Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Spliethoff, Founder of Sunniemade, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Sunniemade offers plant-powered, plastic-free bar soap, shampoo, and conditioner bars that make sustainable self-care easy and indulgent. Sunniemade's Mighty Mango hair care bars are packed with effective, long-lasting, and nourishing ingredients that clean, hydrate and restore shine. Its delightful bar soap scents – including Main Squeeze, Very Rosemary, and Purple Rain – are made with moisturizing plant-based oils, real essential oils, and detoxifying clays.

Tell us about yourself

It all started in 2022 with a simple idea: sustainability shouldn't feel like a sacrifice. After learning that 95% of plastic isn't recycled and liquid personal care is 90% water, I set out to inspire others to make a simple swap: body and hair care that isn't watered down. We offer bar soap, shampoo, and conditioner bars that champion plants–not plastic–with nourishing ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and 1% for the Planet.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Sunniemade is independently owned and grassroots grown, built from the ground up with small budgets, big ideas, and lots of community support. I'm proud to be both the dreamer and the doer bringing Sunniemade to life.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

It requires relentless optimism and resilience to make it as a business owner. It can be challenging to keep drawing out motivation and positivity on days when things aren't going my way.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do your homework. Understand the category, competitors, customers, and border social landscape intimately.
  2. Develop a business plan and be willing to update it constantly. You'll find that some assumptions were wrong, and you'll need to optimize.
  3. Expect it to be harder and more expensive than you initially thought. Plan for worst case, not best case scenario.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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