Karen Byer’s Pandemic Inspired Product Becomes A Success

  • Published on:
    July 26, 2021
  • Reading time by:
    4 minutes
Pandemic Inspired Product Becomes A Success womenontopp.com women on topp

While managing the kids, work, homeschooling, zoom calls, hand washing for 20 seconds (while singing Happy Birthday) after they touched…. ANYTHING and endless amounts of google meetings, Karen Byer’s family was feeling the anxiety that came along with it. She and her family wanted to do something that was enjoyable and fun.

”My family and I were feeling the effects of quarantining just like most. Some of the challenges for us was keeping the kids busy and having them wash their little hands. That was the start of our idea!”

After losing her mother to cancer, Karen started seeing signs that her mother was “around”. She would find heart shape things everywhere.

”We felt it was my Mom “showing” us her LOVE. This was the piece we needed to create Quarbar!”

Karen Byer makes handmade soap using a heart shape gem hidden inside. It encourages everyone to wash their hands and get something special inside to display or just collect! Each bar and gemstone is unique in its own way. Made with LOVE from Karen’s hands to yours!

1. When did you first know that you wanted to become an entrepreneur?

I didn’t know I wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was something that presented itself to me during the quarantine. About a year after losing my Mom to cancer, we started seeing signs that my Mom (Grammie) was “around”.  We would find heart shape things EVERYWHERE! We felt it was my Mom “showing” us her LOVE. I knew I always wanted to do something to recognize my late Mom and this was my opportunity.

2. What inspired you to start QUARBAR?

While managing the kids, work, home schooling, zoom calls, endless amounts of google meets and hand washing for 20 seconds, after they touched…ANYTHING. My family was feeling the anxiety that came along with it.  We wanted to do something that was enjoyable and fun! It gave my girls a creative outlet and it was something to take our minds off of the daily stress and fright of life during this “quar”antine time.

3. How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

As we started to create more and more soaps we handed them out to friends and family and kept a notice on their reactions. We noticed the kids were incentivized by the special heart shape gemstone in the middle which encouraged them to wash their hands more independently.  As the parents started requesting more soaps, the website was being completed and orders started to come in.

4. What would you say is different today than it was just a few years ago about soaps?

Feel that hand soap was always a popular and effective way of good hygiene. Hand washing and soap was a relevant topic during quarantine.  As I am picky with my own personal product selection, when creating QUARBAR soaps it was important to me that it included natural ingredients such as coconut oil, palm oil, safflower oil and oat protein.

5. What else should we know about you? What sets QUARBAR apart from the competition? 

All of our soaps are made with LOVE from our hands to yours.  We make our handmade soap using a heart shape gemstone hidden inside.  It encourages our kiddos (or adults) to wash their hands and get something special inside to display or just collect. We use biodegradable glitter so you will not have glitter on your sink or hands! All of our soap names are made from INSPIRATIONAL words which I feel is empowering to our kids. Each bar and gemstone is unique in its own way and no two will ever be alike.   

6. What has been your biggest milestone/achievement so far? 

My biggest achievement was that it has helped out my girls tremendously.  It allows them to be creative, decreased their anxiety and seeing their excitement when promoting our soaps was priceless. They loved to express the meaning behind the heart shaped gemstone and the relationship with their Grammie and why it is so special to them.

7. What’s your favorite social network – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Why?

I find that most of my time is spent on Instagram where I find creative inspiration and to see what’s trending. I enjoy posting on Instagram since it gives me the opportunity to be able to show what I’m working on through stories. 

8. Tell me about what you’re working on now.

We are always working on being creative with our colors and coming out with new seasonal ideas and themes.  We fulfilled larger orders for gift giving, bridal showers, holiday orders and party favors.

9. Do you work with influencers? Do you think this is a great marketing method? Why yes/no

I think working with an influencer is a great marketing method. One of the hardest parts is product awareness. The influencers have a platform that could give any product more exposure. I currently do not work with any influencers but would love to in the future!   

10. What is your ultimate dream for the business?

I would love to keep my girls involved with the business as it grows with them.  Keeping them inspired to work hard, keep their minds creative and to… always have clean hands!

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