Hampden, Maine (WABI) - Many people take many different routes to their career.
For one woman from Hampden it started with working in health food and natural living stores, to growing vegetables and pigs while starting a farmer's market.
And now, she owns her own business making chemical free soap.
Michelle Byram, the owner of SoulShine Soap wants you to have fun getting dirty. "Usually a business like this starts out as 'Oh I was making gifts for friends and family and they told me I should start selling' for me I kind of while I was farming, sat down and made a list of the pros and cons and all the things I wanted in a business."
Those things included the ability to be creative, and have something that had multiple ways for the product to be sold, but Byram had never made soap before, and she wanted something more natural as an option. "I guess that kind of started, farming, we were paying so much attention to like local food movement and nutrition and what you put in your body and then I started to look at some of the body wash and shampoo and you read the back of the label and you're like 'What am I doing? And what's in my kid's bubble bath? Or kid's soap?' And once you start researching that it can be kind of scary."
So she did all of her research and created SoulShine Soap Company in 2013, working out of her home, and she began by just making bars of soap free of dyes, and chemicals. "I had never made it, it was pretty scary you know like the lye is pretty dangerous and so I made sure to research all I could and then I went and did hands on projects with other people"
But she found those bars of soap, weren't enough, so she started making other items like laundry detergent, stain stick, and lip balm. "Soap takes so long after you I mean it only takes an hour or two to make a batch, but then having to wait four to six weeks for it to cure, I'm not a very patient person, so sometimes I would get kind of frustrated so it's nice to have other things that I can kind of whip up and take to a show and have a little bit of variety out on the table"
Even with no other employees and a lot to do to run a successfull business Byram says she is happy now. "I am so excited I really enjoy all aspects of the business, sometimes it gets overwhelming because I am kind of a one woman operation, so there's not just the making of the soap there's marketing and my website and pitching to different stores trying to get different whole sale accounts and there's packing up for markets, there's lots of emails there's - I also sell on ETSY so I kind of have two outlets online so it's a lot to juggle but I really enjoy it."
You can visit their website by going to www.SoulShineSoapCompany.com. You can find out more about the company and their products there, and you can also shop online too.