The Etsy Blog

Quit Your Day Job: Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox handmade and vintage goods


Tell us about your previous working situation and how you discovered Etsy.
I come from an entrepreneurial family. My mom runs a small publishing company and my dad owns an independent insurance agency. For the past five years I had the awesome opportunity to work for them and watch as they cultivated their own businesses. I discovered Etsy in 2007 when I was planning my wedding and quickly became an addict.

How did you prepare to transition into full-time Etsy selling?
For me there was a lot of mental preparation. I knew this is what I wanted to do full time but I was nervous to leave the stability of a full-time, salaried job. I finally reached a point where I knew I couldn’t make my vision a reality until I gave it 100% of my attention so I sat down with my parents and told them I was ready to leave the nest and take off with my own.

What is your favorite part of the process in making cleaning products?
I love the way my house smells on mixing days! When I’m finished I use the overflow product to clean so the house is always spotless when I’m done. With most creative ventures your workspace looks like a hurricane rolled through when you’re done but mine is just the opposite. It’s a nice side effect!

Why is it important to you to make eco-friendly products?
We are surrounded by so many synthetic chemicals that we don’t know much about and the little that we do know is not good. They’re disguised by ambiguous labels and clever advertising tactics so it’s hard for people to see their true colors. I created Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox because I think it’s important for us to limit our exposure to these toxins and I wanted to provide a good alternative. Natural minerals, pure soaps and essentials oils can do just as good a job as their chemical counterparts but without the scary side effects. The added bonus is that they smell great and the packaging is fun and pretty so it’s almost fun to clean.

What are your best marketing tips?
I think it’s important to really establish a brand. Since I come from a marketing background I spent a lot of time thinking about the look and feel I wanted for this line. The logo and packaging design were my #1 priorities because that’s what gets people’s attention initially. But then once you have their attention, what do you do to keep it? I try to infuse my personality and brand into everything I do, whether it’s how I package my products for shipment or what I’m saying on Facebook.

What’s been your most popular item or line to date?
My laundry soap has been my biggest seller, but each of the products seem to have their own little cult following. I’m am thrilled to say that 70% of my customers become repeat customers! The soft cleaning scrub and Sparkle (glass, granite, stainless steel and mirrors) are also big sellers.

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion? Have you made any business mistakes you regret?
I’ve learned that while some things may not seem successful at first, there’s usually some residual business that turns up later, so I don’t think I can say anything’s been truly unsuccessful. Certainly I’ve made lots of mistakes! In the very beginning my focus was too big. I started off wanting to have 15 different products in the line but quickly realized I need to pare down and focus on making the first 6 really great. I think also in the beginning I thought of it more as a crafting side hobby instead of a true business so I didn’t do a great job of tracking sales and expenses. If there was one thing I could go back and change it would be that.

What is the biggest challenge you face during your daily schedule?
I struggle to get things done early in the day because I’m not a morning person. Since I work from home it’s tempting to lounge around in the morning and leave things for the afternoon but what ended up happening was I’d be working late into the night and miss out on family time. Now I sit down each night and write down what I need to accomplish the next day and schedule the blocks of time so I know I’ll be done by dinner.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
For me it’s just that everything is a solo venture. You don’t have someone nearby to bounce ideas off of, proofread your materials, or motivate you when you’re feeling down. And when you fail at something there’s no one to share the blame. The buck really does stop here!

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job?
It’s the most liberating feeling I’ve ever had! I love the freedom of making my own schedule, wearing running shorts and tank tops to the “office,” and most of all, having my dogs lounge at my feet all day.

What is the most exciting thing that has come out of selling your designs through Etsy? Every bit of it has been exciting! I’m constantly amazed at the excitement people feel to receive and use the products. The best part is when they use them and realize they work well too; they send me the funniest e-mails about their experiences: “I’m so excited to clean! I can’t stop cleaning! This stuff is awesome!” It really makes every ounce of my blood, sweat and tears worth it. Far and away, the really touching responses are when someone writes to say that their baby has had severe eczema but it’s gone away since they started using my laundry soap or they have bad allergies and this is the first product line they’ve been able to use. Those types of stories make me feel as if I truly am doing the good I set out to do.

What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
Make sure it’s a passion! It can’t be about the money or the glory because those take time and they aren’t fulfilling in the end. It really needs to be something you’re passionate about. I believe our purpose is to use our life to serve others and if you can find something that lights that fire inside of you, go for it!

Thanks for sharing your story, Jamie. Check out her work in the Seller’s Items below.

Previous Quit Your Day Job posts

  • buttonsbyrobin

    buttonsbyrobin says:

    Great shop! Congratulations on your success!! Robin

    4 years ago

  • TrulyAesthetic

    TrulyAesthetic says:

    Your products look so amazing! Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to becoming a future customer.

    4 years ago

  • dropkicktims

    dropkicktims says:

    Nice shop, congrats!

    4 years ago

  • JuliaSherryDesigns

    JuliaSherryDesigns says:

    Wonderful shop! Love your story and your products are FANTASTIC!

    4 years ago

  • PolClary

    PolClary says:

    This is so inspiring. I love your logo. Maybe I should get some for my son, if it makes you love cleaning. ;)

    4 years ago

  • lanabella

    lanabella says:

    So excited for you! I was gone for a weekend and the kids were not rationed on the scrub so I'll need more soon! PolClary my kids fight over who gets to use what for what jobs! Its so great to not hear moans and whining when requesting help cleaning!

