By Taylor Boyd
A start-up business that began in 2018 to share the power of all-natural beauty products has grown into an online store.
Beth Hopkins, who owns and operates the Gingerly Snapped Store, said the products she makes also had a powerful impact on her life, and gave her the confidence and happiness she lacked.
“I have very sensitive, acne-prone skin, I have allergies, and I have asthma. So, all these extra chemicals in products, all these extra perfumes, they were making my skin worse, they were causing constant runny noses, and my asthma was terrible. I accepted it as normal,” she said.
That was until Hopkins said she started to learn about more natural products, like vinegar and witch hazel.
“It was a very slow journey, but as I went down the path, my skin, allergies, and asthma started to get better,” she said. Initially, Hopkins started making her own products because she had a hard time finding them at a price that was affordable to her.
“Bigger companies realize they have a market that isn’t really tapped, so they know they can charge more,” she said. “That’s why I started making them was to save myself money. It’s a lot easier to buy the ingredients and make it myself instead of fork out this money” to others.
When her friends and family began asking to buy her extra products, Hopkins said she decided to start selling her own products.
“Then I was approached by some people who did booths, and they said there was a big market for it,” she said, adding she would sell her products at festivals in Floyd and Patrick counties.
“I started my Etsy alongside the booth because I met so many customers from all over,” Hopkins said of the online sales platform that focuses on niche products like handmade or vintage items and craft supplies.
She began the online shop because she wanted her customers “to have a place to go back to, to buy more products because I won’t always be in a booth that they could get to.”
Hopkins was unable to set up at booths during her first pregnancy. Then, the pandemic hit, and she said she was forced to keep her booth shut down.
“I still had all this inventory from before, and I still had the Etsy started. It was kind of a natural step in going full toward Etsy. Because there will be occasionally the opportunity for booths now, but they’re not safe. I can’t bring my kid with me and I’m a high-risk person because I have asthma, so it’s just not an option for me,” she said.
The online alternative has provided Hopkins with the flexibility to work from home.
She began the venture by selling a few different types of soaps, and then added extra products, like sugar scrubs and bath bombs.
“As the interest grew, I realized the major need for these kinds of products. I started doing more research into what people wanted and what people needed, but mostly (focused on) what I would like to see for myself,” she said.
Vegan soaps make up the bulk of her product line, but she said she does have some “lard-based soaps which are extra-moisturizing. All of them have all-natural ingredients, I put a lot of thought into the oils that I’ve selected, into the curing agents, and into the essential oil blends. There’s no perfumes at all, it’s just essential oils. And some of them don’t have essential oils at all for those who are extra sensitive,” she said.
Her most popular items include her lavender and oatmeal soaps and sugar scrubs.
“I’ve got one soap called the Savage Salt Soap that’s made with Hawaiian black lava salt and activated charcoal. It’s got a great sugar and spice scent,” she said.
She recently launched an all-natural face care line that includes “three different kinds of soaps that have no perfumes in them, and they’ve got a shea-butter base, differently kinds of milk or vegan. One has goat milk, and I really pack in clay that is so great for your skin,” she said, adding the line also includes other ingredients to help detoxify a person’s skin.
Hopkins said she has shipped her products across the country, including California and Hawaii.
“I’ve built my social media presence, I’ve worked really hard on that, and I’ve figured out shipping, which was another learning curve,” she said.
Currently, her online venture is “going so smoothly,” she said, and explained the business evolved one step at a time, with troubleshooting as it grew. And just like her switch to natural products, focusing on her online shop was “such a natural progression.”
Her online shop also offers body butters, face butters, beard bombs, shampoo bars, and fizzy bath salts.
For more information visit Facebook.com/GingerlySnapped or https://www.etsy.com/shop/GingerlySnappedStore .