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It Starts! Starting My Soap Making Business Part 1

Updated: May 8, 2021

Hi, I’m Maria from GEMMM Soaps. In this post I will introduce myself and give you some background on my soap making adventure.

Hello from the Pacific Northwest! Portland, OR vicinity to be more specific. We are Mario and Maria :) M&M going strong for 25 years.

Mario and I were both were born in El Salvador and our families emigrated to the U.S. in the 80’s. We both overcame very tough/difficult childhoods filled with abuse, addiction, and poverty. Though these things, that we had no control over as children, could have “broken” us, we overcame and became more resilient and determined individuals. We used our lived experiences to drive us to live our best lives and strive to have more control in our own future.

We have 2 kids, a newly 21 yr old, Kennedy and 15 yr old Phoenix, whom we will try to wrangle into helping us with different parts of our business.

I have an English degree and have been worked in schools, mostly as a teacher, for 20+yrs. Mario almost has his master’s in math and has also worked in schools for 20+yrs. We are both currently High School teachers.

Transitioning to a new career: Firstly, I want to say that I love my students and school and in general, and I've been told, I am pretty good at what I do. I love teaching and inspiring others. I and am constantly inspired by our students too. I love seeing understanding in my student’s eyes I love interacting with these crazy teenagers, they keep life interesting and crack me up. I feel like my school community is my extended family, where I feel welcomed, loved, and respected.

Having said that, I HATE grading and although I love having summers off, I do not particularly like waking up early or having to stay up late to do all the things that are necessary for me to feel prepared and be an effective teacher.

2nd career: I have always wanted to be a teacher, well at least as early as 3rd grade when I answered the journal prompt, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with “a teacher”. However, after 20 years of working in schools, I am now thinking about a second career.

This year, I realized that when I was in the physical building, I always found something to do, someone that needed help, some way I could contribute to our community. Although I still try to help in any way I can, the Corona pandemic and resulting distance learning, gave me the opportunity to think, as it freed up a lot of my time, especially since cutting down my hour long commute.

My husband and I started talking about our retirement plan and became excited about buying land in Costa Rica and starting our own homestead/B&B there. Eventually we came to the realization that we didn’t want to wait that long. Why couldn’t we do this now and why did it have to be in Costa Rica?

So here we are: In these blogs and possible accompanying vlogs I will keep a journal of our adventure of starting our small G.E.M.M.M. Soaps business. Our hope is that our goat milk soap and other beauty products will one day be produced using products grown in our very own homestead (where I will have my very own cute goats!!)

I expect that in the beginning there will be A LOT of missteps and down right failures. I will unabashedly (well actually since I am a bit of an introvert, probably with a ton of anxiety and nervousness and some embarrassment) share these moments with you.

I will document our challenges, failures, breakthroughs, and successes in hopes that they will:

  1. show you that is is ok to make mistakes - so long as you learn from them,

  2. help you avoid some of our mistakes,

  3. teach you new tricks or give you helpful info/tips and,

  4. untimely share or inspire you and others to follow their dreams too.

Thank you for joining us and being part of this adventure.

We hope it will be a fun, informative, and entertaining ride.

Hope this will be the G.O.A.T. adventure for us. GOAT...get it??? goat/greatest of all time…?? Did I mention, I like puns? I know...I know...I am punny ;)

Want to connect? Find us on Facebook and Instagram where you can read my blog and see my pictures and videos.

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