Rishika was never one to settle on a conventional job. She knew that she wanted to create something of her own, something different yet a reflection of her personality. And then inspiration hit!
Meet Rishika Nayak, a creative soap-maker from Mumbai. She is the owner of The Sass Bar which makes dessert-looking soaps — yes, soaps that look like cupcakes, pastries and everything sweet! Even though you can’t eat it, the soaps are truly a dessert for the skin, as they are made with organic ingredients. Her soaps are unlike anything we’ve seen so far and it was a great fun getting to know her and her brand. Read our chat with Rishika on our blog. Tap on the link in bio or below.
Hello Rishika! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I am Rishika Nayak from Mumbai. I’m the owner of Sass Bar – a company that makes handcrafted dessert-looking soaps made from raw ingredients. I I began experimenting with soap making when I was 19, which inspired me to take up this professionally.
My professional journey began with my first internship as an assistant stylist to a designer for a production house. We styled about 80 top TV actresses. Then I dabbled in fields like PR, Retail Branding and Strategy and also launched my womenswear brand. All of these experiences eventually helped me be where I am meant to today. I recollect Steve jobs quote –
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
The Sass Bar is such an incredible concept that we couldn’t help but scroll through your Instagram! What do you think makes the soaps and your brand great?
The Sass Bar strives to be a self-care brand that has a special touch, which I feel can be summed up with ‘Je ne sais quois’. This simply means that it’s beauty and appeal is indescribable!
I love handmade organic brands. More often than not, handmade is synonymous to raw and simple products but I wanted to create a fun handmade brand was quirky and cheerful — an extension of myself. That’s how The Sass Bar came about! The soaps I create at The Sass Bar have a vibrant mix of colours and an eccentric dessert theme to make them truly pop!
These handcrafted soaps are paraben, sulfate and cruelty-free. We use coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil to make them, which are great for skin. The fragrances and colours are imported from skin-safe tested companies from the USA and Europe. The glitter we use is also skin-safe, biodegradable and eco-friendly.
How did you come up with the idea of The Sass Bar?
I am a DIY geek and my creative self was missing the joy of creating something with my hands, as everything’s become very electronic. I was tired of being behind a computer – I wanted to sketch, write, create!
On a holiday to Australia, I visited a farmers market where people were selling their handmade products. I came across this woman who made her own soaps, which looked like regular soaps but had exotic fragrances like strawberry margarita, key lime pie. When I got back to India, I had a thought, ‘why can’t soaps look like desserts?’. That was when it all began!
I researched and found a few brands overseas doing soaps that look like desserts but I was encouraged when I did not find them in India. So I decided to do a basic soap making course and do my own take on it! This was just another DIY art project for me but after the first soap batch, I was hooked. I find making soaps very therapeutic. As I slowly honed my craft and got into the swing of creating exciting designs I realised I could start to sell them. Somehow things clicked and everything fell in place.
Do you think your background and upbringing had a play in you choosing this career?
I think I get my creative genes from my mother, who also indulged in many crafts and hobbies. I grew up in a house of painters, knitters, and hobbyists. I remember as soon as the summer holidays started, I would make a trip to the local hobby store, pick up all the craft kits and spend my summer just glass painting, embossing, or anything possible.
Have you always wanted to create something of your own?
Yes! I always knew I didn’t want to work for somebody or do a 9.00-5.00. I did it for a couple of years and knew it wasn’t working out for me. The whole process from creating the brand, products, packaging design is super exciting!
The soaps look intriguing. What’s the process of making them?
Well, soaping is a tedious process. Unless you soap in a controlled environment, no two batches can be the same. Hence, the focus is on getting every batch /detail correct. As for the designs, I love playing with colours. There are always many trials before I get something perfect. I also do follow some interesting artists on Instagram and sometimes they lead me to my next creation as a source of inspiration.
Creative soap is certainly a niche industry. What has been the biggest trouble you’ve faced so far?
Procuring raw materials and building a good team! I think finding a team and trying to figure out if we are a good fit for each other is a long process. Also, the laws and taxation can be quite frustrating. I procrastinate a lot when it comes to accounting but it’s one of the pillar stones to surviving a business.
Finally, you can do everything right but things will go wrong — you have to be at peace with that. You can’t always make everyone happy you just have to do your best and be sincere!
Thank you Rishika for sharing your story and insights with Roots & Leisures! We hope your soaps get even more quirky and colorful!
Shop Rishika’s eccentric soaps on The Sass Bar’s profile on Instagram!
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