Tiki Bar Soap was founded in 2011 when its creator was taking a break from the daily drudgery of the afternoon slump in graduate school and decided to take a walk to the farmer’s market in lieu of her normal Starbuck’s routine. Armed with $20 in hand, Amanda and her friend Tanya walked over to the campus farmer’s market where they saw fresh cut flowers, baked goods, jellies, jams, and handmade soap. Amanda was shocked and intrigued that the same soap she had been purchasing for years at boutiques and health food stores was available at her local farmer’s market, so of course she immediately walked over to the soap table and struck up a conversation with the girl who was selling soap. The soap maker was super friendly and told her that while you needed some basic chemistry knowledge it was certainly possible to create your own soap at home.
This was great news, as Amanda was finishing up her PhD in chemistry the following year, and really needed a hobby as she had tried sewing and crocheting without much success. After purchasing a few bars she went home and began doing research. Less than a week later, Amanda had already joined the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild (then the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild) and made four or five batches of soap to hand out to testers. With approval from her department head she was able to participate in a few local craft fairs while in graduate school.
In 2012 Amanda finished her PhD in chemistry and Tiki Bar Soap, LLC. was officially founded. Amanda began doing a local farmer’s market, selling handmade bar soap and lotion. She was still working as a researcher in physics so soapmaking was a self sustaining hobby that finally blossomed into a full fledged business, and Tiki Bar Soap has been operating full time since December 2013. At the time Tiki Bar Soap was a vegan company, however Amanda would make tallow shaving soap on a custom order basis. These soaps became so popular that her customers began demanding she offer a full range of shaving soaps, so in 2013 Tiki Bar Soap rebranded to focus on its men’s line and introduced tallow soap to its lineup. We now offer a variety of vegan and tallow shaving soaps, as well as pre-shave soaps, after shave balms, shampoo bars, and facial soaps.
Many people have asked why we transitioned from a vegan based company to include tallow offerings, especially since Amanda eats a vegan based diet. The main reason is that tallow is a by-product of the meat industry, and if we didn’t use it, then it would otherwise be thrown away. As our company values have always been founded on being environmental, reducing waste and recycling while creating the most natural products possible, it only makes sense that we would use something that is not only good for your skin but also that ensures less waste is produced.
The name Tiki Bar Soap was chosen because its founder has always been really into tropical, Tiki inspired wares. Amanda loves rockabilly inspired fashion and anything that looks like it came from the 50s, and can often be found sporting a diner dress while making soap. Wood carvings and totem poles are also favorite decor, and are the design inspiration behind our brand. The name is also a play on words Tiki Bar, a Bar Soap….
Many people ask who is Tiki? While many people affectionately refer to Amanda as ‘Tiki’, we want everyone to feel like a ‘Tiki’ when they use our products. Our tagline is ‘the closest shave in the islands’ and when you use our products we want you to feel like you have been transported to a relaxing, tropical vacation every morning or evening when you shave. You will find tropical, Tiki inspired products as well as traditional scents like lavender, rose, and eucalyptus and mint. We hope to provide a bit of luxury, something for everyone to enjoy and pamper themselves with! Enjoy and happy shaving!