Starting a business from home can be a daunting task. A startup has to consider overhead and create a product that is in demand.
Now imagine starting this process in your early teens.
This is exactly what Rio Rancho resident Angelic Sedillo went through to begin building her home business, a soap company called Angelic Creations.
Now a college sophomore attending the Anderson School of Business at the University of New Mexico.Angelic has learned how to create and brand her product, with help from her mother and business mentor, Martha.
“I’ve been wanting do this since I was 12, but I couldn’t handle the lye because my parents were afraid it would burn me,” Angelic said. “So I waited a couple of years until an unexpected opportunity pushed me into learning my craft.”
Angelic said her father’s friend had a bunch of lye he didn’t know what to do with, so he gave it to her, thus thrusting her into the experimenting phase of trying to create soap.
“You can’t just go down to a regular store and buy everything you need to make soap,” Angelic said. “You kind of have to do some searching…you have to buy special cosmetic-grade items. You can’t just go down to Michaels or Hobby Lobby.”
Angelic said her first batch of soap took her nearly three hours to create, a process she said she has down to 30 minutes now.
“It took some time for me to get used to handling the chemicals and how to mix them,” she said. “After that, things have gotten smoother with practice and time.”
According to Martha, she and Angelic formulated their own recipe by mixing things together through trial and error.
“Most ‘soapers’ start out by using three oils,” Martha said. “After we tried that, then we did more research, because soap-making is a science. You can’t just throw things together because you can cause an explosion.”
Martha said that when the soap is processed, it works almost like a volcano forming from the inside out, basically cooking as it is curing.
“Angelic has her own special formula now; no one else has it,” Martha said. “Most soapers have their own unique recipe. So we have gone through quite a few formulas and finally found the one Angelic wanted.”
Everything had to be considered, from the consistency of the soap to the cleansing properties, bubbles and scent or scents.
“You can only put so much of each item in a batch of soap, so you have to learn to work around those things if you are wanting a specific color and/or scent,” Angelic said.
One example Angelic gave was when she put a bright yellow color in a batch that changed color as soon as she began mixingthe ingredients.
“It turned bright orange, and I was like, ‘Oh, no, what did I do?’” she said. “After 24 hours, that batch went back to its original color, but it kind of freaked me out.”
Going back to Angelic’s past, Martha said her daughter started a business plan at age 12 with a desired product line.
“My mother would take me to craft shows when I was little, and my father runs his own business, so I guess business came to me from both ends of my family,” Angelic said.
In order for Angelic to get started, Martha and her husband allowed their daughter to convert their back sunroom/office into her research and development lab.
“This is the area that my parents have allowed me to use to make my products,” she said. “It takes four to six weeks for soap to cure, so keeping up with inventory is always a challenge.”
She said three types of soap are offered on the market: cold-process, hot-process and melt-and-pour, which is created from already-made soap. Angelic specializes in cold-process soaps, which allows her to mold her product more easily.
Besides soap, Angelic creates her own lotions, and offers men’s shaving products.
To market her product, Angelic began displaying her soaps at local craft shows a few years back.
“I remember my first sale; I was like, ‘Yay, somebody values what I’ve done,’” Angelic said with a smile. “That $5 to me was like a million dollars. I just felt a lot of pride because I put a lot of time into it.”
You can find Angelic Creations at the El Vado Hotel in Albuquerque, in a store called Merc 66; Something Different in Coronado Center; and Hadley’s Tea on Jefferson and Paseo del Norte. For online orders, go to etsy.com/shop/AngelicCreations4U or on Facebook at facebook.com/angeliccreationsnm/.