Hustle Chat with Chatti Brown
We recently had the chance to sit down for a #HUSTLECHAT with the lovely Chatti Brown of Remy & Rose. Chatti is a brilliant soap maker and wise Lady Hustler. She lives in Denver with her super supportive hushand TJ, and their cats Remy & Rosie. Who we are sure are super supportive too! Read all about her Lady Hustle below.
LH: Your name and where you’re from:
CB: My name is Chatti. I’m originally from Long Beach, California, but currently reside in Denver, Colorado.
LH: When did you start Remy & Rose?
CB: The official launch of Remy & Rose was November 18, 2014, but I’d like to think that it began right as the idea manifested in 2010.
LH: Why the name “Remy & Rose”?
CB: My friend Anna is a serious cat lover and suggested some quirky, fun names that basically had anything and everything to do with cats. However, the names didn’t fit how I envisioned the brand. A few days later it came to me. I thought, “wait a second” and without hesitation named the brand after my cats, Remy and Rosie. I want the brand to eventually be a mix of products for men and women, so the name seemed to fit nicely.
LH: What made you want to get into your craft?
CB: In 2006, I moved to Colorado from Southern California and the climate was a bit different. My skin and my hair did not take the dryness very well. In fact, my skin started feeling itchy and no matter what I used, it didn’t help. I found a soap making book at a bed and breakfast and that sparked a desire to learn how to make my own.
I’ve always liked making things with my own two hands. I know that homesteading is a big word now but people have been doing it for centuries, making their own soap, growing their own food, spinning wool into yarn. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride that I have these skills. Soap making is considered a traditional craft, and I love that. Not only am I learning how to make soap, but I am preserving a craft that could have been easily taken over by big commercial brands.
LH: Was there anything you thought you wanted to do aside from that?
CB: I’ve always wanted to be an artist with a small studio with lots of natural light. I think that’s why I gravitate towards careers that involve some sort of creativity. Right now I am an art therapist, photographer, and a soap maker. These three things give me a lot of satisfaction and I am grateful that they are there to keep me sane (although they’ve given me the opposite effect too).
LH: What were some of the struggles you faced when starting your business?
CB: I don’t think the struggle ever ends; you just learn and adjust every single day. That said, the biggest one was fear of failing. I felt very vulnerable putting my brand out there because I was afraid of not being good enough. Not perfect enough. Not sellable. It was fear that could have caused a standstill had not the dream been bigger than the fear. The truth is when you put something out there for the world to see you have to be ready for judgments and unwanted opinions. It sounds so silly because, even though I was only putting out soaps, it felt as though I was standing naked in the middle of a crowd. My business is such an extension of me that I felt exposed. Plus, Instagram and Facebook can be invasive if you let it. I’ve had to learn how to balance life offline and online. I like sharing with my followers, but I’m mindful to take a break if I feel like social media is detrimental to my emotional health or taking me away from things that are more important.
LH: Your products are fantastic and your packaging is gorgeous. Where do you find inspiration for the beautiful items you create?
CB: I find inspirations from places I’ve been and from experiences I want to remember by revisiting the scents of that particular place. I went to a wonderful retreat in Kauai and couldn’t get Hawaii out of my mind when I came back home. I wanted to encompass the experience in a soap that would take me back to my time there so I made a black sand soap scented with plumeria flowers, sandalwood, and coconut. I pick it up and instantly think, “Hawaii.”
Sometimes I let the natural ingredients speak to me or I go for a run and an idea comes to me. I let it unfold naturally. I also find inspiration in very small experiences. How a dewdrop clings to the edge of a leaf, the way sand feels between my toes or wet grass after the rain. I think if you open up your eyes and see beauty, it’s easier to find inspiration.
LH: How do you balance your day to day life?
CB: I wish I could say that I have a full grasp on it but I don’t. The best that I do is take breaks during business hours. I play with my cats, go sit on the porch out back, or sing out loud. Sometimes, I’ll call my sister, or I’ll sit down and have a cup of tea. If I feel extremely frazzled I light a candle and I sit and watch the flame flicker for a few minutes. Automatically my mood shifts and I feel grounded. I always have a candle burning.
During dinner or “us” time, I’ve had to ask my husband to stop talking to me about soap. You would think I’d be the one who brings up the subject but TJ gets so excited about the next business move that he wants to talk about it. I love soap. I am not obsessed. The business is meant to be a lifestyle career so that it gives me freedom. I am obsessed with this freedom. I am obsessed with my family. Those are the things I’m obsessed with.
LH: What’s your favorite thing to listen to while you work?
CB: I try to be in a place of mental stillness when I’m making soap so I don’t actually listen to music. I can get easily distracted and want to dance around the kitchen singing. Yesterday, I was making soap and it was raining really hard outside. It was just me and the drumming of the rain on the sunroof. Otherwise, my feel good go to is “I Love Lucy.” It’s a classic. I’ve watched it so many times that it is predictable and yet I still laugh at everything. Lucille Ball was such a brilliant physical comedian.
LH: What part has your husband played in Remy and Rose?
CB: I am the dreamer and he is the realist. This works out great though because I’ve influenced him to dream and he’s influenced me to keep the business side in check. In the beginning he made me sit down and crunch numbers. It was a painful session. I’d rather be soaping but if I don’t know the numbers, I’ll never fully understand or own the business. TJ has been my biggest supporter, motivator, and sometimes my personal assistant. He’ll measure oils if I ask him, run to the store, clean the messy soaping pots, and listen to my ideas. The latter is most important to me. Remember: surround yourself with people who get you.
LH: We noticed and were super excited to see you've got some amazing stockists. How did it feel to see your product in stores like Urban Outfitters online and other shops in Denver?
CB: I felt a bit in disbelief actually and kept looking at the emails, particularly the one from UO, and thinking "Why would they want my soaps?" My yearly goal was to get into some stores but I was only beginning to research which stockists to reach out to and had not really put a plan in motion just yet. I just didn't think it would happen so fast. So when it did I kind of just sat there for a bit not knowing what to do with myself.
LH: That's incredible! So inspiring to see your hustle paying off.
LH: What does a day in the life of Chatti Brown look like?
CB: A day in my life is busy and does not always go according to plan. What's consistent is that I make a point to go outside when I first wake up. This usually means I go for a run or I tend the garden. Sunlight is so important to me since I'm originally from Southern California and because now, I work from home. If I don't make a point to say "hello" to the sun, I probably would stay inside working all day. I also made a conscious decision to take breaks between working. That might mean I knit a few rows in a shawl I am making or that I go sit outside with a cup of tea for ten minutes. My work schedule consists of answering emails, packaging orders, and making products. Those are also my three constants.
LH: Lastly, any tips for the lady hustlers?
CB: Surround yourself with people who get you, who also dream big and believe. Steve Harvey says it so perfectly, “Stop telling your big dreams to small-minded people.” You are seriously wasting your time trying to get these people to like you. Let them go and be with those who understand your gift.
We hope you enjoyed this #HUSTLECHAT as much as we did! Chatti was kind enough to send us over some of her products to gift to you our lovely readers. For more information on how to win a soap & bath bomb head over to our INSTAGRAM and check out or latest post featuring our #chattishustlegiveaway.