Born of carnival inspiration and teeming with imaginative genius, Scodioli Creative offers a truly unique experience in bath and body care products. From the handmade soaps and perfumes to the alluring bearded figurehead of Madame, Scodioli Creative may in fact be the boldest, bravest, most amazing and magnificent show on Etsy! We asked Riley, owner and visionary behind Scodioli Creative, to share with us a little more about her shop, and here’s what she had to say—
Scodioli Creative launched in 2009 as a line of unusual bath and beauty products, conceptually modeled around the American traveling carnival from the late nineteenth century through the dust-bowl era. I draw inspiration from gypsies, carnival folk, and restless spirits of all kinds. I am also heavily influenced by my location (central Kansas) and its history.
I began as a soapmaker, but quickly expanded into perfumes (solid and spray), candles, beard oil, tattoo balm, lip balm, aftershave, mustache wax, and facial masks.
In 2009 I was working as a graphic designer, and I felt very disappointed at the lack of creativity allowed at my day job. I tried out a number of different hobbies to quench my creative thirst but quickly settled on soapmaking. I've always loved soap – the different scents, the pretty packaging, and the sheer usefulness of the stuff! And as a graphic designer, it was equally exciting to have the chance to brand an entire line of products! I'll go ahead and admit it here, I'm a total control freak. It's so satisfying for me to design every label, write the little stories, and photograph the final products -- I even enjoy packing the orders.
The one and only thing that sets me apart from the other bath and beauty shops is my branding. If it weren't for that beard, my shop would have been lost in the sea of handmade soap on Etsy. I feel that the character "Madame Scodioli", the bearded lady, is an icon for unconventional beauty as well as individuality and confidence. The Scodioli line focuses on distinctly unique unisex scents for those who march to the beat of their own drum. I discovered very quickly that men were just as interested in my products as women, and I definitely try to cater to both.
I do like making soap more than anything else. It's chemistry and baking and art, all in one. (Any soapmaker will tell you, it's very addictive.) But actually, my biggest sellers are the solid perfumes/colognes.
Vintage papers have so much character and charm! I'm helplessly drawn to them; I always have been. I feel that the look of those geometric/floral patterns from the 30s and 40s really fit in with the carnival aesthetic. I love the repetition of the patterns, the colors, the look of the ink itself, the hints of silver and gold, etc. I can imagine the walls of Madame's little wagon being papered with something colorful and intricate.
About a year ago, my husband and I bought the house across the street from ours. It was built in 1910--just a cute little farmhouse with a lot of character. We are slowly renovating it for the new Scodioli HQ. You can bet I'll have some vintage paper on those walls!
I’m often asked what motivates me, and I never really know how to answer it. Truthfully I've never had trouble getting motivated. I'm a busybody, a workhorse. I'm happiest when I have projects to do. It definitely helps that the work I'm doing is so satisfying. That keeps me going. And it's certainly encouraging when customers contact me just to tell me that they love my products and branding.