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  • Writer's pictureChris Lassiter

Simone McKelvey: Building a homemade business

Photo by Chris Lassiter

Simone McKelvey went from gifting soaps to becoming a gifted soap maker.

   The founder of Simone & Tuesday LLC, McKelvey has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. However, her natural soap business, now one decade strong, started almost by accident. She had no idea that purchasing a bar of soap would change her life trajectory. Rather than continuing to pay for the healthier natural soaps, she decided to try her hand at making one herself. “I started my company 10 years ago to solve the skincare issue of a loved one,” McKelvey said. “It just started from there, and I just love what I do.” 

What she does is make an incredible line of natural skincare products. “Simone & Tuesdays is a personal skincare solutions company,” McKelvey said. “I make naturally scented soaps, scrubs, body butter, deodorant, shaving soaps; anything you can think of. They’re all scented with essential oils.” Using her own money, McKelvey took her Simone & Tuesdays LLC from ideation to income generation. The next step for her is scaling her business. “I’m open for business, and I sell online,” McKelvey said. “I sell wherever I have an opportunity. I’m off the ground and open for business. Up to this point, I’ve self-funded. Recently, I applied for some grants. Money’s always a barrier.” 

Photos by Chris Lassiter

McKelvey’s also working hard to inspire loyalty. “Sometimes people will come to my event, and really enjoy my product, but getting them to return is a barrier,” she said. “I don’t want to be seen as an, ‘Oh that was nice’ one-off purchase, but that my products – and what they do for your skin – are worth coming back to.” The natural soap maker is thankful for the community’s support. “If you love Simone & Tuesday, please tell other people and also return,” McKelvey said. “One of the things I really enjoy doing is when someone tells me they have an issue with their skin, I want to do the research to see if there’s a remedy to it. I just love using natural products to try to solve issues.” 

Photo by Chris Lassiter

Naturally, McKelvey uses her own soap. “If you think my skin is in decent shape,” she said, “yours can be, too.” 

You can shop Simone & Tuesday online at and follow the business on Facebook and Instagram.

Story and photos by Chris Lassiter. Chris Lassiter is the director of engagement and inclusion at the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge. He highlights businesses for the Staunton Black Business Collective. 

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