“A good business,” according to Anne-Marie Faiola, “comes from finding something that works and capitalizing on it.” For Anne-Marie, that something came from making soap, a business concept she started as a hobby and then turned into a multi-million dollar enterprise.
As a teenager, Anne-Marie learned how to be business savvy from her father, a doctor who also ran a network of clinics and who encouraged her to find her own business opportunities. Taking her father’s advice, Anne-Marie started making personalized soaps to sell to friends and family. Years later, after pursuing a career as a correctional officer and about to apply to the FBI, Anne-Marie realized that her true passion was business and decided to become an entrepreneur. Determined to start her own company that would provide the highest quality of products and ingredients for soap making, Anne-Marie left the criminal justice system and founded Bramble Berry Inc. in her living room. Desiring formal business training, she went back to school and received her MBA in 2007 while running her rapidly growing company.
For those looking to expand their skill sets, Anne-Marie launched www.SoapQueen.tv in 2009, a free Do-It-Yourself soapmaking series on YouTube where amateur and seasoned crafters alike can learn all the basics including picking your fragrances, mixing your colors and pouring your soap, all the way to more advanced techniques like swirling, embedding and layering.
With new products and DIY videos added frequently, Bramble Berry looks forward to meeting the needs of crafters for a long time. Look for customized soap mold options to be launched in early 2010.
“Success doesn’t happen over night,” she says. “It’s about replicating small victories everyday.”
And JUST FOR FUN...a few things that make Anne-Marie the HAPPIEST:
A great book – I’ve been enjoying “Olive Kitteredge” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky” lately.
A successful workout – I work out five times per week (on average) and a workout that lasts long enough and is tough enough to get the endorphins flowing makes me happy.
A date night with my husband – My family is the most important thing in my world and my husband is at the top of that pyramid. We’re both self-employed so when we can grab an evening together, it feels like all is right in my world.
A great hike in the PNW – When I go hiking, I always go with one of my girlfriends and between the incredible nature in the Pacific Northwest and the camaraderie of having meaningful connection with a friend is a perfect weekend event.
Inspirational learning – I love to learn new things and reading a great new business book (Linchpin by Seth Godin is making me pretty jazzed right now) or going to a continuing education course (I’m headed to see Jack Canfield in Seattle when he comes) keeps me energized and happy.