Since 2014, Tina Ames has created her skin care line, Sweet Home Bath and Body, right here in Plano. Tina’s passion is handcrafting all natural products without the use of harmful, harsh chemicals. She talked to us about the challenges and rewards of owning a small business.
Tina, why did you start Sweet Home Bath and Body?
I started making soap as a hobby. I began getting requests from friends for gifts for their friends and family. I loved it! I loved making up my own recipes, seeing what worked and what didn’t. I love the science behind it all. I knew I wanted to be home with my kids, but I never thought of doing this as a business. After much prayer and hard work, I left my corporate job of 15 years to work harder than I ever have, and I don’t regret one moment.
What products do you create?
I make cold-processed soap (from scratch), a complete line of natural facial care products, lip balms, scrubs, solid perfume, bath bombs and do-it-yourself bath bomb kits (so that others can enjoy the art of making them). All of the products are paraben free, phthalate free and sulfate free!
What makes your products better than some commercial alternatives?
Sweet Home is all about basic body care – no overpriced, unrecognizable ingredients. We keep things as simple and natural as possible. We source sustainable ingredients, locally when possible, and use clays and botanicals as opposed to dyes.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love everything about it, but what gives me the most joy is the hearing sweet words from customers. It’s encouraging to hear how my products make a difference or bring happiness to others.
What are your goals for the future of Sweet Home Bath and Body?
We are working hard on gaining more wholesale accounts and getting our products on new shelves. We hope to have our own brick-and-mortar (hopefully in Downtown Plano) in the near future.
What are some of the challenges to running a small business?
Looking back, I would stress over branding and making things look perfect. But now, I love the quirkiness of our handmade look and embrace the homemade charm.
Scaling up can also be a huge challenge for me. As a creative, I have tons of ideas and often want to make many different products. Although they may seem like a great idea in the moment, it may not be the best overall direction for the company.
Another current challenge is keeping up with growth. Although this is a good challenge to have, we are and have always been committed to maintaining quality with no shortcuts or sacrifices.
What are you most proud of about your company?
I’m most proud of turning a dream into a reality. I want my kids to know they’re never too young – or too old – to make things happen. Never stop learning or dreaming. Hard work, failing and praying are all part of the journey.
Any advice to other small business owners?
Expect to work hard. When the going gets tough, don’t give up. Surround yourself with honest friends. Last but not least, use resources offered in the community. When I was first thinking of starting a business, it was a bit overwhelming, and I didn’t know where to begin. We have some great resources in Plano, such as the Collin SBDC (Small Business Development Center). Take advantage of them. The investment you make in the beginning will only make the road easier to travel.
Sweet Home Bath and Body products can be purchased online, at retail partners and at pop-up shops in D/FW. Visit the website to learn more.Sweet Home Bath and Body Website >