At Patriot Software, we’re committed to providing accounting and payroll software that lets small business owners keep their time and money for what they love: running their business!

Our #PatriotSpotlight customer success stories celebrate and inspire U.S. small business owners across the country. For the October small business spotlight, we spoke to Gail Horn, owner of The Soap Chest.

The Soap Chest is a Washington-based soap shop. The business offers a variety of natural handcrafted soaps and bath and body products made with high-quality ingredients, including homegrown herbs and local honey. This soap store strives to help customers find natural items that they will fall in love with.

Can you tell me a little bit about what you do and offer?

We make and sell handmade soaps and other bath and body products. We have a brick and mortar location, an online store, and even do wholesale.

What made you decide to start The Soap Chest?

Twenty years ago, I got into making handmade soaps and started in my home. I started very small at my home-based workshop and then decided to expand from there.

owner of The Soap Chest in Washington state stands in her soap shop

What’s your favorite part of running your own business?

I (of course) like being my own boss, for better or for worse. It’s nice to be able to make all of the decisions. It’s also very fun being a merchant in our town and getting to be a part of the community and different events in the area.

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a business owner?

One of the biggest challenges is wearing all of the hats. You do everything—accounting, marketing, payroll, hiring, firing, and everything else. There are pluses and minuses to it, and it can be overwhelming at times. But, it’s definitely very rewarding.

How does Patriot’s Basic Payroll help you run your business?

We’re very small, so the biggest factor for us was the cost of payroll software. I didn’t want to pay for a big program that we didn’t need and I also do accounting, so Basic Payroll was the perfect fit for us. Overall, the price and the user-friendly website were the big factors for me.

When it comes to your business, what are you most proud of?

Our products. Our niche is we make everything in-house. We are definitely a maker-oriented business.

soap from The Soap Chest in Washington state

How have you adapted business operations to handle things beyond your control, like the coronavirus?

Well, lots of support, input, and tapping many different resources for help. We have looked at resources from banks to government agencies to the state’s website to learn about coronavirus rules.

When you’re not busy working, what do you like to do in your spare time?

We love to travel, I love to read, and I enjoy music, gardening, and hiking. We live right on the Columbia River Gorge, so there’s plenty of scenery with waterfalls and walking along the river.

What words of advice do you have for people hoping to start their own small business?

I would say don’t jump the gun right away and go into debt. Take it slow, easy, and in manageable chunks. I think that’s the way to go. If you get a huge loan and jump the gun, it can get very risky.

Connect with The Soap Chest: