I just returned from Boulder, Colorado where I had the pleasure of interviewing and being inspired by Joshua Onysko, founder of Pangea Organics - the largest handmade cold process soapmaking manufacturer in the U.S. In case you don't already know, Pangea is not your average soapmaking company. It's the leading manufacturer of organic, sustainable, handcrafted and cruelty-free skincare.
What I found most impressive about Joshua (besides being incredibly gracious and having lived in my hometown of Jackson Hole, Wyoming), is what's inside his heart and soul and how he transfers this gift to his company. For example, Pangea Organics gives 5% of its profits to Women for Women International, a program founded to micro-finance women-owned cooperatives in developing countries who are producing ingredients that he uses in his company's products.
By the way, Joshua founded Pangea in 2000 when he was 23. Although it took the first five years to reach profitability, from 2005 to 2010, Pangea will have grown from almost $0 in sales to over $10 million. He is candid in this interview about the low margins on his soaps, especially with sustainable and organic ingredients, marketing and the company's overhead.
In this 20-minute interview (this is part one of two) I ask Joshua questions on how to be a successful bath and body entrepreneur. He also shares insights into Pangea. I hope you find him as engaging and facinating as I do. Check back on Friday, February 26 for Part Two of the interview!