Here is the original post as taken from the Etsy blog: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/featured-shop-dr-k-soap-company/.
My name is Rob Karreman, or “Dr. K” of Dr. K Soap Company. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to Ireland in 2007. I’m now an Irish citizen, and currently live in County Cork, Ireland.
I started my business in 2011 after funding ran out for my position as a lab researcher at a university. Soapmaking always appealed to the biochemist and scientist in me, so it was a natural transition. I really liked the idea of experimentation in my own lab; it was, and still is, an exciting and fun journey to come up with a range of body care products. While my business started in the kitchen, I have since moved to a dedicated workshop which has greatly enhanced my creativity and productivity. Graphic design and photography, which are both hobbies for me, have proven invaluable in the establishment and promotion of my brand.
Inspiration for my products is intrinsic to my personality – I am inquisitive and a perfectionist, so product formulation and development checks all the right boxes. I have always loved nature; living in Ireland, I am fortunate to be surrounded by lush unspoiled beauty, which inspires the use of all-natural ingredients and earthy colors in my packaging.
I found out about Etsy while looking for ways to get my product out to a worldwide market. I was inspired by Etsy’s approach to the promotion of handmade wares and a self-sufficient working culture, so I joined up right away. Since Ireland is a small island with a relatively small population, Etsy became my “window to the world,” and before I knew it, I was exporting my soapy wares to far-flung corners of the globe. Some exotic destinations I have shipped to include French Guinea, the Cayman Islands, Haiti and the Faroe Islands. Etsy has had a profound effect on my life – it has helped create an income and a full-time job for me.
My future goals involve developing more all-natural, personal care products for men. I would also like to “give back” to the country that took me in by creating local Irish job opportunities. My long-term dream is to have a workshop in the countryside with views of mountains and waterfalls that exemplify the charm and romanticism of this beautiful country.
All photographs by Dr. K Soap Company.