Hi everybody. I’m not a doctor, nor am I named Nik—although we do have one of those floating about. Where was I… right… so as you may have read in on our blog, life is not normal right now, even for remote teams. But that’s not what I want to focus on today. Today I want to start focusing on our customers and how they are getting along in their work. And maybe, with this platform, help amp up your side gig or find ways to keep your brick and mortar store as part of the community you’re in.
For the first of these I thought, why not start with a soap company, given how much I’m washing my hands these days. So without further ado, let’s chat with Shea Hogan of Pocosoap.co
Ley: Hi Shea, how are you?
Shea: All things considered, I’m doing okay right now.
Ley: Tell me a bit about what you do?
Shea: A few years ago I noticed that finding soap with high-quality ingredients and minimal, ecologically friendly labelling was hard to come by. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and like making things, so I thought that my bartending background—creating cocktails and such—would lend itself well to becoming a soaper.
Ley: And how’s it going?
Shea: I started with farmer’s markets in and around Vancouver, and now have some stores around town stocking my soaps. Luckily (finally), about a year before this all happened I opened up my Shopify store, and that’s been a lifesaver.
Ley: I’m guessing COVID-19 really changed up your work day.
Shea: I do work alone, so making the soap hasn’t changed that much. But yes, all the farmer’s markets are closed, as are many of the stores that carried my soap. Aside from offering free, contactless delivery around the metro Vancouver area on small orders, most of my business is online now. The post office definitely has a gotcha though.
Ley: Which is?
Shea: My labelling is compostable by design. The problem is that after you begin to use it, the copy on the label starts to rub off, and the label’s where I put my website. For established brands, Google is usually good enough to find anything, but because my online shop is a little new, I don’t always float to the top of generic search result. And Facebook is even worse.
Ley: Is this what brought you to iwantmyname?
Shea: About, let’s say about half a year ago, a customer at a market said that my website was down. I quickly checked my phone and it definitely was up, but it turns out they were trying pocosoap.com, which I didn’t own at the time. So I looked around online and saw that you offered quite a few different types of domains [TLDs], and you have pretty good guides on how to both hook them up to Shopify or do web forwarding directly on your site.
Ley: For vanity reasons, how do you like iwantmyname?
Shea: I like it quite a bit. Support gets back to things fairly quickly and actually responds comprehensibly; better than my [redacted ISP]. And the thing I like is that I don’t really have to think about it that much unless I decide to move my shop which I haven’t yet. No muss, no fuss.
Ley: With my own vanity out of the way, do you have any advice for those in quarantine or self isolation?
Shea: Start a new routine and try to stick to it. I’m social distancing right now, so every morning I walk to my shop, which is closed to the public, to make soap instead of taking mass transit. And I also make sure to schedule in some fun time—even it’s just video games or movies. I know it’s a little weird to schedule a break, but I found that I was just working all the time to avoid what was going on outside, and… well… we all saw how The Shining worked out.
Ley: Yeah, I have to do that as well honestly. Bonus question: which is your favourite soap.
Shea: I don’t have a favourite per se, but I do like both Serenity Now and Man Hands (I’m a bit of Seinfeld fan). Serenity Now has a nice calming smell, which we all could use a bit of now, and Man Hands is really good for scrubbing off stuff. It’s conceptually based on this mechanics soap I used to use, but is far healthier for your skin.
Ley: Neat. Thanks for taking the time.
Shea: That’s one thing I have a lot of right now!
Well that’s all she wrote, folks. I hope some of this was interesting, and for those out there working on the confusing world of the internet, know that you’re not alone and we are all in this together.
Also, wash your hands.