Stephen created VOID Soap LLC to fulfill a need: organic, eco-friendly soap without harsh dyes and fragrances.
C: So how did VOID Soap come to be?
S: I worked for a cosmetic company. I was a cosmetic chemist for a number of years working for HSN and QVC. We made copycat formulas for everybody, so I know how products are made, and I saw all the unnecessary chemicals being used. So, I started making the products I liked, with out the stuff that wasn’t good.
Fun Fact: It takes four months for a bar to cure
C: So, was your frustration with the unnecessary ingredients for fragrance and color the driving force behind Void Soap?
S: Yes. It was created by necessity. I have sensitive skin, and my 2.5-year-old has very sensitive skin, who gets eczema bakeouts with a lot of the products on the market. I’ve been making soap for several years for family and friends, but just recently turned it into an LLC.
C: What made you turn VOID into an LLC?
S: I saw an opportunity when covid hit. I know ecommerce went up like crazy so I thought I would hop on that wagon.
C: That is great that you’re providing a solution for people in need. Is Void your main focus right now?
S: I actually have a day job, working in the analytical chemistry field. I do this after I come home, after I pick my son up, after I give him dinner, then play with him, and put him to sleep, that’s when VOID Soap begins.
C: How do you see yourself growing?
S: I do plan on increasing the brand a little bit. I’m increasing my batches. I just hit up and did a phone interview with someone out in California, they are a contract manufacturing laboratory, and we are currently working with formulation.
Fun Fact: Stephen is currently working on a side project with a partner, so stay tuned for more info on that.
C: There’s a lot of competition out there. What makes Void special or different?
S: I kind of hit that little niche where I’m organic, I’m plastic free, I’m palm free, I’m fragrance free, so that combination levels it out to maybe three other companies, that are direct competition. But, going palm free is becoming much more popular, and I am proudly palm free.
C: Can you explain “palm free” to me?
S: Palm products like sodium palmitate and palm oil. It’s a very efficient crop to have, and when places outside of the US like Indonesia do their farming, even if it is “sustainable palm,” it’s not really a thing, there’s no way to do your due diligence across the world. It’s been known for quite some time that it is a massive defroster of the rainforest and unfortunately has led to the murder of indigenous people.
C: So, using palm isn’t unhealthy, but it is an ethical issue.
S: That’s correct, there’s nothing chemically wrong with the palm product. It’s actually a good product and a great crop. It’s just so popular that farmers expand to keep up demand, and it’s often unregulated. They cut down tens of thousands of acres to do so.
For more information on palm products palm production click here.
S: Fragrance is another big thing. 90% of the world only cares about what it smells like, or what it leaves your skin feeling like, not necessarily the ingredients. So, I try to make that possible with the least amount of ingredients possible. Hence “Void” soap, void of all the bad stuff.
C: So how do you get the fragrance without the chemicals?
S: The scents come from essential oils, and they are organic
Fun fact: If you see a natural fragrance on your ingredient list, it is usually made up on several chemicals, some banned in the UK.
S: The Reading Eagle did a number on me and there were a couple of other articles that went all the way down to Philadelphia, which I didn’t expect, and that’s pretty much what put me under water.
C: A good problem to have!
S: It’s been great, but it takes four weeks for a bar to cure cold process wise, and it is tricky when you have to give customers the bad news that their process is delayed.
Read Berks County Retailer Fills A Skincare Need By, Donna Rovins.
More Fun Facts:
After the articles, Stephen was buried. He sold close to 500 bars in three and a half hours
Stephen’s wife is 50% owner, helps with branding the soap, packaging, ordering ingredients, negotiating prices for organic oils, and more.
A custom machine stamps the logo onto the bars, and gives them their unique shape.
VOID Soap is unisex. 80% of his customers are women.
The fragrance in soap reenergizes with every use as you melt away the exposed layer under water.