Caitlyn Pisarski

Motor City Soap

What is Motor City Soap?

Motor City Soap is a product line of handmade vegan soaps and all natural lip balms. I make them using a cold process, small batch method with plant-based ingredients, meaning there are no synthetic or manmade materials in them. The mission is ‘simply natural vegan soap for the common worker.’ In our high tech society more and more people are losing touch with how to make and fix things. Growing up in Wisconsin and coming from a working class family, I wanted to make a product that honored working people and returned to our roots of handcrafted, quality made products.

What was your experience in Build Institute?

Build was my first step in taking my business more seriously. I was ready to take it from a craft hobby to a real business. The best part of the class was breaking down the business plan into manageable steps I understood. It took away the mystery behind it and changed my perspective about my bottom line, helping me to think more long-term. I was also able to apply to become an LLC immediately after the class. Understanding the legal structure was important for me.


Motor City Soap at Build Bazaar in Eastern Market

“The best part of the class was breaking down the business plan into manageable steps I understood.”

What are your most recent developments after Build?

I recently launched the Motor City Soap Collective. It’s a yearlong membership program, similar to a CSA if you’re familiar with this agricultural model. The idea is that people pay up front and it gives you a stake in the business – you have more of a say in what I’m making and develop a direct relationship with me. The membership will launch on a rolling basis, starting in March. It’s a great way to collect soap at a discounted rate, and they make wonderful gifts! My soap is also currently available for retail at Detroit Farm & Garden in Southwest Detroit.

I also recently received a Kiva ZIP loan for $2000. We were able to get the project funded in 30 hours and I was the first Kiva loan supported by D:hive as a trustee. Thanks D:hive!

What’s in the future for Motor City Soap?

I’m excited to gain more exposure by participating in pop-ups and local markets around the city. I hope to be a vendor in the soon-to-launch Sunday Michigan-made market at Eastern Market.