Say hello to Sarah York! Sarah is the owner of and maker at Bell Mountain Naturals, purveyor of all natural, sustainable soap and skin care.
She's located in Manasquan, NJ. Sarah started Bell Mountain as a side hustle in 2012, and it became a full fledged business in 2015.
A fun little fact about Bell Mountain Naturals is that it's named after the street her aunt lived on in Austin, where she started making soap. I love a name with a good meaning behind it!
If you're just starting a business of your own, keep reading to learn some helpful tips from someone who's been there. AND take advantage of a special discount that Sarah generously offered to my readers!
How did you get started in your field?
The first time I was introduced to soap making, was in a college chemistry class! I loved the idea of combining science and art. I revisited soap making as a hobby a few years later with my aunt (I come from a long line of women artists and makers). I fell in love instantly.
What do you wish you had known when you were just starting your business?
Oh man! I could probably right a book! haha! Being the maker is the fun part, but such a small aspect of running a business. I wish I would have spent more time in the beginning with bookkeeping and other business related things. It would have saved a lot of headaches!
What has been the most effective strategy for gaining new customers or selling more products?
Our most effective strategy has definitely been using social media! Specifically Instagram. We've been able to meet customers both wholesale and retail that share our passion for natural and ethical skincare. Also, having a clear, strong idea of what our brand is. SO important!
What has been the best part of running your own business?
Best part for sure is watching it grow, It's like my baby!
What has been the most difficult part of running your own business?
Finding balance. Running your own business, you never clock out. Since we are small, I still wear all the hats, and there is always something that needs to be done.
What advice would you give to someone else starting a business?
You HAVE to love what you do. That passion carries you through all the challenges of starting/running a business!
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and offering a discount on your lovely products, Sarah!