Tools Have Expiration Dates Too.


We all know that products have a limited shelf life; you can tell by smelling them, touching them, or just by thinking....."Hmmmm, I've had this products for 10 years. Pretty sure I should toss it." But what lots of people don't realize is that tools have an expiration date too. I know! Mind blown.

But think about it for a sec. Lots of tools are made of metal. Metal bends. When metal bends it's no longer calibrated properly, and therefor it won't work as well as that factory fresh one. Let's take tweezers for example. Have you ever dropped your tweezers on the floor? (*a gazillion hands go up*) Yup, well when that happens, here are two possible outcomes.... A: it landed on the tip and now the metal is dented and the flat part of the tweezers don't meet seamlessly anymore.(Pssssst, there is something you can here for a really good hack. It won't make them last forever, but it can get you through for a while.....) B: it landed on it's side and now there's a subtle difference in the angle of the two sides, again making the flat part of the tweezers no longer meet perfectly.  Or they bang around in your makeup bag, travel toiletries bag, car's center console and the same thing happens....they get uncalibrated or even worse, get dull. And all of these scenarios translate into not being able to really grip those brow hairs, which is like, THE most frustrating thing EVER. At least in my world.


Now let's take our beloved eyelash curlers. When's the last time you replaced yours? Mmmm hmmmm. A long time ago. Ever wonder why they don't sell replacement pads? Why you only get two? Because when you drop them or when they've lived in your makeup bags for years and years, the calibration goes off with them as well, and then they are no longer as effective as when you bought them. They expire. They have to be replaced.

What about your Beauty Blender? Have you seen that video where they think it's clean and then cut it in half and it's full of product? Horrifying. After I saw that video, I decided to sacrifice one of my Beauty Blenders that I use for work to see what was inside, and let me tell you those bad boys get put to the test. With much trepidation I chopped it in half and...... *gasp* it was spotless. That's because I use the Masters Cleaner and Preserver soap which is pure MAGIC, so I felt tremendous relief, but if you don't clean them properly they are a straight up bacteria breeding ground, a breeding ground that you put on your face. Even if you're a clean freak like yours truly, with love and heavy use comes wear and tear, so those little sponges will start to fall apart on you; they just don't last forever and they do need to be replaced occasionally.  A fresh one is bouncy, pliable and works beautifully for months or even years.

It's just nicer when your tools work harder for you, and they can only do that if they're in tip top condition. So, when was the last time you got a new pair of tweezers anyway?


DIG DEEPER: The Beauty Interview with Makeup Artist Rachel Goodwin

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Rachel Goodwin is a makeup artist's makeup artist. Her bold choices and willingness to push boundaries on the red carpet are so inspiring, and if you've ever had the pleasure of spending any time with her, you will find her passion, knowledge and humor completely engrossing (we can literally spend hours talking on the sidewalk, unable to end our conversations). She works with some of the biggest bold faced names in Hollywood and more specifically with some of the most stylish ones. For example, she has been working with Emma Stone for over a decade, watching her star rise and helping her polish her red carpet persona (which is a unique and interesting thing about being a makeup artist in Los Angeles; you will work with the same face over and over and over again for years--sometimes dozens and dozens of times within a short time period-- developing a deeply intimate relationship with that person's features, and finding a way to make their look different every time, while still keeping them feeling like themselves). January Jones has relied on Rachel to mix up her look for years, collaborating on some truly memorable red carpet moments. These are just two examples out of a myriad of incredible clients. Read on to learn more.....

We’ve known each other a long time and I love how our lives have taken parallel paths.  (Readers: Rachel and I knew each other in high school and our paths have crossed socially and professionally over the years.  Rachel had already been in LA for a while when I moved here in the early 2000’s, and I am so fortunate that our friendship has grown stronger and stronger over the years).  I find that us makeup artists have pretty unique origin stories, unlike hairdressers who traditionally have to go to school at the start of their journey.  Can you share the story of your path to becoming a makeup artist?

I know! It’s so wild really, especially where we come from, that we both ended up becoming professional make up artists! I love that our paths have continued to cross throughout our lives and have led us back into each other over and over. First as teenagers, then in NY as young striving artists and now here in LA as well established artists and mothers. I feel lucky have shared this artistic path with you! 

