Hello everyone! Our #RoyalVegasRetreat2021 vendor spotlight this week is all about Twootie Tarte, a brand based out of Austin, Texas that redefines self care. Twootie Tarte will be remote vending at the event. Read on for the interview!
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What is the story behind your store/brand logo? My mascot is basically a hedgehog version of myself, including my favorite piercings and in-person shop colors. A fun fact about hedgehogs is that they're practically blind, but make up for it with their superb sense of smell.
What would your brand “elevator pitch” be? My best "elevator pitch", considering the smell of the average elevator, would be letting my products speak for themselves. Saving the world one good smell at a time!
How has your brand evolved since its inception? My business's inception was kickstarted by a simple suggestion, in passing, to make bath bombs. Once I got the hang of that, it evolved into soaps, sugar scrubs, and eventually deodorants for those who play in the fighting game tournaments at conventions. Twootie Tarte has evolved from just bath products into self care items that anyone can enjoy.
What does a day in the studio look like for you? I start the day off in bed, answering emails and checking social media. Once my coffee hits, I begin making products in a spare room in our apartment that is humidity and climate controlled. During convention prep, you can find me unmolding products from the previous day. Because I love listening to video game music while I create, I'll usually pop on a Donkey Kong OST and begin crafting whatever is on my list for the day by hand!
What are your favourite materials to work with? I've never been asked this question before! I love working specifically with baking soda, epsom salt, and 3D Printing Filament. Any bath bomb maker will tell you baking soda is a godsend when physically molding a bath bomb, whereas I love epsom salt for its properties to soothe muscles in the bath, once the product is finished. The 3D printing filament is the way we're able to create unique shapes for our shop, setting us apart from our all-round competitors.
What is your favourite item that you sell? My favorite product we've ever offered was the Majora's Mask bath bomb. It was around for only a month and we discontinued it because the painted detail was so intricate, we weren't able to keep up with the pace of the remaining orders in our shop. Not only is MM my favorite game of all time but the scents I used for that collection are top tier. I'm hoping to bring back all the items in that collection for Halloween.
What is the most popular item that you sell? We've hit our stride with 3 mainstream successes. Our first hit was the Pokemon Egg bath bomb, which includes a figure inside and a random color that matches the type of the pokemon inside. A year or so later we introduced the Free Them Pokemon soap (based on the meme), and that has been a staple ever since. Most recently, we were the very first company to offer a bath bomb with an Amiibo inside, compatible with the Nintendo Switch. Online I'm most often praised for the Animal Crossing inspired House Amiibo bath bomb, as you get to choose your next best friend to come move into your village!
Who are some of your favourite designers? I would not have begun making bath bombs, and later on self-care items, if it weren't for the biggest players in my industry (who require no mention), and for that I have to thank them for their influence. The fragrance companies that inspire me most at this moment, however, are the Candle/ Wax melt company Otaku Scents and the Cold Process soap company Royalty Soaps. They create incredibly cute products with great aesthetics and theming, and if you're in the market for candles or soaps that are made from lye, these should be your go-tos!
Where can people find you online? I can be found at my own website, the occasional convention in the southern US, or a small selection of exclusive products at Kuroshiro Kawaii in Houston. You can follow me on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.
Call to action: another heatwave is hitting us in the PNW. Today and every day is a great day to support organizations like the Sunrise Movement, either financially, via social media, or by becoming an organizer.
In a bit of personal news, Nif is changing jobs. Her connections in her local Lolita fashion comm helped her to maximize her impact for her workplace's Climate Justice movement by sending emails advocating for people to join the cause. If you're leaving your job (for better pay, full-time remote work, or just a less hostile environment), and you felt like you weren't able to support internal labor or justice movements during your time, you have an incredible opportunity to make a huge impact with very little personal risk on your way out. Send Nif an email if you want to learn more!