    4 years ago

  • mariforssell

    mariforssell says:

    I'm the biggest fan of Mrs Jones <3

    4 years ago

  • mrsjonessoapbox

    mrsjonessoapbox says:

    Thank you guys! It's so cool to be featured here. I've been reading these stories for a while now so it's sort of surreal to be in one. I am honored. :)

    4 years ago

  • herbanlifestyle

    herbanlifestyle says:

    Wonderful story, Jamie! And I love how you have made cleaning both non-toxic AND fun!

    4 years ago

  • orchardfarmsoap

    orchardfarmsoap says:

    How exciting! Congrats on your awesomeness!!!

    4 years ago

  • SoulRole

    SoulRole says:

    I am so excited to see a memner of the Earth Etsy Team featured here!Inspiring on so many levels!GREAT JOB Jamie!

    4 years ago

  • erinmapes

    erinmapes says:

    Ditto what SoulRole said. Congratulations Jamie!

    4 years ago

  • SoulRole

    SoulRole says:

    Awww!when I wrote my first comment I was so excited I hadn't read through the interview.I love it,and what you are doing.I completely 100% agree with your philosophy of being here to serve and that is exactly why I am doing what I am doing as well.I really hope some day to be able to say it is my day job as well(but since my day job is mom to 4 we'll see!)Blessings!

    4 years ago

  • danadojewelry

    danadojewelry says:

    Your story is very inspirational and your shop is very lovely.

    4 years ago

  • CarlaRaeVintage

    CarlaRaeVintage says:

    Great job on the article and shop and product. Congrats.

    4 years ago

  • purepixie

    purepixie says:

    What a wonderful and inspiring interview! Congrats Jamie!!!

    4 years ago

  • NeedlesAndKims

    NeedlesAndKims says:

    What an encouraging story! And an Etsy Earth Team member too--woo hoo! Congratulations!

    4 years ago

  • CleanMamaPrintables

    CleanMamaPrintables says:

    Look at you, Jamie!

    4 years ago

  • dreamcdesign

    dreamcdesign says:

    Such a great story! Congrats on being featured.

    4 years ago

  • simplypaperie

    simplypaperie says:

    Great story, congrats! Your product line is amazing, I am going to have to do some shopping :)

    4 years ago

  • greensprings0

    greensprings0 says:

    Way to go Jamie, fantastic article!

    4 years ago

  • trunkntreasuresTNT

    trunkntreasuresTNT says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and great job!!

    4 years ago

  • ecoquilter

    ecoquilter says:

    Fabulous story! Thanks for sharing and for your commitment to the environment~ Off to check out your shop now...

    4 years ago

  • toms13

    toms13 says:

    This is really inspiring and encourages a studio art and marketing double major like me that perhaps I really am on the right track towards what I want to do in the future!

    4 years ago


    CAULDRON24 says:

    Thanks for your story. I joined Esty today and put up my first item, you gave my hope that I am on the right track. THANKS SO MUCH

    4 years ago

  • nosetotail

    nosetotail says:

    Will have to try out your products, they sound great!!

    4 years ago

  • sbarringerdesigns

    sbarringerdesigns says:

    Great advice...very inspiring.

    4 years ago

  • TSDesignsbyTonya

    TSDesignsbyTonya says:

    Great shop! Very inspiring.

    4 years ago

  • JudiBlumberg

    JudiBlumberg says:

    Your line is beautiful and that what catches the eye first. You have worked hard and it shows. Congrats.

    4 years ago

  • emilyuts

    emilyuts says:

    I absolutely love this story! Congrats!

    4 years ago

  • lamarmota

    lamarmota says:

    amazing story, and lovely shop :) congrats! I wish someday i could leave my day job too

    4 years ago

  • creativelysoulful

    creativelysoulful says:

    very inspiring!

    4 years ago

  • AuntieKaren

    AuntieKaren says:

    How appropriate to have a feature story about Jamie of mrsjonessoapbox on an etsy blog. Cleaning is definitely an art form! FInding a product that is safe, effective, and easy to use is a true windfall.

    4 years ago

  • Rosabellebyvasu

    Rosabellebyvasu says:

    Amazing interview, i love how u fell towards ur shop, so beautiful and touching, truly inspiring.

    4 years ago

  • LAGypsyHeart

    LAGypsyHeart says:

    Wonderful story! I make cold process soap but have a distressed handmade frame ETSY shop, I am going to add my soap to my shop also in the future! I LOVE making soap, its so calming, relaxing, exciting ! IT takes me back 100 years to a simpler time! So glad your company is doing great!! I hope mine is successful! Congratulations!!!

    4 years ago

  • iambetty

    iambetty says:

    Wow Jamie! Provided you ship to Canada I will certainly be buying from you in the near future. I just use good ol vinegar and water right because chemicals ruin my breathing. Really looking forward to trying out your lovely and practical line of cleaners!

    4 years ago

  • aussiekn

    aussiekn says:

    what lovely products you create!!! well done

    4 years ago

  • ErinAntiques

    ErinAntiques says:

    Love the packaging :) and your shop!

    4 years ago

  • CherylMcNulty

    CherylMcNulty says:

    Great Job! Good luck! :)

    4 years ago

  • yellowplumblossoms

    Jennie from yellowplumblossoms says:

    Congrats Jamie!! Just now reading this :) Very inspiring!! Which reminds me....I need to reorder! xoxo

    3 years ago

  • AlphabetCityStudio

    Carrie from AlphabetCityStudio says:

    Love your story and personality! Just ordered a few things from you and can't wait to receive my package and start cleaning! ;D

    3 years ago