Storefront Stories: Supple Sirens Bath & Body
Storefront Stories: Supple Sirens Bath & Body
Storefront Stories: Supple Sirens Bath & Body - Celebrating Women's History Month Spotlights
In honor of Women's History Month, we’re spotlighting #ACKChamber Women Owned Businesses! We asked Shantaw & Bianca of Supple Sirens Bath & Body a few questions, here are their answers!
Q. How long have you been in business? Tell us about your business/products.
A. Supple Sirens Bath & Body is in its third year of business, but we have been making our own bath and body products for over 20 years. Shantaw grew up making her own butter, soaps and salves with her grandmother. They only used the organic ingredients that grew in their gardens and were sold by their neighbors at her home in Jamaica. While Bianca learned soap making and the importance of using natural and organic products on your skin from her Big Sister, Olivia.
Supple Sirens is a small-bath bath & body company that uses responsibly sourced natural and organic ingredients to create beautiful, bright and fragrant products. Our mission is to show that natural does not mean less effective and that you can be a part of the beauty industry and still offer low-waste, sustainable products. Our packaging is eco-friendly and our ingredients have no harsh chemicals, phthalates or parabens.
Q. How has 2020 challenged you as a businesswoman, if at all?
A. 2020 forced us to really take into consideration the word of 2020: pivoting. We only use naturally processed, organic ingredients in our products and in a world on lockdown, it was borderline impossible sourcing those ingredients. So in a year when we had big plans of expanding our offerings, we had to scale back based on lack of access to quality ingredients. Fortunately, we were able to “pivot” and revamp our supply chain and come back stronger than we ever imagined.
Q. To What Do you Attribute Your Success?
A. We’re not sure we’ve actually reached success or even when/how to begin measuring it. But we suppose we’ve made it this far because of our hard work, drive and friendship, which is a strong foundation of trust and understanding. Supple Sirens was a pipe dream formulated by two best friends in college. We always knew that we had a gem in our business and it's been amazing sharing it with everyone, and watching our business grow and evolve.
Q. What tips or advice do you have for other women wanting to start their own business?
A. The old joke goes, “How do you get into Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!” Tips for other women looking to start their business? Prepare, prepare, prepare! Take the time you need to perfect your craft or see your vision come to life. Do your research. Be prepared to work overtime, it's worth it when it's your future you’re working towards. Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Whether it be your friend helping to set up your new shop or running design ideas by your mom, chances are there is someone in your life who wants to see you succeed and would happily lend a hand.
Q. What mantra do you live by?
A. Bianca’s mantra is the serenity prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”A. Shantaw’s mantra is “forget the day’s troubles, remember the day’s blessings.”
Q. How do you balance owning a business and your personal life?
A. This is a sticky subject because we are best friends and have so much fun together regardless of what we are doing. The Siren’s Cove where we make all of our products is a room in Shantaw’s house that we converted into our workspace so our personal lives and business lives are very much intertwined. At any given moment Shantaw’s son (Bianca’s Godson) will burst into the room and want to read a book or Bianca’s partner will stop by for dinner after we’re done working for the day. There is a certain ease and comfort in our business when it comes to balance because we love each other so much that we are always ready to remind each other to breathe and take a break when necessary.
Q. Who is the most influential woman in your life and why?
A. (Bianca): Stacey Abrams. She is influential in her ability to bring people together, her tremendous effort in mobilizing Georgia for the election, and her overall willingness to fight the people’s fight, despite all of her doubters
A. (Shantaw): My mother, Maggie. She was a single, homeless, teen mom in the slums of Jamaica who had to overcome so much to give me the life that I have today. When the world gave up on her and dubbed her a statistic, she proved them wrong. She has shattered glass ceilings, kicked down doors and brought her own tables to the room when told that there were no seats. She is my hero and my best friend. Even though I am technically an only child, I have always had to share my mother with others. She is everybody’s mum and the first person so many people call when they need advice, encouragement or simply to share some good news.
Q. Why do you think it's important to support other women?
A. Oh goodness it is so important to support other female businesses because though women have come so far, we have so much further to go. We see a few glass ceilings that still need to be cracked and we are confident that together, we will smash them. When we first started our business some of our greatest supporters were women. They offered great business advice, invited us to do pop-ups in their stores, carried our stuff on consignment, you name it. We are stronger and better in 2021 because of the women who supported us and we want to be that kind of support for another woman.
Q. What can we expect next from you?
A. We are incredibly excited for what is in store for Supple Sirens Bath & Body. We are growing our website and wholesale clientele. We also have quite a few new products that we will be releasing in Spring/Summer so follow us on Instagram and Facebook @supplesirens to be in the know!
Photo Credit: Top Left: Charity Grace Photography. Top Right: Shantaw Bloise-Murphy. Bottom Left & Bottom Right: Ry Murphy