My particular path has been the long road, but as they say slow and steady wins the race. One thing I can say is that I’ve never questioned my career choice. Even in it's most challenging moments I’ve always truly loved being a make up artist. I suppose there really is something powerful about not having a back up plan.

I began right out of high school, and I got my first job doing makeup at 21 when my friend at SF State called me to tell me that she saw a posting at school about an independent film production looking for a make up artist. They had no money but would supply a new make up kit. Next thing I knew I was on the set of a movie about a family of morticians, creating realistic cadavers in a funeral home in San Jose. The movie never saw the light of day but I had a brand new make up kit which set me on my journey. After that I began working as a freelance artist for brands like Shiseido and MAKE UP FOR EVER in downtown San Francisco and was eventually hired to work for a new concept called MAC PRO which helped orchestrate my move to NY. As a young artist, working with those brands was invaluable; I was able to support myself as well as build my kit and build important relationships. At night I would do make up for lots of fashion shows for niche designers who would put on shows in the underground S&M Clubs in San Francisco's South of Market district. I would recreate things I’d seen on the runway for McQueen or Dior, which I was obsessed with, as well as design my own original creations. It was a no holds barred environment that allowed me to experiment wildly, there was always lots of glitter and colors so basically I was in heaven. During those early years I was determined to make my mark as an artist, literally doing photo shoots before I went to work, on my lunch hour and after work. I had serious tunnel vision. I don’t think I looked up for 5 solid years. I just LOVED all the creative collaborative energy and still do. It's what drives me to this day. I eventually moved to New York and began assisting established make up artists Linda Cantello, Mark Carasquillo, James Kaliardos and Tom Pecheux which was my initial foray into the fashion world.

Shortly after 9/11 I got booked on a job shooting in Los Angeles. I’d never even considered going out to LA to make my way; everyone in San Francisco and New York thought I was nuts to consider it. I went against everyones advice and found that I was immediately embraced by the beauty industry there. Within one month I’d found an agent and began working on a regular basis. It felt like professional kismet, so my husband Frank (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I made the move to La La Land. The rest is history. I remember everyone telling us we were insane at the time, but I am so grateful for the opportunities Los Angeles has given me as an artist. I never thought I would call this place home, but it is the place we bought our house, are raising our children and where my career and life has flourished for the last 15 years. I can honestly say I love LA. 

                     Strong graphic eyes on the drop dead gorgeous Isabelli Fontana.

                     Strong graphic eyes on the drop dead gorgeous Isabelli Fontana.

So if you hadn’t ended up as a makeup artist, what do you think you’d be doing now instead? 

Honestly there are two careers I get a little envious of, and they are Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Ice Creams and Anthony Bourdain. If I could be an artisanal ice cream maker or a culinary anthropologist traveling the world, helping connect people though the history and cultural traditions around food, I think I would be very, very happy. Maybe there's still time for me to be the Anthony Bourdain of make up?

One of the things I love about you Rachel is your thirst for knowledge and how that translates into your work, whether it’s reading a book on Cleopatra or Marie Antoinette or cooking an epic meal.  I’d love to hear a little about how those influences marinate in your creative mind, and how they manifest in your work. 

I am inspired by SO many things. I love to read, cook, draw, listen to music and pod casts, take photos, be in nature and museums, talk with fellow artists about what excites them. It all influences my work, I never stop looking around or learning. When I was a little girl growing up in San Francisco one of my mom’s friends said to me, "The worst thing you can be in this life, Rachel, is uninteresting." That one hit me like a brick. Since then I’ve always wanted to be someone who could talk to anyone about anything. I’m genuinely interested in people and the world. A big part of being interesting in being interested, I’ve learned that much. I am a very black and white person as well. I either care a lot about something or don't care at all so it’s a little bit extreme, but if I care WATCH OUT! I love looking back at old photos and seeing my different artistic phases and seeing what was influencing me at the time. I think its so important to have a strong, uncompromising point of view. It’s the only thing that distinguishes you as an artist from everyone else. I think that it’s even more important now than ever before as our lives have become flooded with social media visuals and anyone can call themselves an artist. 

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We all have some pretty hilarious on set McGyver moments where we have to think fast and improvise. Can you share one of your best McGyver moments? 

