By Tracey Porpora Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Ava Taurozzi launched a soap making business after she came up with a solution to help her daughter Mabel's dry skin. Now she likes to include her 3-year-old in her daily soap making activities. In fact, she regularly posts to her blog about her workday with her daughter.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.
Stay-at-home mom Ava Taurozzi, 31, was trying to figure out what to do about her daughter's dry skin. She tried everything: oils, creams and expensive soaps. But nothing seemed to help.
"I Googled how to make an all coconut oil bar and I ended up making my first batch of soap in a crock pot. It worked so well, I kept making more," she said.
Before she knew it, she had become "addicted" to soap-making and trying new recipes.
"My friends started coming over every month just to get soap. A couple of close friends of mine [said their] skin started clearing up drastically. Once I realized it was helping people's skin, I decided to start a soap company," said Taurozzi.
That's when she formed Ava Quinn's soap company, which uses handmade, plant-based ingredients -- including juices and vegetables -- to create a wide array of unique soaps, from happy mom lotion bars and rose body butter, to rainbow and character-shaped "felted" soap.
"I keep everything plant-based. I mostly use coconut oil, olive oil, Shea butter, and soybean oil. These, along with other oils I use, help make my soaps moisturizing. Some customers don't even use much lotions on their bodies anymore," she said.
INCLUDING MABEL As a stay-at-home mom, Taurozzi likes to include her 3-year-old daughter Mabel in her daily soap making activities. In fact, she's proud of the way she has balanced motherhood and being a start-up entrepreneur.
"I include my daughter into my business during the day, and make products at night while she sleeps. I am going all day, every day, and I'm thankful I can be home with her. My 3-year-old helps me cut soap, prepare and organize wool, and juice vegetables for soap-making. She makes her own to juices too," said Taurozzi.
The business owner regularly posts to her blog about her work day with Mabel. One recent post says: "Avocados are a must-have in this household. Who doesn't love avocados? We just cut them open and eat straight out of the avocado skin...Mabel likes it best this way, so do I."
SECRETS OF SOAP-MAKING Taurozzi said she uses the cold process method to create soaps that are gentle on the skin.
"I melt down all my oils at a specific time, and I add in my sodium hydroxide solution. Lye is used in making all soaps. The process of changing oils into soap is called saponification, all of the lye is used up in the finished product. Once the saponification process is happening, I add in my extra ingredients, like essential oils, clays, herbs -- whatever I think will benefit the skin," she said.
While she doesn't have a brick-and-mortar location, she has created a niche business selling her soaps since May 2017 on her website and at Staten Island shops, including Duzer's Local Cafe and Market.