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El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX
Cindy Tollen
Sudz N Bubbles

I started making soap about four years ago, when my son's doctor suggested that I use glycerin soap for his eczema. After a trip to a local shop, where I paid an arm and a leg for an ugly, boring bar of soap, I decided to learn to make it rather than purchase it. I started sculpting soap into art pieces that looked like real slices of pie or cupcakes. Next thing you know, friends are asking to buy the product to give away as gifts.

Since then, I've founded Sudz N Bubbles, and we've had one our products featured on HGTV. We now have a staff of four.

El Paso was the perfect location for my startup. Living in a Texas border town brings unique advantages. First, we have no income taxes in Texas, and a very inexpensive cost of living in El Paso. Second, we have a very large influx of shoppers from Mexico that flood the city and stimulate our local economy every weekend -- especially during holiday shopping season. Harnessing this market can mean great success for a growing business.

I'm not bilingual, which can be a disadvantage for a local business owner, but with or without the language barrier, it's impossible to deny the influence of Latino culture here. I've developed a quinceanera soap favor especially for this market.

With El Paso as my launching place, my goal is to take my products to a nationally known level. Soap-making has become an addiction for me, and selling my wares is one of the best ways I can think of to support my family and build a business. -Annalyn Censky

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