Horizon West resident Jamie Jones, owner of Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox, sells handmade, non-toxic cleaning products.
Sparkle and shine.”
“I don’t sweat, I sparkle.”
Wall décor bearing such sayings are sprinkled throughout Horizon West resident Jamie Jones’ workshop in her garage. Jones, a mother of two little girls, owns and operates her own business, Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox.
BUILDING A BUSINESS
It all began in 2009. After Jones graduated college, she had been working in marketing and did freelance graphic design. She knew she wanted to do something to help further the environmental movement but was dismayed with the greenwashing of things. In college, she had mixed her own cleaning products but had given it up.
“When we were moving in, I found my old recipes and I thought, ‘I could do that,’ because I love to clean and know how toxic traditional cleaning products are,” she said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to develop my own line and use that as my platform to educate about environmental causes.’”
Jones spent a year working on formulas and mixing ingredients in the kitchen. Each product uses natural, non-toxic ingredients that people might already have in their homes, such as vinegar and essential oils. Once she perfected the formulas, she began designing the reusable packaging.
She posted her products on Etsy one day, not even thinking they would sell. By that weekend, she had sold out. From there, it turned into a hobby and side business, but it just kept growing. Eventually, she quit her full-time job to focus on the business.
When her first daughter, Aubrey, was born in 2012, she wanted to be a full-time mom, so she hired two girls to come in and help her with running the business. Now, she sells her products online and in boutiques across the country, even working with a monthly membership cleaning box. At one point, big-name brands such as Anthropologie and HomeGoods picked them up.
“It’s nice; I take care of the girls during the day and they’re always out in the garage helping out,” she said. “It’s turned into this major part-time gig that I run out of the garage.”
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
When she started making her products, she knew she wanted to keep it simple. Instead of creating a different product for every type of surface, her line was going to be small, with only the basic necessities.
“The thing about the cleaning market is we have a product for every different surface and room, and there’s like a million products out there,” she said. “I wanted to design a small line you could carry around in a tote and clean your house top to bottom and you wouldn’t need anything else.”
She currently has seven products, each of which has a different purpose. “Clean” is an all-purpose disinfecting spray, made from vinegar and essential oils. “Shine” is used for wood and leather, and “Sparkle” cleans glass, granite and stainless steel. “Soapy” is an all-purpose dilutable, good for tackling big jobs such as washing floors, bathtubs and cars. Jones also has a laundry soap and fabric softener combination, toilet-bowl bombs and a soft cleaning scrub, which smells like frosting.
The sprays, scrub and all-purpose dilutable each sell for $9.99, while the toilet-bowl bombs sell for $6.99 for a pack of 12. The laundry detergent and fabric softener sells for $24.99 and can last for 75 to 100 washes.
And because each container is reusable, customers can buy refills in all different sizes. Refills begin at half price for each product, and prices go up depending on the refill size.
Jones’ ultimate goal was to make products that are safe for consumers, their families, their pets and the environment, with ingredients that people could recognize and actually pronounce.
“I like that these are natural ingredients: It’s vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, things people already have in their pantry,” she said. “Not everyone wants to make their own cleaning products. For me, I don’t have to worry about my kids or my animals or husband being around them. They can even help me a lot of times.”
Jones’ motto for her products is “ordinary ingredients, extraordinary results.” Sometimes she thinks customers might not expect a pretty bottle that uses baking soda and vinegar to be an effective cleaner. Many consumers have been frightened into thinking germs are everywhere and they need chemicals to clean them, she said, but these natural ingredients are actually effective cleaners and disinfectants.
“I have great family and great friends (who) have been supporting me with this from Day One,” she said. “If something ever happened and this business was no longer, I would still make these recipes for myself. They work, they’re absolutely safe, and I’m not throwing toxic stuff into the dump.”
Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].