gardens near the Hermann Park. It’s full of beauty and gives a tranquil vibe. Not far from there is Bodegas Taco Shop, amazing food and great atmosphere!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A business is nothing without its supporters. I’d really like to thank H-E-B for giving me the chance that they did, it really helped me better equip myself for the big leagues. I’d like to also thank the La Porte Chamber of Commerce, without their support and help I would not have been able to build a name for myself in my community. I’d like to thank Jennie Branch Bolton from the Houston Chronicle and Deer Park Observer, Nick and Chris from Smells Like Middle Aged Spirit Podcast, and VoyageHouston for putting a spotlight on me and my business. These are the things that help a business succeed. And last but not least, my family and friends who have shared, bought and praised my products and given me amazing support and feedback to make me what I am today.