Your Hobby Can Earn You Money- The Story of Sunnybrook Artisan Products



· 7 min read

The Journey To Becoming Sunnybrook

Rebecca packed her suitcase, flew across oceans, and fell in love with our little Belize.

She was new to the language, culture, and people. What started as a trip of a lifetime ended up being "the trip of a lifetime."

But while she was in a new place, one thing remained the same.

She was suffering from the eye puffiness and skin irritations she had been subjected to from such a young age. Nothing that she tried seemed to bring her any relief.

Everyone recommended she use aloe vera on her skin. Although she was doubtful, the results would soon speak for themselves.

The allergies started to disappear. The fleeting skin condition brought new confidence.

Life was happy in Belize. She worked on her farm and took care of her children.

In 2010 she began taking soap-making classes. She remembers being interested in natural skincare from a very young age. Her experience with the aloe vera plant had cemented the idea that 'natural' was the way to go.

She never gave up the work she did on the farm. Making soaps was just a hobby. Something she loved to do. Something she found peace and joy in. It was also a way to help those in her circle with the skin conditions they were dealing with.

She would make small batches and sell them.

In 2018 she began selling her farm products at the Blue Moon Farmers Market every Friday. Those who knew of her soaps began asking for them. At this time, she was only making them as a hobby, and was not trying to sell them to others.

However, they believed in the quality and uniqueness of her products and were sure that others would see them too. Rebecca, still unsure that this was true, was reluctant to take her soaps to the market.

Instead, she tried her best to stick to fruits and farm products.

Her circle of customers wouldn't have it. They kept insisting until she finally gave in. She started with two types of soaps, which were as much variety as she had in store at that time.

Market Opportunities

While selling at the market, she encountered people she never dreamed of meeting. When dealing with customers, she came across owners of large hotels and resorts in Belize.

Her courtesy and passion for what she was selling translated into large orders from these businesses.

When the market closed four years later, she had an established reputation and a thriving customer base.

Covid Lessons

Like most businesses that were functioning pre-covid, Sunny Brooks soap took a big hit. During the first few weeks of the lockdown, she saw daily cancellations of orders.

Looking back, Rebecca realizes the toll this had on her mental health as a small business owner.

Today, she can see how much it has helped her grow. She came out of it with a strong customer base and more confidence in her products.

This experience reminded her that when one door closes, it creates an opportunity for new doors to open.

Sunnybrook Artisan Products Today

Today Rebecca makes over 30 different types of soaps. She carefully researches natural healing remedies and incorporates them into her soaps. Yet, she is adamant about encouraging people to try different soaps to find what works best for them.

You can find her at markets and pop-up shops with a basket of testers. She is always encouraging potential customers to try and test before they buy.

Pricing Problems and Lessons Learned

When Rebecca had just transitioned from a hobby to a business, pricing was a big issue. She loved what she was doing but didn't know how to price fairly for her customers and her business.

Often, this resulted in her soap bars being priced way too cheap. She cared about making natural soaps available to everyone, so she didn't care.

With the help of her loved ones and the growth that goes into being an entrepreneur, she has gotten better at pricing her products.

The support from her customers who value her products has shown her the value she brings.

Although she is often willing to give a lot of her soaps away, those who value her products always want to pay for them.

Transformation into a Seasoned Entrepreneur

Like most business owners, the growth of her business has also given rise to Rebecca- The Entrepreneur.

When speaking to her she remembered her first instances of engaging with customers. She remembers the shiver that ran down her entire body as her hands trembled when she had to be courageous enough to speak to her first customers.

The journey that her business has taken her on has given rise to a confident Rebecca.

This journey has helped her to believe in herself as a mom, a wife, and a business owner. She has accomplished things that she never thought she would be able to do in a million years.

Advice to Entrepreneurs

In Rebecca's words:

If you are thinking of starting a business- just start. Do it even if you feel like you are not ready. Don't be afraid to start with what you have.

This journey is going to teach you a lot of things. If you don't get started on it now because you are waiting for the right time or to be ready, that day may never come.

When I started, I didn’t have access to a lot of capital. I didn’t have a lot of cash or made any big loans. Instead, I focused on making small batches of soaps. I sold them and re-invested the money.

This allowed me to start growing. Eventually I needed my first tent, and did my first loan to buy it. But because I already knew how reinvesting into my business worked, I paid off that loan after just a few market days.

Love for our Furry Friends

Rebecca loves animals. She grew up seeing her grandmother surrounded by and feeding strays every chance she got.

Today Rebecca makes soap to help rid dogs of fleas and ticks. It works wonders for the dogs around.

She donates boxes of these bars to stray shelters across Belize and needs your help to get them to pet shelters.

If you have a shelter or know someone who does, reach out to her on her Facebook or Instagram Accounts. She is looking for ways to help care for more stray dogs.

The challenge:

Reach out to Rebecca and share a contact for a shelter that would benefit from her soaps.

Follow her social profiles and remember to reach out to her if you are looking to buy all natural hand made soaps.

Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about all things GiggedBz

* indicates required

About GiggedBz

Being an entrepreneur or managing a household can be very stressful. Somedays you really just need some help. And I'm sure we can agree that good help is hard to find. This is why we made, Gigged.bz.

Copyright © 2024 GiggedBz. All rights reserved.