Carolyn & Mike launched the first Provenance Soapworks brick & mortar store from a tiny building on the cobblestone streets of St.Charles, Missouri back in 2010. Before that though, were many years of formulating, travelling, experimenting, & a few business mishaps along the way. Here's the story, in a nutshell...
Carolyn has been making soaps for nearly two decades. As a college student, a chance encounter with a soap recipe found tucked in a magazine set her on a path she didn’t realize she would ever be on. While entrepreneurship was something she had tried her hand at years ago (a lemonade stand in 2nd grade, and making friendship bracelets to sell on the playground at school a few years later), it was never something she had seriously considered when she was deciding on a career path. So when it came time to graduate, she still had absolutely no idea what she wanted to do in life, or if she wanted to actually use the degree she had just spent four years working towards (cue parents freaking out).
So what did she do? She hopped on a plane with just a backpack & some money in her pocket (very little, mind you), then spent six weeks in Europe, exploring cities & countries she had only dreamed of visiting. She criss-crossed her way across the continent & became inspired by the sights & scents she encountered, leading her to daydream that maybe, just maybe, she could have a job that let her travel the world & still have a career that made her happy. At the end of the six weeks, she had an epiphany- life was too short to not take risks, so she decided to try her hand at entrepreneurship & see what happened. When she returned home, she contained making soaps, but decided to make something out of. What followed were years of working a "real" job during the week, with weekends spent selling soap at different markets, & late nights testing out new products. It didn't happen overnight, but slowly Provenance Soapworks was becoming a reality.
Mike came into the soap making business a little differently. He met Carolyn while he was working his full-time job & as typical romances go, they hit it off & fell in love. While they were dating, Mike tagged along for every craft show, farmers market, & any other soap making event that Carolyn was involved in. After getting married in 2010, Mike & Carolyn opened the doors to their storefront a few months after their wedding (it was a very eventful first year as newlyweds!) Since then, Mike has been involved in each step of the company’s evolution (even “retiring” from his full-time job to oversee product production). When Mike’s not working on products, you can find him running his own business, Crafted Designs, where he builds custom pieces & handcrafted signs for other retail stores.