A year of historic significance for the world was also a year of awakening for me. Having joined the military to escape a troubled childhood, I entered young adulthood unsure of who I was or how to find my purpose. During my service, I came to realize that while I wholeheartedly believe in fighting for what's right, the military isn't the way to do so. As I decided to leave the Navy as a conscientious objector, my newfound passions for both soapmaking and sustainability became the purpose I'd been seeking.
After launching one of the first zero waste shops on Etsy, business grew quickly. Within 6 months, I was packaging my first wholesale order of 650 bars of soap in my apartment late at night while still on active-duty in the Navy.
Finally free to create my own path, I set off to fulfill a dream of roadtripping cross-country, bringing my business on the road with me. It was an incredible year of exploring national parks, visiting zero waste stores, and cooking soap down by the river. When I couldn't keep up with business alone in my van any longer, I established a small manufacturing shop in South Dakota.
Along with a chart-topping podcast about sustainable living, I hosted a series of zero waste workshops across the country, then returned to South Dakota to open the first refill store in the state (Hippie Haven, for those of you who remember!)
Along with so many other small businesses, the pandemic damaged our supply chain and forever changed the world we live in, but thanks to the support of our fantastic customers and a grant from Stacy's Rise Project, we managed to stay afloat and continue our community work.
We welcomed the new year with high hopes and open arms. While the move to our first warehouse was cause for celebration, the year didn't go the way we all hoped it would. But despite experiencing tragedy and turmoil in my personal life, Bestowed expanded its wholesale operations, getting our products into more than 100 stores across the country.
Feeling burnt-out and realizing life was dragging me down a path I wasn't happy on, I took a step back to re-align with my values. I minimized every aspect of my life, including closing my store, as well as beginning an overhaul of Bestowed to bring it back to the basics. We're currently refining our product line, redesigning our branding, and paving a new path for 2023!
ethically handmade in the US
we are forever committed to using our business as a force for good.