Making bath time fun again
Horn sisters start their own soap-making business at ages 2, 4
October 1, 2005
Ten-year-old Abbey Horn and her sister, 8-year-old Belle, have something most children their age don’t have: a company credit card.
“My husband laughs, because he always tells them he didn’t even have a credit card when he was 15,” their mother, Brita, said.
Abbey and Belle started their own soap business in 1999, when Abbey was just 4 and Belle was 2. The girls are quite possibly some of the youngest entrepreneurs South Routt has ever seen.
Abbey and Belle, with the guidance of their parents, Brita and Gary, have successfully transformed the basement of their ranch home into a soap laboratory where they are constantly developing new products to satisfy their customers.
The girls named their company Bubble Creek Soap Co. after a friend suggested the name.
Abbey said she got interested in making soap because her mother used to make soap the old-fashioned way — with lye and animal fat — and she always thought that was really neat.
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The girls make their soap with glycerin, which is safer than working with lye.
During Valentine’s Day a few years ago, Abbey decided she wanted to give her friends soap-on-a-rope gifts, but all the products in stores were designed for men. So, she did what any child would do — she started her own business to expand the market.
Since those days, Abbey and Belle have moved on from soap-on-a-rope to making bar soaps in a variety of shapes, sizes and smells, as well as hand lotions, bath gels, sea salts, lip gloss and more.
The girls also take special orders.
“As the girls have gotten older, they keep getting more and more ideas about what to do next. It’s all I can do to keep up with them,” Brita said.
The girls sell their products, which range in price from $2.50 for a small soap bar to $32 for a gift basket, at Montgomery’s General Store in Yampa, Bonfiglio’s and El-Shaddai Bible and Book Store in Oak Creek, Elk River Farm & Feed and Cowgirls & Angels in Steamboat Springs.
“We try to hit every holiday with our soaps like making gingerbread men for Christmas and hearts for Valentine’s Day. We started making shaving mugs for men, and we couldn’t keep them on the shelf,” Brita said.
The girls came up with the idea to start a Western line of products to suit the community. Soaps now come in molds of horses, saddles and spurs.
The girls also have 100 percent creative control of their products, Brita said. The girls have developed certain recipes for products that mix particular scents with glitter, coloring or plastic toys that they drop into the soap bars while they harden.
“The girls are really into quality. They’re not just into putting whatever junk they can find in them,” she said.
Belle said that one of the best parts of making soap with toys in it is keeping one once in a while, pointing to a rubber ducky that squirts water out its beak.
“It’s fun making soap,” she said.
Brita said the soaps and other products make perfect gifts for any occasion.
“Grandparents love us,” Brita Horn said. “Our stuff is perfect for stocking stuffers and small gifts.”
Brita Horn said the soap business allows the family to spend time together and the girls to try new things.
“When we make soap, we become a huge assembly line. The girls make the soap, Gary wraps it, and I tape it closed,” she said.
The girls have had special labels made in their likeness that they put on all their soaps.
The girls have sold their soap at craft fairs across the county and have even taught soap-making classes to their peers at 4-H District Retreats.
“At the sales, everybody buys stuff,” Belle said.
— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org