I started a personal project at the beginning of the year with a mission to meet and tell stories of local makers and their brand. COVID brought my project to a screeching halt after my time with Hannah Lenhart at the beginning of the year, but I finally had the chance to meet with Stacy Ford of Rora Apothic today.
I’ve been following Stacy’s story for quite some time now, but being able to see him in his workspace today was something special. I met with him in his garage studio for some socially distanced conversation and photos, and I have gained a whole new appreciation for the process of making soap.
Stacy’s love of the process, however, is something that began at a young age when he collected a few samples of soap from another soap maker. He learned about the process, purchased some of his own supplies later on, and gained inspiration when his late partner, Kyle, used those materials to make and sell his own soap. He has always been inspired by the process but feels that it was Kyle’s drive that helped him to build a business around his passion for the process.
One of the things I love most about Stacy and his business is that he works closely with other makers in our area. He collaborates on projects for his own business and loves to collect art and pins from other local business owners. Another thing I really liked about my time with him is how he attributes a lot of his growth to the support of his boyfriend, Logan, who helps Stacy any way he can. Being a small business owner is difficult. So often we only see the product on the shelf not the person (or people) behind the product. But, just like the family stories I tell, each small business that you support has a story of it’s own. More likely than not, those stories involve a tribe of people who do everything they can to support that business.
Stacy has big plans for Rora Apothic in the future. He would love to expand his wholesale business to reach new markets across the country next year. He is already well on his way to reaching that goal. If you haven’t started following him on Instagram yet, you totally should! I am so excited to continue following his journey and watching him succeed.