Rubber Ducky Soap Co.
Owner: Kelly Smith
Location: San Rafael, CA
Medium: Bath & Body Products
How would you best describe your work?
Hand made soap and skin care products. We use fresh, natural, local ingredients to create our skin loving soaps, lotions, lip balms and scrubs.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by people. I love hearing what people want. Nature is another huge inspiration for me. It’s always evolving. I love that. Yesterday I was picking flowers in the forest to put into soap. The irony is that the flowers make soap on their own. You just crush them under water and rub them on your skin and you have soap. The plant is called Ceanothus. It’s everywhere in springtime.
I grew up with an artistic family. My dad is an oil painter, my mom is a jewelry maker and my brother is a musician. I’m a little more math oriented so making soap and lotions are perfect for me. It’s a creative use of chemistry.
When and why did you start selling your work?
Someone gave me a bar of soap they had made when I was in my early twenties. After using the soap, I was curious about making soap because the soap was so emollient and bubbly. It took me a year of experimenting until I had “the” bar of soap I had wanted. At that point I was hooked. I sold soap at a local craft fair in my little home town of Inverness, CA and sold out! It was very encouraging.
What is a favorite piece of art you’ve created that you just can’t bear to part with?
I make a lotion called Desire. It’s about wishing. I make it with Litsea Cubeba, Ylang Ylang & Bergamot essential oils. It’s sweet and floral but light. My lotion batches are small runs so when I make a batch I keep a 3rd of it for me. It’s the one product that I give myself first, everything else is being made for my customers and usually everything I make is already spoken for. So, it’s nice to treat myself.
This is a difficult one to answer. I love visuals but I do love David Wong’s art. You can see his art at www.davidcwongart.com. He is created my logo but I love his monkeys and bunnies that he paints.
Tell us some other important things about you or your work:
I love that my products are used and enjoyed all across the world. It’s really exciting and validating to receive emails requesting more product or special orders.