Oakland, CA - Vincent doesn’t believe that people should wash off smells like gunpowder, whiskey, or campfire. Instead, she wants people to wash them on. “Keeping a connection with these things, even as you go about your daily life, washes boring feelings right down the drain and replaces them with awesome, victorious, and amazing inspiration,” she says.
She should know. Until April, Vincent worked in entertainment companies as a web Product Manager. She wore skirts and pantyhose to work, sitting in conference rooms with upper management executives. But she lived a double life of sorts, going out camping, shooting guns, drinking whiskey, and carousing with friends -- most of whom didn’t have jobs like hers. “Remembering how I felt on the weekends kept me going through the week. One weekend, I bought a bar of soap from a farm store. I sniffed that bar of soap every day for months, never daring to use it because I didn’t want it to go away. That bar of soap kept me sane.”
One day, she had a realization: the bar only had seven ingredients. The bar smelled sweet and rural, like the farm store. But what if she could make a soap that smelled like her memories and the memories of her friends? Soap that smelled like wild weekends and good friends, like taking a shower in the warm desert air, like washing in a stream in the mountains, like that woody bar in a little town outside of Grass Valley where she learned to play pool and drink whiskey straight. And with these soaps, she could go back to those moments every morning before things got chaotic with back-to-back meetings and a mile long backlog of emails.
She is not alone. Within a week of her launch on March 15, 2013, most of her soaps had sold out. Two weeks later and one week before she left her job, she got a huge order for shaving kits that smelled like leather, whiskey, and bacon from Fab.com, a notoriously chic design company. Oprah.com recommended the Whiskey Shaving kits up as their #1 Father’s Day gift choice. Urban Daddy recently wrote “If you could somehow fuse the general feel of colonial America with the general mad genius soap-mastery of Tyler Durden from Fight Club, you’d get... something really weird. Like these soaps. Which, by personal hygiene fragrance standards, are a little weird. Good weird.”
“We’re trying to keep up with demand. When people hear of what we’re doing, either they go ballistic and want to buy everything or they shrug. I’ve found that the people who want to buy everything are people just like me, and the people who shrug, well, they remind me of old me,” Vincent laughs. “My customers are amazing, sending me photos of Vikings riding unicorns over the moon and stuff. I think I get as much from them as they get from me. We inspire each other!”
Since launch, Outlaw Soaps has doubled their soap offering and has started sending out lotion samples. They even designed a cup and soap holder for the shower... you know, for coffee. Or beer. Or whiskey. “It’s a balance between keeping the products people love, like ‘Fire in the Hole’ campfire soap or ‘Orange Grove’ orange and grass soap, and inventing new things. I’m an inventor, but I still have a responsibility to my friends and customers. When I run out of bacon soap, I’m in big trouble.”
Bacon soap? Campfire soap? Orange soap? It’s certainly not your average soap. But it’s not the soap for average people.
About Outlaw Soaps
Outlaw Soaps can change the experience of showering into a night on the trail, a roll in the grass, a night out with friends, or a day in the breezes of Joshua Tree. It’s not just about smelling “pretty.” Some of the best smells aren’t “pretty,” but they are better than pretty… they’re real.
Founded on January 3, 2013 and launched on March 15, 2013, Outlaw Soaps is based in Oakland and made by hand by husband and wife team Russ and Danielle Vincent. The soaps are available for sale online at http://www.outlawsoaps.com
Outlaw Soaps’ ecological footprint is very small, using only biodegradable packaging and reusable mixing containers. No animals were harmed in the manufacture or testing of the soaps.