Friday, November 20, 2009

Artisan Interview with Jackie Sample of 2 Virgos Designs

Hello readers!! I am so excited to share with you the very next Artisan Interview on Soapies Blog.  I interviewed Jackie Sample ~ 2 Virgos Designs this past summer. I hope you all enjoy it...

Kelley:  Jackie, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for Soapies Blog. Tell me what got you started.

Jackie:  Thank you for this opportunity, Kelley! I am disabled and retired and had too much time on my hands and needed a creative, positive outlet to focus on, soap making fit perfectly!

Kelley:  Were you a soapmaker before your retirement or did you find soapmaking afterward?

Jackie:  I discovered the wonderful world of soaping after I retired.

Kelley:  Awesome! What drives you in business?

Jackie:  To be able to offer the best products with a greener impact at an affordable price.

Kelley:  How is your company "greener" than your competitors?

Jackie:  I have recently upgraded my glycerin soaps to an all natural chemical free base and my hand milled soaps are the finest cold process, I strive to use phthlate free fragrances and essential oils in my products, I am constantly improving my formulas.

Kelley:  That is great to hear! We try to do our part by not sending Invoices in the boxes and using recycled packing materials whenever we can.

Jackie:  Yes, I too recycle packing materials, make some of my own packaging, and use PET bottles.

Kelley:  Every little bit helps for sure!  Jackie, where do you see yourself, professionally, in 5 years?

Jackie:  In 5 years, I hope to be out of the "hobbyist" stage and firmly in the small business stage. I also want to be making my own more natural lotions instead of using the premium base I am now.

Kelley:  I am sure you will achieve that goal. What would be your 5 favorite ingredients to work with?

Jackie:  Cold Process lye soap for rebatch, glycerin melt and pour, emu oil, soy wax, fragrances.

Kelley:  So you purchase Cold Process Soap and then rebatch it yourself?

Jackie:  Yes I do, I love it!

Kelley:  Will you try making it from scratch at some point?

Jackie:  No, alas, I really want to, the chemist in me cries out for it but health issues prevents me from using lye.

Kelley:  Oh, I see. I have only rebatched once when my daughter, Jackie, and I realized we were talking too much and forgot the Coconut Oil!!  That batch turned out to be one of the best we ever made.

Jackie:   I did that, too, one time but caught it in time and added my oils and continued cooking, I use the crockpot.

Kelley:  Good one! We didn't realize until it was out of the oven and a soggy mess!   What are your favorite products to make?

Jackie:  Hands down, hand-milled (rebatch) soap, layered melt and pour, and soy wax lotion tarts.

Kelley:  Lotion Tarts...That is one thing I have not tried yet. I will have to do that soon!

Jackie:  I am excited about them, no flame, dual purpose tarts - lotion and home fragrance - and they feel so good on the skin, excellent lotion and the warm lotion makes my hands feel better.

Kelley:  WOW! Dual purpose! I had no idea!  What would you say your best and top-selling products are and why do you think they sell so well?

Jackie:  My Gent's Club Sandalwood Glycerin Goat Milk Soaps are my best seller because of the skin soothing properties and I use real Santalum Album essentnial oil and they smell so rich and exotic as only real sandalwood can. Black Knight of Avalon cologne is my 2nd best seller because it is an awesome, unique, and very sexy men's fragrance.

Kelley:  Both sound very intriguing! In percentages, what percent of your business makes up research and development and what percent makes up the making of product on a daily or weekly basis?

Jackie:  It is split pretty much 50/50, I spend a lot of time in research and development, it is a priority that my products be safe and do what they are supposed to do.

Kelley:  You are an animal rescuer, how many have you rescued and what does it mean to you to help the world’s most vulnerable?

Jackie:  I have rescued 2 little dogs. It is my way of returning some good to the cosmos, putting some good back into it to help cancel out the bad done to these creatures.

Kelley:  I completely agree with that. All of the pets we have, or have had, since 1988 have been found or rescued. More people need to help them as you do. You should read the Blog I posted this past Sunday. People helping a riderless horse.

Jackie:  I will. I am getting ready to blog about puppymill dogs myself.

Kelley:  That is one of the saddest things regarding these defenseless creatures.

Jackie:  I can never understand how anyone can harm an animal or a child.

Kelley:  I agree....Jackie, where do most of your ideas come from?

Jackie:  From my passions - aromatherapy, the medieval period, and dogs.

Kelley:  Passion makes everything better, doesn't it?

Jackie:  Yes, it does!

Kelley:  Can you tell me what you are working on now for a new product?

Jackie:  My next project will be a Vegan, nut tree ingredient free hand milled (rebatch) soap.

Kelley:  WOW! That sounds fascinating! Are you Vegan yourself?

Jackie:  No, but it is important to be able to offer alternatives to those who are.

Kelley:  You are so right. Having something for everyone is very important.  What is something you have always wanted to include in your product line but haven’t had the chance to do yet?

Jackie:  Handmade lotion, the time just has not been right to get involved in it.

Kelley:  Lotion making is a lot of fun! Getting it the right consistency can be trying sometimes but a lot of fun to formulate.

Jackie:  I think it is great for controlling what is in your lotion formula and to offer a more natural product.

Kelley:  Absolutely!  How big of a role does advertising play in your business and what mediums do you utilize?

Jackie:  Huge! I utilize social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, the Etsy forums; and word of mouth, and I do pay for Facebook Ads from time to time.

Kelley:  I agree. Social Media can make a huge impact on your business.

Jackie:  I fought it at the beginning but have made sales directly from Facebook and even my blog so it is invaluable as a resource.

Kelley:  I have as well and it keeps me in better touch with my customers.  What would you like our readers to know about you, personally or professionally, that we have not covered?

Jackie:  My only regret is I did not discover soaping years ago!  I encourage others to develop a passion like soap mkaing, it can make a profound difference in your life.

Kelley:  I agree, Jackie, especially when you can turn a hobby into a money-making venture.

Kelley:  Jackie, I have so enjoyed our interview today and getting to know you a bit. I wish you continued success in your venture and hope that you feel strong and empowered to make you goals....I know you will. Thank you so much for taking this time from your busy schedule.

Jackie:  Kelley thank you for this wonderful opportunity!

Kelley:  You are most welcome! Thank you for sharing yourself with our readers.

~ This concludes the Soapies Blog Interview with Jackie Sample ~

2 Virgos Designs is located in Bossier City, Louisana and their main store is on Etsy. Jackie has been in business almost 2 years and has a target market for Retail - Primarily women and men 30 to 60 years old.

Click to visit 2 Virgos Designs for Retail Sales and on FaceBook!!

Jackie Sample, Owner
2319 Riverwood Dr., #202
Bossier City, LA. 71111
If you would like to be interviewed for a future article on
Soapies Blog, please contact me:  480.443.4011


  1. Fantastic article, Kelley! Thank you so much!

  2. You are so welcome!! It was a pleasure interviewing you! Great success with your soaping business!!

  3. Great interview! Really good questions and continuity with the answers into the next questions. Jackie does such a great job with her products, I especially love her soy tarts as well.

  4. Wow, this is one interesting read!!
    Great job, Kelley!
    And great job Jackie, anyway :-)
    Keep up the good work, both of you !!

    EuropeanGoodies on Etsy
    and BlueBoy on Bonanzle

  5. Thanks guys!! I love doing interviews with artisans ;o)

  6. Wow, what a nice long interview. Great questions with some great answers! Thanks to you both!