The beauty industry is known for its constant innovations and advancements in skincare, haircare, and makeup products. However, finding the right product that suits your skin and hair needs can be a daunting task, especially for those with sensitive skin or specific skin conditions. Carla Halls, The Cactus Beauty Bar’s founder, understands this struggle too well. Carla spent a lifetime dealing with severe eczema and sensitive skin, trying various products to cope with her condition. But her struggle led her to a path of entrepreneurship and a passion for creating natural self-care products that work. In this article, we’ll explore the inspiring story behind The Cactus Beauty Bar and how the company’s mission is making a difference in the beauty industry.
Mo: We are excited to learn more about you and The Cactus Beauty Bar. What can you tell us about Carla Halls and The Cactus Beauty Bar?
Carla: I’m originally from Savannah, Georgia. I moved to Atlanta in the ’90s to attend Clark Atlanta University. While attending CAU, I met my future husband. We now have two adult children. The Cactus Beauty Bar really started while my family and I were living abroad. I started making body butter for my friends whose children were suffering from eczema. A short time after returning to the states, our family had to navigate through an adverse situation. As a means of coping and with a little push from friends and family, I started selling body butter and learned how to make natural soap.
Mo: How did you learn how to handcraft your products? Was the process difficult at first?
Carla: Making the body butter actually came easy to me. I went to the university of Youtube to research the best ingredient for eczema-prone skin. The rest was like baking a cake, and I know how to bake. Making Natural soap and candles was not as easy. I actually took classes that taught me the basis for both.
Mo: What inspired you to go full-time with the business and transition it from a hobby?
Carla: Because of lack of time, I decided to resign from my full-time job. The time I was spending at my 9-5 was taking away precious time that could have been spent scaling the business. The business was growing, and opportunities were being missed because I was often unavailable. Another reason was that coupled with my demanding job and still dealing with the issue that started plaguing my family 4 years prior, full-time started to take a toll on my health. I chose The Cactus Beauty Bar, and I chose me. Now I don’t recommend anyone to go out and prematurely leave their job. Talk to five people, then God, before you make that move.
Mo: What were the most difficult challenges you faced when starting The Cactus Beauty Bar, and how did you overcome them?
Carla: One of the most difficult challenges that I faced with TCBB was the organization of your business. Making sure that the business was structurally sound. I like to think that I’m an organized person, but that doesn’t translate to business. I went to school for elementary education, so this was new to me. My advice is to find a mentor in your business field that can guide you. A Lot of people will give you advice, but it’s best to find someone with a business likeness to yours. I also suggest finding a business class that you can take at your state university.
Mo: What is your go-to product for The Cactus Beauty Bar?
Carla: That’s a funny question. Soap and body butter are everyday products for me. If my eczema is flaring, I tend to go for our Calamine Bar, and I use the Acne Bar to cleanse my face. The Seamoss Bar is my favorite everyday bar. I love the eucalyptus essential oil in that bar. My go-to body butter is Homecoming. I love essential oil butter, and that butter is infused with three kinds of butter.
Mo: What can we expect in the future from The Cactus Beauty Bar?
Carla: In the future, you can expect The Cactus Beauty Bar to obtain a retail space with regular business hours. I’m so awaiting the day God allows this to happen for us.
Mo: What is something that family and friends may not fully understand about their loved ones who face these challenges with eczema, alopecia, body acne, and other common dermatological conditions?
Carla: As a child, my teachers thought I had a contagious skin disease. Eczema was a new condition. People who don’t suffer from eczema don’t realize how uncomfortable it is. It just doesn’t itch; it also burns. You never feel comfortable in your own skin. I met a lot of people that are suffering from eczema for the first time. They are usually dealing with one patch on their skin. Imagine being covered with it all over your arms and face. It really becomes embarrassing. Acne is uncomfortable, especially if they are cystic. Just like eczema, it will make you want to crawl into a shell and hide. You feel like everyone is staring at you and judging you. Just be supportive of your loved one’s feelings.
Mo: What advice would you give women entrepreneurs who want to launch their new business?
Carla: The advice I would give women entrepreneurs would be just to get started. Don’t sit around dreaming about a passion; just get up and get started. Get that EIN and register your business. I often hear women talking about a business that they want to pursue, and 6 -12 months later, they are still talking about this passion without taking any steps to get started.
Mo: Are there any new and upcoming exclusives that you would like to share with us?
Carla: White labeling and private labeling aren’t particularly new to us, but we plan for it to grow substantially in 2023. This year we plan to release our natural clothes detergents.
Connect with Carla below:
Facebook: the cactus beauty bar
Interview Done by: Mo Sharpe | Mo Dozier Sharpe is a serial entrepreneur based in the Atlanta Metro Area. Her experience includes public health, media, PR, and small business operations. Her exceptional research skills are a great addition to the SwagHer Magazine team along with her previous experience as an Entertainment and News Journalist.