I've had more that a few "make it work" moments over the years. My kit was lost on a 24 hour trip to Hawaii once for a beauty campaign a few years back. I had to use the make up from everyones personal make up bags for the ad. I defintley found out what I was made of that day! It's not about the products, it's about the skills! 

You have recently been named the Director of Pro Artistry and Red Carpet for NARS cosmetics. This is SO HUGE and exciting!  I personally think this is such a great match. You have such a unique approach to makeup, especially red carpet makeup, and I see that rebelliousness paralleled between you and NARS the man, and NARS the brand.  You are willing to take chances with your clients (and your clients obviously trust you implicitly) which pushes all of us to take chances as well. How will we be able to see your mark on the brand? 

NARS is the ultimate line for me as an artist. It's the brand whose products, philosophy and aesthetic speaks to me the most. It's like a dream come true to get to partner with them. I love the idea of make up as a means of self expression and self confidence and not something that women feel they need to use to be desirable to someone else. Francois as an artist, and NARS as a brand, has always been about strength, expression and authenticity at it's core. That is the baton I hope to continue to pass on with all of our endeavors together. Whether it's creating artist related events and products, or helping the multitudes of women around the world understand the power of make up. I can't wait for all the fun things to come!

Racehl is a dedicated foodie, and for her inaugural event with NARS she hosted an intimate dinner in collaboration with Craig Thornton, the chef/owner of Wolvesmouth, She sent him the collection of the new NARS Powermatte Lip colors and asked him to create dishes based on the shades and his creations were a riot of color and flavors. Just one beautiful example of how Rachel thinks outside of the box.

Racehl is a dedicated foodie, and for her inaugural event with NARS she hosted an intimate dinner in collaboration with Craig Thornton, the chef/owner of Wolvesmouth, She sent him the collection of the new NARS Powermatte Lip colors and asked him to create dishes based on the shades and his creations were a riot of color and flavors. Just one beautiful example of how Rachel thinks outside of the box.

She also had a "lip reader" present who would read your kiss print and tell you what she saw. I am able to say she was eerily accurate with my reading. (A serious "Kiss and Tell" moment.)

She also had a "lip reader" present who would read your kiss print and tell you what she saw. I am able to say she was eerily accurate with my reading. (A serious "Kiss and Tell" moment.)

There are some products we just can’t work without.  Maybe they’re discontinued?  Maybe you can only get them in Asia or Europe.  Which are your holy grail products? 

RIP :(
Kevyn Aucoin used to make this taupe cream shadow that I was obsessed with. I know you had a few at one point you were saving for posterity! It was in a tube and it was absolutely perfect. I miss it so much!

Stepane Marais had a line at one point that was a special as a unicorn. The pressed powders and cream foundations were just beyond. 

Say you could only use 3 items/products for a job?  What would those be?  What few things could you create a whole look with and be happy with the results?

Black Eyeliner, Concealer and Eight Hour Cream. 

Travel is a big part of a makeup artists life, and carrying a LOT of stuff is also part of our lives, so what personal products make the cut when you travel? What gets you through long-haul flights and days on end in random hotel rooms?

Yes, travel is a real double edged sword for me. I love it so much but the hardship on your body and mind can be brutal. Matcha tea and lots of water. I always have my Tracy Martyn Complexion Savior Mask with me. I stopped drinking alcohol on planes because it makes me feel even more dehyrated and less able to bounce back. I bring essential oil sprays with me when I am on the plane and in my room. I also try and get outside when I land and take a walk. It helps literally ground me.

Our job is unique in it’s ups and downs.  What are your tools to keep you balanced and confident?  What keeps you humble? 

Rejection is a daily occurence in our industry so staying humble has never been a problem. I’ve always said every time you get a job someone else just lost one; it keeps it all in perspective. Sometimes you're on the winning side of the equation, but you always know what it feels like to be on the losing side. It keeps me from ever feeling cocky about it. This business highly competitive, and my not being a naturally a competitive person has made it a strange dichotomy for me to exist within. Oddly I really don’t think I have a particularly well suited temperment for this industry, but I’ve managed to exist in it for over 20 years anyway, I think mostly because I made a decision early on not to let it define me. From the very beginning I've always been very careful to make sure I had a fully flushed out life outside of our business. I also have a very grounded husband who keeps it REAL with me. He’s not impressed by the trappings of our industry and neither are my family which has created a great balance for me. He’s been by my side for the entire wild ride so he knows me as a person from before I experienced much success, he knows how much work and devotion it has taken to make this career happen. I think any confidence I have at this stage comes from knowing what I bring to the table as an artist after all these years of experience. I have no illusions that I’m for everybody and I’m totally ok with that. It’s a comfort level I am proud of and have now, but believe me it’s been hard won.


