I did a post a couple of weeks ago about how the best things in life are worth waiting for - this is a perfect example.
Seth Godin loves to remind his tribe that there is a crucial difference between the urgent and the important. One of the biggest mistakes we make as innovators, entrepreneurs, artists and human beings is confusing the two. You end up feeling like on a hamster on a wheel, running and running but never seeming to make progress.
When I was first put in contact with Melanie Haskell, I was on the wheel. A fan of Butterfly Effect from the other side of the country reached out and connected me with MOKSA organics, and I knew within 3 minutes on their self-built website that I would love them. They also turned out to be practically in my backyard, just a couple of hours north in Orlando, FL.
But in my state of letting the urgent dominate, I kept pushing my article about MOKSA back. Then, last week in a moment of clarity I knew why I had been putting it off. I didn’t just want to share all the reasons I love MOKSA (there are many) and point out that more entrepreneurs and green businesses should look to what Melanie and Haskell have created as a prime example of how to do it right.
I had questions for her about what she’d done and how she did it, with admiration and a bit of awe. Melanie is walking the walk, with grace and a little je ne se quoi that makes me want to follow her wherever she’s going. I knew it was time to write.
What was intended to be a review of an awesome soap, became an interview and a lesson for me about what’s really important, in my business and my life. It’s just one more way Melanie and MOKSA are giving back.
1. MOKSA means “liberation of the soul.” Tell us more about that?
The word “moksa” has a deep rooted meaning that’s been around for thousands of years. Personally, I feel there’s a strong correlation between personal “liberation” and personal growth. Eventually, with change and growth, one can find liberation! For me, it’s quite simple. My work with mōksa challenges me every day to become a better person for my family, my friends, those I admire, and for our Mother Earth.
2. What’s your favorite part of owning MOKSA?
Creating! We’re always creating morning noon and night, not only creating our products, but creating solutions for much needed growth and change towards alternative solutions for sustainable living. I love creating relationships. I love finding creative ways to give to those organizations that we love and believe in. I’ve always said from the beginning that we were going to be much more than soap. Soap allows us to do what we really love.
3. What’s your favorite scent?
Oh wow, that’s a tough one! I created all of them, so of course I love them all. If I had to choose one personally, it’s Abbey Road. It’s a little bit of bliss I can use all year ’round. It’s got enough citrus and orange for spring and summer, yet the spiced suds of clove, vanilla and warm tea blends are a perfect friend to accompany the autumn and winter months. It happens to be our top seller and probably always will be.
8. Did you have an “aha!” moment about starting MOKSA?
What a neat question. I rarely get asked this! It’s hard to explain, but it was a moment in time where everything made sense. A moment of clarity. I spent 9 years as a broker in corporate world working with people, as well as managing a company that I started with a partner. In my heart, I knew there was something else in store for me.
My passion was local community and environmental work. It just so happened that Haskell and I discovered that we really liked making soap. The light bulb went off and I sold my corporate office. Haskell and I went to work with creating our company. We made a commitment to really be together, live up to our convictions, and spend as many moments as we could together in this lifetime along with our soon to be family.
With Haskell’s construction and production background, and my skills combined, our soap making began evolving. We started making LOTS of it! We knew we hit the nail on the head, especially when sales started rising faster than we could produce. Sales aside, we both work 70 hour work weeks, but it doesn’t feel like work because we love what we do. We’re able to raise our 15 month old daughter together as we work and grow our company. Fortunately, she’s with us both every minute of the day and she is a big part of mōksa.
5. What do you want everyone to know about MOKSA?
What we wish more people knew about mōksa? Quite literally, we wish more people knew about moksa! The more people that know about us, the more we can grow. The more we grow, the more we can give to the organizations we love that specialize in land acquisition for conservation, habitat preservation, sustainable living practices, endangered species protection and education! Most people don’t know that the cost to plant a native tree is only about 10 cents. Through our partnership with “Trees for the Future”, every mōksa product sold means a tree will be planted. With the help of our customers, we plan to plant thousands of trees!
6. Your soap is relatively soft (the curing process?), but seems to last a long time. What can you tell us about that?
Our soaps are soft, creamy and lather really well. It’s a combination of the plant oils we use, as well as the method that we cook our soap. Even though it’s a cold process soap making method, we’ve discovered neat tricks that create subtle differences. Most other bar soaps use between 1-3 carrier oils such as palm, coconut, etc. We use 7 different plant oils, each with different fatty acid properties and healing properties for the skin, as well as 3-4 different essential oils in each bar soap. Every time you use our bar soap, you’re putting 10 different plant oils on your skin! We spared no expense with our formula.
7. How long should a bar last?
If you use it vigorously, 4-6 weeks. For others, it lasts even longer.
After nearly three years managing a bath and beauty boutique, Shayna decided to open Butterfly Effect, a holistic, eco-conscious beauty boutique located in Sarasota, Florida. Our very own “Beauty Chick”, read Shayna’s other intriguing articles and product reviews here.