Meet Chris McKinney, owner of K Bar Soap Co. K Bar soaps are handmade into grenades for men (and now women) to use. These soaps are all natural and smell fantastic! Chances are if you buy one soap, you come back for more. Stop by soon to check out some of these fabulous soaps.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Chris McKinney, I am the Owner of K Bar Soap Company. I live in Clover, SC with my wife Robin, son Colton, and daughter Elodie. I served in the Marine Corps from 2000-2004 and have based my business model and scents around that time spent in the Marines.
What inspired you to start K Bar Soap Co? How long have you been in business?
I started this business because there was a lack of all-natural soap options available for men. Most catered to women, and while I started out with only men in mind, I see my product line expanding into more scents for women after plenty of requests to do so. Guess there are some women out there that would like to use a grenade to scrub with as well, and we love that! I also wanted to start something on my own and grow it from nothing to be able to have control of a process after having worked for many employers throughout my career that I felt stifled my creativity and ambition. I went live with my business in October of 2016 so still working to complete my first year of operations.
Tell us a little bit about the soap making process.
I use the cold-process method to create all of my soaps. In a nut shell, you must start with base oils, and combine them together, add lye/distilled water to the mix, stir it for sometimes what feels like forever, then add your ingredients once a certain thickness has been achieved, pour into molds, wait 24 hours, remove from the molds and start the curing process which lasts from 4-6 weeks. We only use All-Natural ingredients for both coloring as well as scent. That’s why our scents will not be as strong as you are used to with mainstream soaps, but the skin benefits feedback we have received has been amazing. Some customers have said it cured their perpetually dry skin, and have also said that it has cleared up Eczema in some cases. There are truly benefits to using all natural soap that we have realized over the past year or so.
What’s your favorite part about making soaps?
There are a couple of things: the ability to create many different scents and combinations which allows for plenty of creativity and versatility in this process. I also enjoy the amount of focus you have to have while making a batch, it tends to take my mind off of a lot of things and typically I feel refreshed after running a few batches.
Do you have a favorite scent?
I like them all because they are all my babies! If I had to pick one, I would say Whiskey and Bad Decisions for the men, and Opha Mae for the women. Opha Mae is an easy decision because it is our only current one made with the ladies in mind, but there will definitely be more to come in 2018.
Why did you choose Olde Town Consign to sell your soaps?
The suggestion to sell into Olde Town Consign came from the mom of one of my best friends. She and a friend were shopping there one day and kind of sold it for me. I called and we were able to work out a deal to support this market. I think it is a great place for us to be and look forward to a lasting relationship there!
Do you have any plans for the future of your company? Upcoming new products, things you’re working on, etc.?
We recently released our lineup of all natural beard oils to compliment the scents of our soaps and have also added a ‘MERICA soap dish to the product offering that is a solid block of cedar with a waving American flag carved into itssurface. We are currently working on production to meet the demand of our trade show participation this fall. We have reserved a booth at the Southern Christmas Show this year in Charlotte (11/9-11/19) and are really excited about it. We will probably stick with our current offering to get us through the year as R&D time is eaten alive with production these days.
Is there anything else you want readers to know?
I would like for readers to know that if you haven’t tried all natural soap before, even if it’s not ours, try some from another company to feel the difference that this can make when you stop putting those unnecessary chemicals on your skin from mainstream soaps. These mainstream soaps may be cheaper, but keep in mind you get what you pay for. The soap you choose today will be used on the largest organ of your body, so please choose wisely. Next time you buy some Irish Spring or Ivory “pure” look at the ingredients and see if you have ever heard of any of them before. If that’s not enough to open your eyes to the benefits of All-Natural soap, I don’t know what is!