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Meet Erika Urban!
Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Olivia, MN. It is in the middle of a cornfield, a one
stoplight town... literally. I now live in Appleton, WI. Appleton is about
25 miles south of Green Bay and a very nice city to live in. Lots of Packers
fans though :)
Tell us a bit about your family... How did you meet your
I have the greatest family! My husband, Joe, and I have been married since
2000. We had Amelia in 2002 and now little Owen just this past month. We
also have a pug, Chai, who is 3 years old.
My parents and siblings all still live in MN. I have an older sister, Liz,
(25) who works as a nursing assistant and is planning on finishing her
degree in sociology, she also has a 1 1/2 year old daughter, Montana. My
younger sister, Amanda, is 20 and going to school for special education. My
younger brother, Matt, just turned 13 and spends his time with the Boy
Scouts and wrestling. My parents are both teachers. My mom teaches
elementary music and my dad teaches high school social studies. I have had
both of them as teachers, and they are pretty good at what they do :)
The meeting of my husband is a long story :) My best friend, Heidi, and I
went on a road trip right after I graduated high school. She had met a
sailor while she was on spring break in Mexico named James. James was
stationed in San Diego, CA. Heidi wanted to see him again, but I didn't
think it was wise for her to go out and stay with some guy she barely knew.
So, she and I decided to take a road trip out there together. James,
Heidi, and I all had a lot of fun, but I was kind of the third wheel. James
decided to introduce me to his friend, Joe, so I would have someone to hang
out with. Our first night we went to Rocky Horror Picture Show and then we
all sat in James's backyard and finished off a gallon of mudslides. Joe and
I ended up staying up all night talking and realized we had some things in
common and that we were a bit interested in one another. Thank goodness for
those mudslides, before that I really didn't like Joe very much. I thought
he was a jock with an attitude and he thought I was stuck on myself :) He
continued to come over every night of our stay after that. A week later it
was time for me to go home (MN), but we stayed in touch with letters and
phone calls and saw each other on a few visits and were married 1 year later
to the day we met!
Joe and Amelia baking cookies.
What did you do in your life before soaping?
I started the business part of soap making when I was 21, so I hadn't
done a lot before that :) I worked in a coffee shop and also in the
children's section of a bookstore while going to college.
What got you into soaping?
We had just moved to Wisconsin from San Diego and I didn't have any
friends. I was lonely and needed a hobby to take up my extra time. I had
used homemade soap and liked it, so I thought I would figure out how to make
it for myself. I was lucky, I found Soapnuts before I even made my first
What is your favorite, can't-do-without soap ingredient?
Well, I got to have the basics such as olive, coconut, and palm. One of
my favorite extras is hempseed oil. I love hempseed oil in soap, lip balms,
lotion bars, and shampoo bars.
What is your favorite thing you make?
Soap :) I like the hemp lip balms I make and a body cream, but my soap
is my favorite product. My favorite scent of soap for right now is Dragons
Do you sell your products? If so, what is your main venue?
What is your best seller?
I do sell my products. I sell through my website, a few wholesale accounts,
farmers markets, and craft shows. My soap sells better than any of my other
products, which is good because I like making it best. My top selling
soap is Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey which has all the above in it and is
scented with Brambleberry's OMH FO.
|Baby Owen their pug,
You are a member of the National Guard... can you tell us anything
Well, I joined in 1999 while I was a senior in high school. I had always
respected the military and thought it would be a great way to earn a little
money for college and do something for my country. I joined and became a
62B, which is Construction Equipment Repair. All those who knew me when I
joined were shocked and I don't think many of them thought I would make it
through boot camp. I was a wild child, into goth clothes, fuchsia hair, body
piercings, tattoos, and didn't care for authority too much. To top it off, I
am a wimp! I was never athletic and hated to work out. Oh yeah, and I didn't
know anything about mechanic stuff :) I made it through my training
though and came out a changed person. I only have 9 more months left on my
enlistment, and with current events being what they are, I will be relieved
when it is up. I have been lucky so far that I have not been deployed. I was
supposed to have gone to Germany for an anti-terrorism deployment last
August, but we got bumped out at the last minute. Other members of my
company are currently in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq... so I hug my family a
little tighter every night. Now that I have kids, home is a very nice place
Would you like to tell us something that we might be surprised to learn
One surprising thing about me is that I really dislike socializing. We
have a few friends (2 actually) that we like to have over weekly to play
cards and eat dinner, but that is about it. Being in social settings just
makes me uncomfortable and self conscious. It works out fine because Joe
tends to be a bit of a homebody as well, so he doesn't mind the fact that we
don't go out. I figure you all might be surprised by this because I am so
incredibly chatty online :)
~ Erika Urban & Jessica Miller