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The Scent of a Woman: Fort Kent Soap Lady Bubbling with New Business Success

| February 7, 2014


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People in the St. John Valley are enjoying the many SCENTS OF A FORT KENT WOMAN. Its early morning and Alicia Schenk (SHENK) is cooking up something good. Fragrant smells woft from her kitchen. But this recipe can’t be devoured. Instead its meant to be LATHERED. Schenk (SHENK) launched her own soapmaking business a year ago, and is now enjoying the SWEET SMELL of success. Alicia Schenk Owner, of Sally Bateau Handmade Goodness says”I started making it and people started asking me about it and then people started buying it from me.” Schenk is completely self taught. A born artist and entrepreneur, she FIRST launched a handmade jewelry business. But she says she happily WASHED her hands of that enterprise and opted for soapmaking, her REAL passion. With more than thirty unique and ecelectic scents now to her credit, Schenk says the early beginnings of this business was certainly trial and error. “What happens in three minutes took me about three hours to make happen, I was using my regular handmixer and I’m mixing and mixing and mixing and nothing is happening and I thought Oh my gosh this is horrible,” says Schenk. But that experience, didn’t deter Schenk one bit. In fact it fueled her fire to succeed even more. “There was no way I was gonna give up on it, I don’t like to be defeated on anything.” And she wasn’t. A year later, Schenk has a growing loyal following of customers who order her soaps in person and online. She’s also branched out to create handmade lip balms and perfumes. And she touts her business is all natural…all plantbased ingredients, harming no animals in the process. And the names are as eclectic as the ingredients. With monikers like Perk Me Up, Bad Romance and Venus in Furs, Schenk’s offering sounds more like the episodes of a SOAP OPERA. And her advice to other new entrepreneurs… Schenk adds “don’t ever, ever ever give up just do the best you can work on it work on it listen to what people have to say.” Her hope in a few years is to move from being a homebased business to maybe a storefront. She’s confident she’ll get there by throwing herself into this venture no holds  SOAP BARRED.


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