The Nourished Life
Shoshanna Walker's mother raised her family grounded to the earth. She filled her children with nourishing food cultivated from their family's garden. Before the new green movement of recycling and renewable resources was fashionable, her mother taught the importance of sustainability through pure ingredients from the sublunary world. This love for the natural translated into a desire to cultivate her own natural soap products, which consumed her kitchen with essential oils and fragrances. Shoshanna's mother's kitchen became a manufacturing lab for soap bars and thin blue bottles of all-natural soaps, and spilled itself into a business out of her house in Melbourne, FL.
Homesick and disenchanted, Shoshanna spent only a year at college in Tennessee studying interior design. Her mother's homegrown hobby, quickly growing past the size of her kitchen, created a quandary about how to handle the ever-present products crowding her out of her own home. Corey, Shoshanna's husband - boyfriend at the time - asked, "What will we do if your mom stops making her soap? Where will we get our soap?" This was Shoshanna's "ah-ha" moment. "If a 20-year-old man is concerned about his soap then there may be a future in these products." She and Corey packed up, left Tennessee and moved back to Florida, opening up their first Nourish store in 2001.
Now with three stores, the use of her creativity lies in her ability to create clean and crisp store spaces as clean as her soap - pure and unencumbered - with only the essential ingredients. This recipe also translates to her life. Her focus is well grounded in what she sees as the necessary steps to achievement and balance. And, with the success of her businesses and life, she has proven the prescription for success, as described by businessman and speaker, Herman Cain, "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you're doing, you will be successful."
Shoshanna's back-to-the-basics upbringing resonates in her focused, calm and determined approach to her life. This clarity of path allows her family to move in perpetual forward motion. As a self-proclaimed workaholic, she has learned to let go of some of her day-to-day responsibilities. "It has been hard to let go, but with young kids, my life has become more focused around them," she declared. She seems to have struck a balance between family and work and radiates a calm happiness of someone that has melded the important facets of her life.
Her inspiration comes from her customers and their glowing testimonials. Her favorite day is working in her store on Saturdays. There are no bills to pay, marketing strategies to contemplate or phone calls to take. She relishes the time she can just help her customers and be in the glow of the upbeat surroundings. "I' m rejuvenated by going to work because the environment is so positive."
Contrary to her exacting recipes for life and soap, she abandons the measuring cups and teaspoons for a free-form style of cooking. "I cook what I think sounds good. It takes too much time to keep checking to see if I have added the right ingredients in the right amounts. I guess, in a way, it is my own personal creative expression to make up my own meals." With soap, measuring and proper ingredients must be extremely precise.
Blessed with a really amazing husband, Shoshanna exclaims, "I'm lucky to have a really nice husband. He's a rare guy." They have two sons, Deyton, age two, and Brantley, just eight-weeks-old. "Corey's a hands-on dad with the boys. When our younger son was only two-weeks-old, I had just finished feeding him and Deyton had gone down for his afternoon nap. Corey said, 'Why don't you go get a pedicure? Come on, you have your chance. Get out of here.' I hadn't even had to be alone with the boys yet, and here was my husband looking out for me, telling me to take some time for myself." On Saturdays, though it's her favorite day to go into the shop, her husband has declared it his day to spend with the boys. "If I don't have to go in to work, Corey asks what I'll be doing that day because he and Deyton have plans."
Lived in the Lowcountry: Almost four years
Married: Soon to celebrate ten years!
Stores and locations: Melbourne, FL, Savannah, GA, Hilton Head Island, SC. On-line store: www.handcraftedsoap.com
Interesting fact: Featured on HGTV's show, "House Hunters". Though the episode was recorded over three years ago, it airs often. "We received a lot of business from this episode because it showed our Savannah store. We still have people that recognize us from the show."
Inspiration: Customer testimonials about her products
Indulgence: Pedicure and time in the gym. These days she just tries to get some sleep.