What are your favorite products that you use on yourself? You have so many to choose from, what’s jumped from your kit into your vanity?

I am a Huge fan of Tracie Martyn Skin Care, she's my favorite facialist and her and her partner make the most incredible line of organic skin care out there. They care so much about what they're making, it's truly inspirational, and I've been using her moisturizer and masks for years now. 

NARS radiant creamy concealer is an all time go to. I literally have a panic attack if I don't have it in my kit or in my purse.... I don’t know how I would have survived motherhood without it.

References are wildly important in our jobs.  It’s shorthand for communication, direction and inspiration.  I know you do lots of research for your clients when they have a big event like the Oscar’s or the Met Gala. Who are some of your makeup idols or people that you consistently draw inspiration from?

I love references because I love doing project research, and that they can create a framework for a collaboration. I'm always finding inspiration, from other artists work, Topolino, Serge Lutens and Peter Phillips are three of my faves but also nature, paintings, photography, music; anything can spur an idea at anytime. It can be hard for me sometimes to reduce the noise down, like if a photographer says to me, "do whatever you want". Thats the worst thing you could say to me! My brain is way too messy for that! I like there to be rules set up so I can break them. 

                                Rachel working her magic and applying final touches on Emma Stone before a red carpet event....

                                Rachel working her magic and applying final touches on Emma Stone before a red carpet event....

And lastly, what are your favorite products from Reed Clarke?

Sante Beauteye eye drops. You got me into these on a trip I took to Japan years ago and you told me I needed to try them. They are soothing and the bottle is beautiful, I have never have been without them since. I am also a big fan of Rituel de Fille Eye soot in Nightshade, and the Astraea eyelashes are beyond beyond beyond!

I love the tight knit community of beauty mavens we have out here in LA.  I think it’s really special.  When I lived in New York I very rarely socialized with other makeup artists, not because I didn’t want to, but because we rarely crossed paths.  Out here in LA, we run into each other constantly at makeup events or press junkets or travel on press tours together.  I also think that social media makes us closer…...We all get to spend time with one another which makes our community stronger and healthier and I just love it so much.  I’m honored to know you and honored to call you a friend.  Thank you for inspiring me Rachel, with your passion, your creativity and your joie de vivre. 

I love our little artist community so much! I feel so lucky to have known you all these years Fi, I feel like our journey has many more chapters ahead and I can’t wait to share them with you!

                                   The oh-so-chic, even when naked in the tub, January Jones.

                                   The oh-so-chic, even when naked in the tub, January Jones.

The sloth is my spirit animal.

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In my heart of hearts, I am lazy lazy lazy.  I would love nothing more than to lay about in bed reading magazines, watching movies, drinking tea and doing a bunch of nothing. Now, I’m pretty sure that if you ask anyone who has ever met me they would scratch their heads and say, ummmmm, I don’t think so. In fact, if I go back through my life over the last 25 year years, I can barely think of a day that was spent doing that. I’m kind of antsy. I need to always be doing something, which is maybe why I have three jobs (full time makeup artist, owner of this here website/e-comm biz Reed Clarke and also developer of Fiona Stiles Beauty). But in my soul, in my fiber I am L- A - Z - Y. For example, I am not the type of person who loves exercising. I don’t jump out of bed and race out the door to go for a run. I don’t stretch in the middle of the day because I need to “move my body”. I’d rather be supine. But, and this is where this post takes a turn toward beauty, getting your blood moving is really good for you. Like on a deep cellular level kind of good for you. Like, makes your skin look more radiant in a way that you can’t get from skin care kind of good for you.

