Ashae Soaps: Powerful and Complete
Latasha Bell’s journey and humble beginnings from Denver’s Five Points community becoming and entrepreneur and the successful owner of Ashae Soaps is not filled with the many clichés’ one would expect from such a story. For her, the first steps did not necessarily include an immediate mastery of business but rather an intricate look inside. That self reflection allowed her to tap into her purpose and let her gifts manifest to commercial success. Due to the extremely trying circumstance of her mother’s passing, Bell was forced to look at her life through a different light. “I looked through my life with an honest approach to my self-worth. I had to let go of a lot of unnecessary baggage and avoid self-sabotage,” she said. “We only have one shot at life and with that, I grew an ambition to build.”
These newfound conclusions about the possibilities of life allowed Bell to unleash the incredible amount of courage it took to take a leap of faith and start her own business. Bell has been making incredible soaps for more than 15 years but has only been selling her product for the last five years. Although she was able to overcome those initial trepidations, many of the logistical hurdles new businesses face continued to seem daunting for Bell as she set out on this new journey. Running a business is hard. Running a business as a mother of three children ranging from 5 to 19 years old, with youngest of the trio battling with life threatening seizures, is even harder.
When she first started her business she knew this would be a major challenge recalling and thinking at the time, “It may be impossible to balance the desire to grow as a mother and to grow as a business.” With the added clarity of hindsight, Bell can now quiet those concerns as she has proven it to be totally possible and now advises all budding business women to “Start where you are, think creatively and prosper accordingly.”
Bell recounted how thankful she was, especially atthispoint having recently opened a storefront at 725 Santa Fe Drive in southwest Denver, that she did not let the fear of failure stop her from pursuing this dream.
Although she has been the driving force behind Ashae Soaps, she is grateful for the tremendous amount of support she has received and acknowledges successful brands aren’t created solely by individuals. Women, and more specifically Black women, have helped groom her into the confident business women she is today. Bell noted how these women have been “supportive and patient with me every step of the way.” It is important to Bell that as a community we continue to strengthen our local economy by keeping our dollars circulating within our community.
Through this process, she also realized her business success is not purely for her benefit but also benefits her peers and the generations to come after her tenure has run its course. As Bell said “I feel in love with the concept of ownership – the idea that this could create generational opportunities and I could hand it over to my children.” Not only does she want to be able to hand that tangible wealth over to them, she would like to fill the minds of the next generation with that very philosophy starting at a young age. Bell encouraged the community to take her lead and as she said, “Never walk past a black child selling something. We have to reinforce that they have the right mindset.” Bell also encourages her children to practice what she preaches by making sure each of her children start their own business each summer.
Her business allows women and especially Black women to experience the benefits of hand made luxury soaps that as Bell says “Are produced from love. I wanted to create a business where Sistas could get quality products to take care of themselves.” She takes that part of her mission very seriously; and Ashae Soaps does produce an extremely quality product. All of her soaps are handmade body soaps, made with all natural plant based ingredients that can work a variety of wonders on the skin. Some of Bell’s soaps are capable of treating skin ailments like eczema and dry skin, while others keep otherwise healthy skin hydrated and strong.
Major skin care companies often neglect the needs of the African-American community and create soap products that are harmful to the skin and further inflame issues like dryness and damage our skin. Bell began her foray into soap making simply to avoid these harsh chemicals present in most soaps and body washes.
Bell is living proof of her belief that “You can work hard and create something great for yourself.”
Latasha Bell is a powerful and complete businesswoman.
Editor’s note: For more information and to see a complete list of products, services and testimonials, visit www.ashaesoaps.com. Visit the new retail shop at 725 Santa Fe Dr. or call 303-263-9852.