For Liana Smith, owner of The Grove Soap Co., starting her own business began with the alignment of three key moments in 2018. Following the birth of her second son, her time and space for creativity had become noticeably absent, she was becoming increasingly focused on building an eco-friendly all-natural lifestyle, and she was presented with a special gift - a decades-old bar of soap handmade by her grandfather. “It was almost as if finding the missing piece in my life. When I looked at the bar and read the recipe written on it, I was really inspired,” shares Smith. That very day, Smith ordered some soap making books. “I started and I never stopped.”

Smith began by making her cold-process soap for her family. “It never even crossed my mind that this was going to turn into a business endeavor. Early on, I was so excited making all these different blends I was just handing out soap to people left and right.” After a few months, she was encouraged to participate in the Love Local pop-up shop. “I had signed up for this event, but I didn’t even have a business name or logo.” With the help of some good friends, The Grove Soap Co. was named. Smith made it to that first shop where she sold out of her entire stock of soap. “I was just stunned. The Grove Soap is this thing that kind of happened. I didn’t have a business plan. But I know it was the right thing because I didn’t think about it at all. I worked hard at it and it just fell into place.” 

Three years later, it’s still all soap all the time. Smith’s hands touch every stop of the process in making a bar Grove Soap. Her intention remains to make something beautiful, natural and accessible, which can be seen in the materials she uses, blends she creates and her minimalist packaging. “It’s my art in this little useful eco-friendly thing,”Smith explains. The handmade bars are known for their beautiful designs, memorable scents and their luscious lather that leaves your skin feeling conditioned. “When people see my bars, I want them to know it’s from the Grove Soap Co.” 

While Smith is most proud of the beautiful quality product she’s created, it’s her customers' testimonials that she finds the most rewarding. “I don’t make anything that’s a treatment for a specific condition but customers will tell me that it’s improved their skin, or their quality of life, or it looks good and smells good. Knowing that the whole experience is appreciated by someone is super rewarding for me.” 

Today, The Grove Soap Co stocks body, hand and facial bars, which can be purchased through Instagram, Facebook, or locally at Great Lakes Refill. Smith is continuing to develop new recipes, challenges herself with new techniques and keeps her focus on creating a quality product that people love enough to recommend to a friend. “I want people to enjoy it as much as I do. It’s everything I love in one little nice-smelling package.”