“Wouldn’t it be great if your home supplied you with your natural cosmetics but in a simple way?”
More and more people are turning away from disposable consumer culture. This has helped brands to focus on developing design trends that are sustainable and reduce their impact on the environment. Netherlands-based brand DIYS Soap is no exception. The concept of DIYS Soap is set up around the idea to have a positive impact on sustainability, transparency and empowerment of customers. Being aware and informed empowers customers to make the best choices for themselves, their loved ones and the future of our planet, according to the company.
Here, Liz Gyekye, Deputy Editor at Bio Market Insights, catches up with Erica Linger, owner of DIYS Soap.
Liz Gyekye (LG): What’s the story behind your brand?
Erica Linger (EL): My eldest daughter has a very dry and sensitive skin and eczema. I couldn’t find anything suitable for her in a normal drug store because her skin would immediately get irritated. So, I started looking for an alternative. After doing some research on the internet I started making my own body cream with a couple of pure and simple plant-based ingredients. This homemade cream worked really well for her skin, but as a working mom I thought it was such a hassle to find all the ingredients. The actual making of the cream was not the problem, it was the collecting of the ingredients that took up most of my time. Another thing was the amounts; I just wanted small amounts to make one jar of cream a time. I have a small kitchen and didn’t want to fill up my kitchen cupboards with big quantities of raw ingredients. This is when I got the idea for my business. Wouldn’t it be great if your home supplied you with your natural cosmetics but in a simple way? What if all the ingredients are already collected for you and are measured in the right portions, you would only have to make the product at home. This way you would have your fresh, natural cosmetics at home without too much hassle. Thus, the idea for DIYS Soap was born. After a year of running a webshop, I opened a store in Amsterdam.
In the store, we offer a wide range of ingredients, packaging materials and skin care products. We also offer the possibility for customers to come back with their packaging material for a refill. Therefore, we offer the possibility to purchase zero waste skin care. After opening the store, we started to offer DIY skin care workshops as well. In the workshops, customers can learn how to make their own skin care products like soap, deodorant, face cream etc. Of course, we still sell our signature products as well – the DIY sets to make your skin care at home. These DIY Sets are made in a day care centre by adults with special needs.
LG: What advice would give someone else starting out in this space?
EL: There is so much competition in this space, so my best advice would be to get your story and core values straight. This way you can stay unique, but it will also help you to remember where you’re going with your business.
LG: What’s been the biggest challenge in growing your company?
EL: The biggest challenge is probably that I receive so many requests for collaborations that I really have to make choices and stick to our core values to see if new products or services fit our values. Another challenge is obviously time and money. Our small team has so many plans and ideas for new products and services, but unfortunately time and money are always an issue. This does not stop us from executing our plans though, but this does mean we’re often not going as fast as we would like to go.
LG: What is coming up next for your company?
EL: We’re setting everything up for a franchise, because we’ve found a partner who’s opening another DIYS Soap store in 2019/2020. We’re really excited about this!!
LG: What’s your favourite bio-based product?
EL: There are so many! That would be three products from our face care line: our face cleansing oil, combined with a konjac sponge and our organic rose toner.