Brielle Porter is the creator of SudsUpSoaps, which sells handmade soaps with names such as Orange Creamsicle, Jelly Gems and Hipster Tie Dye.
What started as a gift idea for an expectant mother has turned into a small business for 12-year-old Brielle Porter. The Stoneybrook West resident has created an online shop called SudsUpSoaps, where she sells handmade soaps in 12 styles and a variety of scents.
She debuted her shop on social media in July after gifting a set of her soaps to a family friend who was pregnant.
“(This) got me thinking,” she said. “This was fun. I enjoyed it. I loved making all the soap. I figured since we’re in quarantine … soap was hard to find, because everyone was having to wash their hands.”
Brielle said she calls her product “COVID-inspired” soaps because she started making them during the pandemic shutdown and also because the first soap she made had a tie-dye design in white and blue — the same blue color as the COVID-19 image.
With practice, she got the hang of making the soaps, she said.
“I have 12 different types of soap, all different patterns and designs, and all have different ratios of ingredients, and all the ingredients are natural,” she said.
There’s Orange Creamsicle, which has layers of orange and white and smells like oranges and vanilla.
“There’s also one that I have that is like watermelon slices, and they’re little triangles,” she said. “Pink, white, pink and little pieces of brown soap.”
She has a line of matching soaps, what she calls her Citrus Line, and they come in green, yellow, orange and pink. They smell like citrus: lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit.
Her rainbow-colored Jelly Line includes Gummy Drops, which are small, square soaps; and Jelly Gems, which are larger and shaped like gemstones.
“They feel like Jell-O, like jiggly, solidified Jell-O, and it’s really fun to wash your hands with,” Brielle said.
The length of time Brielle spends in the kitchen crafting her soaps depends on which product she’s making.
“The Rainbow Cookie one has different layers, and one layer has to completely cool before I pour another one so they don’t mix,” she said. “It also depends on how many I need – the more liquid I pour in, the longer it takes to dry.”
With each order, she wraps the soaps individually in parchment paper before placing them in a brown paper bag and closing it with a sticker. She adds a personal touch to each order, handwriting on an index card which soaps were purchased.
She delivers her goods on bicycle if the buyers live in Stoneybrook West, but she depends on her parents to drive her outside of the neighborhood to deliver.
Her bars of soap range in price from $1 to $7, depending on which line is purchased. She also offers deals, she said. Buyers who want more than one bar will get a discounted price.
Brielle has plans for the money she is earning from her soap business. She is putting 30% in her savings account, and she is spending a little of it on supplies, but she is putting most of it toward the purchase of a horse.
“I have a horse, but we can’t ride it — it’s just a baby,” she said. “I want a horse that I’m able to ride, so I can get caught up to speed when our little one is big and I can ride her.”
The horse of her dreams is an Irish Draught, which comes with a price tag of about $4,000.
“They’re pretty tall, and from my experiences when I ride a horse, I like a tall horse, not a short and stubby horse, and they’re a good beginner horse,” Brielle said. “And they have really emotional eyes, which I think is adorable.”
The pandemic has been a positive event for Brielle, because she had time on her hands to create the perfect product.
“It was really fun, and I thought it would be super beneficial for the times we’re in now,” she said.