We had the good fortune of connecting with Jillian Marini and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jillian, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Maintaining balance has always been an important part of my life and choosing a career as a lawyer has emphasized the need for balance. Handcrafting soap and other skincare products helps me to maintain balance and express my imagination and creativity when I can’t otherwise do so at my job. Before making soap, I never considered myself a creative or artistic person. I can’t draw if my life depended on it. But soapmaking helped me realize that I do have a creative instinct and it has allowed me to express artistic ideas in a way that is fulfilling and centering.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Basil & Paisley Naturals uses all-natural, organic, unrefined, and ethically-sourced products to make soap, chapstick, salves, deodorant, and certain pet products. I make all my products in small batches focusing on the quality of the ingredients and their benefits. A lot of people make soap but their focus is on the design and not on using the best ingredients for people’s skin. I have learned how to create a beautiful bar of soap that is also great for your skin.
When I decided to turn my hobby into a business, I knew that I wanted my products to be part of the community. So I signed up for the local craft fairs and my business has quickly become a fixture in the community. I enjoy being able to discuss my soap and the creative process with my customers. I’ve built a strong customer base and I participate in events that uplift other local artisans.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love sharing my city with visiting friends and family! The first night that they arrive in town, we would order pizza from New Jersey Pizza Company. The next morning we would wake up and head to the Flagstaff Urban Flea Market where I sell my soap to visitors and locals alike. Afterwards we would get dinner at Shift. The pickled french fries are a must! Then we would either head to a play by the local theatre company, FlagShakes, or catch an aerial performance at Momentum Aerial. Afterwards we would head downtown to Mix where my soap is on display along with other local, handcrafted products.
We can’t miss an opportunity to visit one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. As my grandmother would say, God may have made the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona! In Sedona, we would eat at Elote and hike amongst the red rocks. Last but not least, we would hit one of the local crags for some rock climbing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I first started making soap it was just a hobby and I didn’t think it would lead to anything more. But as I started to share my work with friends and family, I received such positive feedback that I started to think that maybe I had something to share with everyone. So through their support I found the courage to put myself and my products out there. My grandmother in particular was one of my biggest supporters. Before I was willing to market my products, she would sell them to her friends and that’s when I first started to believe that I was creating something worth sharing with others.
Facebook: Basil & Paisley Naturals