Lesley Karpiuk is the owner of GEEKSOAP, an online company that creates “epic handmade geeky soap for the ‘net.” Each bar of soap is personally handmade by Lesley in her kitchen, and many of the molds were created by her and didn’t exist before she designed them. I first met Lesley when looking for sponsors for the 2010 Geek Gala, and after her receiving her amazing box of donations in the mail, had to ask her to be part of my “5 Questions” series of interviews. Since Lesley lives in Indiana, we sat down for virtual coffee via email.
Q: Why soap?
A: Soap is something I toyed with in college, and it was something I found to be really fun to make. I’ve always been crafty, so soapmaking was one of those things I tried along the way and enjoyed. I also thought the stereotypical “geeks don’t bathe” generalization would be fun to run with… mostly because I’m a geek and I enjoy the humor of it 🙂
Q: How do you choose your designs?
A: I choose my designs based on my own personal geeky passions. I am a huge geek and a big time gamer girl and so I draw inspiration from the things I love and the things going on around me.
Q: Besides being part of the 2010 Geek Gala (of course) what has been your biggest GeekSoap thrill?
A: Besides the Geek Gala, my biggest GEEKSOAP thrill has been working together with @KyleeLane to create G33Kmade.com. We’ve created this company that shares, supports, and promotes independent handmade geek artists for free, just to spread the love and help other artists get exposure. The real thrill was seeing it all come together for Gen Con, where we represented a bunch of our featured artists. There was tons of geeky soap and so many other creative geek goods! It was the insane amount of support and positive feedback we received from everyone that stopped by that had us glowing. Seeing our booth decked out with original geeky art created by so many different people who all came together under one banner was absolutely amazing.
Q: Gen Con, eh? How was it? Any celebrity stories to tell?
A: I could gush forever on how great the experience was! Wil Wheaton came to our booth and told us he was proud of us for supporting and representing independent geeky handmade artists. He compared it to his experiences when he was first starting out, and he picked out a few goodies from our table. I nearly died when he took a picture of my D20 Soap on a Rope and tweeted about it. He even autographed the wrapper of one of my 8-bit Game Cartridge soaps for me, and a shirt for Kylee, too! One of our featured artists at the table, Lyndsay, makes these really great flat-bottomed dice bags and since Wil Wheaton’s mission at Gen Con was to collect as many dice as possible, a friend of Lyndsay’s on Twitter started a mission to get Wil to come and get a dice bag to carry them all in. He came, he saw, he got a dice bag, and he was proud of us. And he was so darn down to earth and nice, too!
Q: Very cool! Now, here’s the big question: If you were to suddenly find yourself in the League of Evil, what would you want your villian name to be?
A: Oh man, such an awesome question! At first I started thinking soap related villains… “The Sanitizer!” or “Soap Sud-ducer” or even “Latherday Saint” (Ya, I had help coming up with those), but I think ultimately I’d be “The Teacher” because I’m a short little schoolteacher and I could TOTALLY strike fear into the hearts of ANY nemesis. I’ve got THE LOOK down to an art form. (You know the look. The one that moms and teachers give that can stop you dead in your tracks?) Just try me 😉
I’d carry soap around as my supervillain weapon, though. Teach people to say kind things to one another, or you get a bar of soap to the mouth! I’m starting to seriously consider a career change. Supervillainy sounds fantastic! 😉
Find out more about Lesley Karpiuk online at www.geeksoap.net or @geeksoap on Twitter