Season 3: Episode 10: Makers on Main Street with La Shonda Tyree [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 3, Episode 10 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this tenth episode of my Makers on Main Street series, you'll meet La Shonda Tyree of Handmade Soap Coach in Paterson, New Jersey. Before La Shonda opened her soapmaking studio in Paterson, New Jersey, her business underwent multiple changes and growing pains. She started out making and selling her handmade soaps at fairs, markets and in retail stores — and she still does. But her business has evolved to include other income streams as well.


La Shonda has been a member of the Indie Business Network since 2010.

Today, not only does La Shonda sell the products she makes, but she also teaches others how to make their own products. She also shows people how to make money teaching others how to make things. In her studio, which opened last year in an up and coming area of Paterson, La Shonda hosts events called “Sip and Soap” where you and your pals can get together for a soapmaking girls night out. It's a super fun way to cultivate your artistic side while strengthening relationships — and enjoying a little sip or two.

You may be inspired to know that La Shonda's journey has not been a straight line. There have been many twists, turns, disappointments, and triumphs. Hearing her tell her story will empower you to push through the tough times until your dream is exactly the way you want it to be. Enjoy my interview with La Shonda NOW!

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Season 3, Episode 10: Show Notes

Here are few Episode 10 highlights.

  1. La Shonda details her journey working full-time in the banking industry and working her bath+body business part time. (starting at 2:08)
  2. La Shonda brings us forward to her becoming the Handmade Soap Coach. (starting at 6:06)
  3. What kept La Shonda going even though she could have gone back to get a full-time job when things got really hard and she was totally exhausted. (starting at 9:52)
  4. How La Shonda found and opened her own spot on Main Street. (starting at 12:17)
  5. The winding road of entrepreneurship … 15 years and counting. (starting at 17:36)
  6. The importance of community. (starting at 19:11)
  7. Soap and Soap … and more. (starting at 21:36)
  8. La Shonda shares a bit more about her business model and studio location, along with tips to find and open your own. (starting at 25:09)
  9. How to decide what to charge for a class. (starting at 31:36)
  10. The confidence factor and La Shonda coming out of her shell. (starting at 34:14)
  11. How to eliminate distractions so you can focus on your priorities. (starting at 26:20)

Connect with La Shonda

Visit La Shonda and the Handmade Soap Coach at 468 Totowa Avenue, Suite 3K, Paterson, New Jersey 07522. The phone number there is 973-531-7455. Check out La Shonda at the Handmade Soap Coach website, and on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.

Listen on iTunes

Go here now to listen to this episode of the Indie Business Podcast on iTunes, and be sure to subscribe there for automatic episodes as they are released. Get excited for a new way to look at online relationships! If you enjoyed this episode of the Indie Business Podcast, you can subscribe and rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out!

What are Your Thoughts and Ideas?

Are you as inspired by La Shonda's story as I am? Ready for a road trip to Paterson for a “Sip and Soap”? Please share know your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, or share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.