The soaps started innocently enough. As a former column and newspaper features writer, Sami used to belong to several writing forums. One of her fellow writers had written a book on soap making so Sami bought it just to be supportive.
One batch in and she was hooked but soap making supplies in small town Texas were not exactly easy to come by so this new-found hobby was only a once or twice a year event.
Fast forward a few years and the family had moved to Tacoma, Washington. Sami was in need of holiday gifts and so she went digging through her old paperwork and retrieved her copy of the soap-making book. Before she knew it (and thanks in large part to the hippy dippy nature of the Pacific Northwest and its access to all things soap-makery) Sami was off and running making soapy goodness for friends and family alike. She gave soap as birthday presents, wedding presents, holiday gifts, cast gifts and bribes. She bartered soap for child care, photography services, acting lessons, and mechanic work.
People loved her soaps and she loved them for loving the soaps. She experimented with different recipes and created her own blends. Her friends were constantly after her to sell her soaps.
Finally in December of 2010, she decided to take the leap and opened her Etsy page. The name Pip & Lola's comes from the nicknames of her youngest children (Perrin and Lorelai) . The full name actually came at the suggestion of a friend, Laura. Sami gave herself a deadline and fully immersed herself in everything saponification. She wanted to make the kind of soaps that she would want to buy and that her friends and family would be able to use. She focused on function over form. She opted for natural scents and lightly scented at that because she knows so many people with migraine and allergy issues that she wanted to make something they could enjoy.
She "went live" on March 1, 2011 and was thrilled when they sold 40 bars their first month in business. It was going way better than she had hoped and the feedback was glorious. She learned the ins and outs of shipping to SIBERIA of all places her first month in business.
She began doing Farmer's Markets that summer (under the guidance and leadership of her other half, Bruce) and was flattered at the outpouring of love and support from the Tacoma Farmer's Market community.
In June of 2012, she and Bruce were having lunch in Freighthouse Square (a historic Tacoma landmark) and were excited to see that a wonderful storefront had become available. Fast-forward a few weeks and Pip & Lola's Everything Homemade had its Grand Opening on August 1, 2012 selling all handmade, all local products and has been taking off like a rocket ever since. After two years of retail shop ownership, they decided what they loved most was making soap so they gave up the storefront aspect of the business and are now focused on the soaps full-time.
As of July, 2015 they are now proud residents of Munhall, PA and in July of 2016 they opened their third retail location right on Main Street in Munhall.