Kari Snodgrass first tried making some body care products when she was in high school, after her sensitive skin reacted to products bought in stores. It wasn’t until several years later when she considered turning it into a business.
“I didn’t even know you could make your own soap,” she said about her high school experiment.
Now, Kari works full time running Studio 11 Soap, a soap and body care business, that primarily sells at the Phoenix Public Market.
She began making soap in earnest in 2000 when a friend found and gave her a stack of books on soapmaking. Kari turned her hobby into a business in 2002. She began selling her line at the Phoenix Public Market only a few months after the market first opened in 2005 and, by the next year, she had left behind her previous graphic design career to run Studio 11.
Since then, Studio 11 has continued to grow, going through one name change (from “Emelmahae Soap Company” to Studio 11), expanding into several area boutiques, and offering a growing variety of products. Kari also recently finished work on a studio space behind her downtown Phoenix home, moving the soap operation out of her house’s kitchen and spare bedroom. This soap is one of the most local products at the market, made only a mile and a half away from Pierce and Central.
It wasn’t what Kari thought her career would become, but now “I don’t know what else I would do,” she said.