So what’s a lazy girl to do? Cheat. And here’s my cheat (and even my cheat has a cheat).... It’s proven that lymphatic stimulation is wonderful for your blood and skin and circulation. But personally I cannot deal with dry brushing. I am not going to stand naked in my shower without delicious, steamy, hot H2O streaming down on me while I dry brush my skin. Not. Gonna. Happen. However, I do love a good scrub and that’s a great way to get that blood moving. Instead of a using loofah, which is essential a mold factory (google it) or one of those long scrubby Japanese towels (also a mold factory), my go-to is this beauty from Spa Cells. It’s as pretty as it is utilitarian. 

Here’s why it’s so bad-ass…. it’s made of silicone which is naturally mold resistant, so it can handle all of those steamy showers without harboring bacteria. The black stripes are stiffer, and the white stripes are a bit softer making the combo for a good scrub just right. Now if you're the sort who enjoys dry brushing, you can 100% use this guy that way. But if you enjoy a frothy lather and yummy warm water, get a little soap on this bad boy and watch it suds up. Focus on the lymph areas; under your arms, along the sides of your neck and your groin (that word always makes me smirk for some reason….grrrooooiiiiin) to really get the blood flowing and to flush out those impurities. It’s a great lazy girl cheat and a stellar way to start the day…like a cup of espresso for the circulatory system. Have a go and let me know what you think, cause I think you're gonna freak out and love it on it hard.

DIG DEEPER: The Beauty Interview with Soapwalla's Founder Rachel Winard

When I first started Reed Clarke, I asked friends if they had any products from smaller brands that they were madly in love with, and a dear friend told me she was obsessed with the deodorant from Soapwalla. I bought some and instantly fell in love. Like, I cannot live without this product in my life kind of love. I had been using natural deodorants for years and simply couldn't stand them. Not only did they not work, but they made me smell weird, but I used them anyway because I find the ingredients in traditional deodorants unsavory. I just like to be mindful of what is absorbed in the skin surrounding my lymph glands, color me crazy. Now most people don't have their armpits in people's faces at work, or like, ever, but because I'm a makeup artist, I do. And I work in some pretty intense situations and in some pretty extreme weather, and I cannot be stinky. Stinky can lose you a client. So when I used the Soapwalla deodorant in New York City, in the middle of July, after getting off a red eye (and not showering or reapplying--I had showered and applied before I left LA) and I could do my job with confidence knowing I would not offend my client while applying her makeup, I knew I had a winner on my hands. And I also became obsessed and have been using this product on the daily for 3 years now. This stuff is by far one of my favorite products on the site because it seriously works, and it's a solution to a problem, which is, you know, the real point of a beauty product.


I really wanted to interview Rachel because:

A. I love her products.

B. I knew exactly nothing about her and I really wanted to learn more.


So Rachel kindly took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions and I really loved reading them and kind of wish I could ask her about a dozen more.... Maybe I'll do a follow up, who knows. Here's a picture of Rachel so you can put a face to the “voice".

Out of curiosity, what were you doing before Soapwalla? What lead you to create your own line? What was the impetuous for starting your own skincare line? Was it a dissatisfaction with what was out there? Was it a reaction to ingredients? It's a lot of work starting a line and I love to hear the stories and mythology behind the company.   

Great question! I've had several lives...I started playing the violin when I was 4 years old and became serious about it quickly. I became a professional classical violinist at the age of 12 and was sure that was going to be my lifelong career. I graduated high school early, went to Juilliard right after I turned 17, and then relatively quickly realized that it wasn't as perfect a fit for me as I thought.

I left the music world at 19, got an undergraduate degree in political theory, and ended up at Columbia Law School (long story). During my first year of law school, I got very sick. Overnight I went from being perfectly healthy to having all sorts of medical conditions crop up. It took a year, but I was finally diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus for short), a chronic autoimmune illness that has varied symptoms but nearly always affects the skin, as it’s our largest organ. Like others who suffer from lupus, I get terrible skin rashes, hives, and irritated skin patches. When it was at its worst, I could barely use water on my skin without irritation. The concept for Soapwalla was born one late night in early 2002, after months of unsuccessfully hunting for face and body products that wouldn’t aggravate my sensitive skin. I tried everything on the market I could find without any luck - and I mean everything. If the product said it was 'hypoallergenic' or 'sensitive' or 'natural' or 'organic' I bought it. And then threw it away when it made my skin feel worse.

