CINCINNATI — For many small business owners, the last eight months have not been easy. But for one mom turned entrepreneur, 2020 has been her best year yet.

What You Need To Know

  • Laura Pipiton started making soap for friends and family back in 2017

  • Soon, she realized she loved doing it and others loved her products

  • Pipiton then started The Oakley Soap Co., making all of her vegan, luxury soap in her basement

  • She says 2020 has been her best year yet and hopes to soon move to a bigger space of her own

​Laura Pipiton is like most moms right now — trying to help her kids through remote learning.

Pipiton is also a business owner. But her business is actually downstairs in her basement.

“This was just supposed to be a hobby that got really out of control," she said.

Pipiton makes handcrafted soap, something she says she started in 2017. 

“Just a lot of practice and a lot of friends getting really bad soap," Pipiton said.

But after she gained customers and loyalty, she decided to quit her part-time job last year and make The Oakley Soap Co. a reality.

“I definitely was not expecting to turn this into my full time job," she said.

Now Pipiton spends every extra minute in her basement soap lab.

“I have a lot of 5:30 AM mornings," she said.

Curating vegan soaps that smell just as good as they look. And while she’s happy with blending her soap in the basement for now, she’s hopeful for a time when she can have her own space.

“I’d love a lot more room because right now I feel like I’ve taken over most of my family’s house with it," Pipiton said.

With a new space, she hopes to teach classes and even hire other moms.

“I want to make it a community for working parents that really need a flexible schedule," she said.

And while many small business have struggled this year, The Oakley Soap Co. has really come into its own.

“2020, for all the bad things that have happened during the year, for the business, it’s been amazing," Pipiton said.

So Pipiton is hoping 2021 will bring her her new space. But for now, she’s grateful for her small business in her basement, doing what she loves.

“This started as a fun thing and it’s not just a job," she said. "I’m really lucky to do my art as my job.”