Desiree Marsau of Marsau Botanicals
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest & was constantly surrounded by dramatic, natural beauty. When I transitioned into my adult life I moved to the city. I surrounded myself with artists and musicians, soaking up as much culture as I could. I was always such a sponge for beauty. I longed to make art, to add my own contribution to the ether, but I was so intimidated. I didn’t have any direction, any medium, any clue. I sold vintage clothing for 19 years from Portland, OR to Brooklyn, to Philly. I loved it but I never felt like I was good at making it a creative endeavor. It wasn’t until I taught myself how to make soap a few years ago that it all just came pouring out of me. My partner and I moved to a small town in Delaware recently and the return to the slow life really fuels my creativity. It’s a strange medium for art, but the possibilities with soap making are endless and I just love it.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I make small batch, art focused soap from natural ingredients with a lot of luxury additives that are beneficial to skin health. My designs are inspired by natural beauty like stone, landscapes, and water. I use plant and earth based colorants such as clays, minerals, and ground up plant materials, some of which I grow or forgage myself. I’m currently working on making process videos for Patreon and YouTube. I’ve discovered that I love teaching how to make soap and sharing techniques.
WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART?
Finding time to just create. Between social media, technical stuff like website maintenance, paperwork, shipping, accounting, and trying to sell enough vintage clothing to keep my little soap business going it becomes very difficult to keep following the creative thread that began it all.
WHAT ARE YOU GOALS?
Honestly, I’m still bringing them into focus. I became a resident at NextFab in order to take the business part of my soap making more seriously and that’s going well. I think adding new products, wholesaling, & online teaching are my main goals to hit for 2020. My lifetime goal for Marsau Botanicals is to always stay creative. I never want to feel stuck in that way again.