Finally, after trying hundreds of products that ultimately went in the garbage, I decided to start making my own products that were as healthy and wholesome as possible. The product line grew from there. My guiding principle when I first started formulating and our overarching philosophy still is: The skin is our largest organ and for it to function at its best, we must feed it wholesome ingredients. If I refuse to put something in my body, I don't want to put it on my body.

I graduated law school in 2004 and practiced land use and zoning law at 2 large NYC firms for four years. In 2006 I had a health crisis – I was on chemotherapy to try to get my illness under control, with little success – and left for India for four months to see an Ayurvedic doctor in Mysore (in the state of Karnataka). We worked together every day for those 4 months and he got me feeling better than I had in years. When I returned to NYC, I knew my days at the law firm were numbered; the stress was just too much for my fragile immune system. I left the law firm in June 2008, and struggled for a year and a half to figure out what I was going to do next. During this time, friends and family gently prodded me to sell my beloved skincare products to the public. I premiered Soapwalla Dec 1, 2009, and we are in our 7th full year of business!

What was your first product? What was your second product? 

When I first started formulating, I figured I needed something to cleanse and moisturize my skin. My first two products were the Lavender French Clay Soap Bar and Restorative Face Serum. I still use these products daily.


Who was your first customer? 

Me! And then friends and family members, as they realized I'd become full-on obsessed about creating skincare products. My spouse likes to say that she's the "not tested on bunnies" part of our testing process. I've got a whole host of supportive people in my life who have been there for me and the company since day 1. Well, really, since way before day 1!


What was the company's first break? 

A couple months after Soapwalla premiered, we got some lovely and unexpected press from a blogger. Her review of our Deodorant Cream was glowing and took off. From there, we saw an immediate uptick in sales and press requests. It was incredibly lucky and amazing, and I am still so grateful to that blogger.

I have to ask about the name.... Like Teawalla? How did you land on the name? 

"Walla" means maker or master in Hindi. I'd already been making soap and skincare products when I went to India in 2006. When I got back a friend dubbed me the Soap Walla. I LOVED it, and knew I had to name the company that.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Was this a "I mixed it in my kitchen" and had friend put stickers on bottles kind of beginning? I feel like that's how so many lines start out. Isn't it amazing that businesses can be started from such humble beginnings?  

That's exactly right! This was seriously an "I mixed in my kitchen" start because I was using ingredients I ate each day. It's a fantastic way to learn formulation and basic business practices without a $500,000 loan hanging over your head. I feel very lucky that I was able to start the business - with a lot of trial and error - in this way.


It isn't often that you can say that a beauty product can be life changing, but I feel like that's the case with the Deodorant Cream... you have made an alternative to traditional deodorant that actually works.  How have you seen Soapwalla changing people's lives? 

Hand's down, it's the most amazing thing about this journey. When I receive notes or phone calls from customers who tell me how our products changed their lives, I cry. 


What would be your dream product to create? 

An SPF that works, is water resistant, and doesn't streak or feel chalky/splotchy!


What have been some of your biggest challenges, some of your biggest set backs and what have been some of your biggest successes? 

There are always challenges in this line of work - people stealing ideas, getting bullied by large conglomerates who see us as a threat, balancing our strong principles with ensuring we make a profit so we can pay our employees a living wage and continue doing what we love doing. 

But that's part of the experience, I think. We set out to change the beauty paradigm, no small task. It gets lonely and can feel overwhelming. 

The biggest success was helping to make natural deodorant more mainstream, and to make the concept of a deodorant cream a normal thing. But probably my biggest success was getting my father-in-law -- a man who doesn't believe in organic anything -- to use and even request our products!

Any advice for those who choose to walk a similar path? 

This is the unsexiest advice around, but the best thing to do: put your head down, do the work, and try not to listen too much to all the noise around you.  Also, make sure you have a good cheerleading team. You'll need friends and family to help get you through the periods of self-doubt.


Being your own boss has perks and unique challenges, what's your biggest take away so far? 

It's a lot of work being my own boss - and the boss of 5 others. I'm responsible for our livelihoods. BUT I wouldn't trade it for the world. I get to create things every day, things that make people feel good about themselves. That's pretty amazing, and I know how lucky I am that I get to do this.


A million thanks for your time Rachel, and thanks for sharing how you built your amazing company. You can follow Soapwalla on Instagram at @soapwalla,