I first became aware of Ariel Saldivar at Wigwam, the Oak Cliff holiday pop-up shop most recently hosted at Oil & Cotton. Her Oak Cliff Soap Co. soaps were for sale and I bought three. Fancy soaps are one of those rare treats -- like a bag of gummy bears, but less likely to induce a diabetic coma.
Dan Johnson Ariel Saldivar, Renaissance woman.
Handcrafted soaps are just one facet of Saldivar's creative work, though. Not long after our interview, she popped up in 5x6, short film that put five questions to six local, working artists, getting their thoughts about creativity, art and what it means to be an artist. Salidvar was featured for her national jewelry line, Olivia K. If you're keeping track, that's two crafts -- soap making and jewelry, but wait, there's more. She also sings opera, lent her vocals to Broken Social Scene and once had an impromptu lunch with Sir Richard Branson. She's currently the associate director of the Goss-Michael Foundation and blogs about art history in her spare time.
Why soap? At the time she was trying to come up with a fundraiser for Oil & Cotton, the creative exchange and art education forum in Bishop Arts. Soap was something she could make that would generate scholarship funds so little neighborhood Picassos could attend classes for free. Oak Cliff Soap Co. premiered at the third Wigwam and raised over $1,000 for students. At six bucks a pop, that's pretty impressive. Keep in mind this was the second business Saldivar launched and her years creating and marketing Olivia K certainly helped her avoid some earlier missteps.
"It's great to have big dreams and big visions, but the reality comes down to dollars and cents. There are things to consider that none of us really want to consider -- not just the cost for supplies, but the cost of branding, too."More »