Bowness Soapworks is a small handmade soap company located in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. As one of Alberta’s top-rated handmade soap providers, Bowness Soapworks not only crafts artisan-quality soaps but also cultivates a community of adventurers through Soap Club. This distinctive soap subscription delivers handcrafted soaps to doorsteps while championing local businesses with exclusive perks and deals, embodying a commitment to supporting a network of small enterprises. We spoke with owner Melba Seto to find out more about what they do.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Bowness Soapworks, Calgary’s famous adventure soap company, building community through our adventure-inspired soap and ceramics.
What made you want to do this work?
With a background in health care, I found that sharing my skills and resources through my products and workshops helps my community more than I ever could in my past profession. I have been teaching handmade skills my whole life and it was always my passion to share it so I made it my full-time job.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
Show our community the value of handmade and how connecting each other through our stories and journeys brings more value into our lives.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Local, outdoor, sustainable, mindful.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
I have a soap club subscription that people join and have local handmade adventure soap shopped every 3 months, includes member perks like discounts to local businesses and up to $75 off workshops annually. I teach workshops in soap making, foraging, pottery and wild basket making.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
There are multiple local retailers that sell my products, my main flagship store is Greenbriar Market + Refillery 4535 Bowness Road NW
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
What makes you different from any other soap company?
It’s not a competition when you’re a small business and I work hard to highlight my small business friends. I am an advocate for small businesses and give back to my community by donating a portion of every sale to local outdoor organizations.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
Educating people about local, sustainable and how much mindfulness and hard work go into handmade- the hardest part is explaining to people why I have value, when that’s someone people don’t question when it comes to high-end corporate companies but small local it’s the biggest barrier we face.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
The First Rule of Soap Club – Everyone Talks about Soap Club (fight club reference )
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
Greenbriar Market + Refillery! They support over a dozen Calgary vendors!