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Daily Inspiration: Meet Laura Alzubi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Alzubi.

Hi Laura, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My name is Laura, and I make imperfectly fancy soap.

I am a first-generation Italian, with both parents from small farms in Abruzzo, Italy. My parents literally came to this country with nothing but the shirts on their backs and became small business owners doing the one thing they knew how to do- make amazing Italian food.

I spent the majority of my youth learning the ins & outs of a family business. I didn’t know it at the time, but that experience shaped me for years to come.

I have always been amazed by science but yet also had a very strong creative side. In 3rd grade, I created magazines inclusive of my designs for purses, clothing, hats, jewelry, and other fashionable items. I made purses and clothes for my barbies with my grandma. However, back in those days, “artistic” passions didn’t get you a stable job, so my dreams of being a fashion designer weren’t taken seriously.

Fast forward through college, where I earned a BS in Molecular & Cellular Biology and met my amazing and supportive husband. I then became a Microbiologist at Bard Peripheral Vascular which was my first corporate experience. At this time, I also got married and decided to create my own wedding stationery. I was immediately hooked on creating beautiful art with paper, and decided to open a side business creating wedding invitations under ‘I Do Bliss’. I became very engrossed in this artistic expression and was quite successful.

After 7 years at Bard, I found myself applying to crime labs in the valley. I ended up starting at the Phoenix Crime Lab. I spent the next 16 years working as a Forensic Scientist in the Fingerprint Unit. I really loved my career as it allowed me to serve the community and do my part in assisting to solve crimes, however, I found that raising my two boys while working a demanding job and holding a side business was starting to take its toll.

Then, COVID hit. It hit our family (and the world) like a mack truck. We found ourselves teleworking, managing online school, and yet having to stay away from the very people in our lives that we were closest to. During quarantine, it was hard to keep everyone sane and busy. Enter my 8-year-old son: “Mom, I think we should learn how to make soap and give it to homeless people”. Well, when your child has an idea like that, you don’t turn your back on it!

And we learned how to make soap. I was immediately hooked after one batch. It filled both my science cup AND my artistic/creative cup. I was making something useful, something beautiful. My son’s eczema disappeared. My mom’s psoriasis has improved. We donated soaps to the homeless. We also frequently donated proceeds of our special sales to many worthy organizations. I now was the one to get my family involved.

My brother set me up with an e-commerce website, my mom makes bath bombs, my husband makes soap dishes, my dad makes props for my farmer’s markets, and my older son runs my finances. All my family, friends, and co-workers supported me and helped me be successful.

I “retired” from the Crime Lab at the end of 2021, and am now expanding this little soap business, Scrub Studio Soaps. It was one of the scariest things I have ever done. However, the fear is gone now… and replaced with excitement and clarity. I am out in my community, meeting really amazing people and fellow vendors. I can make my own schedule and be more present for my family… and guess what? Everyone has really clean hands.

My soaps are vegan, made with natural and organic/exotic butter and oils. I have expanded my line to include skin balms, lip balms, sanitizers, sugar scrubs, and bath salts. I love to research and create new items and love hearing ideas and feedback from my customers.

I have learned along this journey of mine, that it may feel as if nothing really goes to plan… but it may have been the plan all along. Carpe Diem.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s been challenging to leave my career and pursue a passion. There was a lot of pressure, stress, and worry. It was difficult to balance being a career woman, mom, entrepreneur, and wife.

I was worried I would fail, or worse create a financial burden on my family if I set out to pursue my passions.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I create handmade vegan soaps that are small batched.

Each batch is formulated with natural oils, organic, or exotic butter. My soaps are cold-processed which means they are created using the old-fashioned method, with sure times of 6-8 weeks. I also carry organic bath bombs, salt soaks, and balms. My Hemp Lotion Stick has been a best seller.

New and upcoming products include an Emulsified Sugar Scrub and Triple Butter Body Butter. Customers know that I have a family business and that we donate to various charities. All my creations are a labor of love and created with pride.

So maybe we end by discussing what matters most to you and why?
Being able to give back to the community and especially those in need. Every little bit helps, and I enjoy that bit.

Demonstrating kindness goes a long way. I think that you should always assume that the next person needs something more than you do. When you have that mindset, the little things don’t matter so much.

Taking care of myself, mind and body… then being able to be my best for those around me.

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