Meet the Mother-Daughter Duo Behind Santa Barbara's Simpl Bars

Meet the Mother-Daughter Duo Behind Santa Barbara's Simpl Bars

If you've visited our store, chances are you've encountered Simpl Bars, a Santa Barbara-based company founded by the dynamic mother-daughter duo, Marta and Catalina. Their collection of solid shampoo and conditioner bars has become a staple among our customers, winning over even the staunchest skeptics of transitioning from liquid to solid hair care products.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Catalina and Marta to delve into their entrepreneurial journey.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your background: Certainly! We’re both originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Marta, initially an artist, transitioned into therapy during the economic crisis of 2000. I’m a musician and entrepreneur. I also own and operate Cat Therapy in Downtown Santa Barbara where we host cat-loving visitors and help rescued cats find homes. I had wanted to start a product-based business for years, but I knew it had to be something I was passionate about. 

Q: Why did you start Simpl bars? The idea of Simpl Bars stems from my lifelong struggle with eczema and dissatisfaction with conventional hair care products. I was spending a lot of money on products that weren’t really working. My mom and I both have curly hair that is very finicky, and we were both dissatisfied with products on the market. During a mother-daughter trip to the London Botanic Garden, we came across a book on natural, solid haircare recipes. As soon as we go home, we ordered the ingredients and started experimenting. As we refined the formulas, my eczema was greatly improved, and both my mom and I were experiencing healthiest hair yet! We thought others might love the bars as well.

Q: What makes your products different from other shampoo and conditioner bars? We don’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, we focus on the most common hair and scalp types: dry, normal, and oily. In addition, our products do not include synthetic fragrances. Their mild scents come from essential oils which also provide therapeutic benefits.

Q: Tell us about the other products you offer? Beyond shampoo and conditioner bars, we’ve expanded to offer a diverse range of products, including a solid face wash bar made with butterfly pea flower, shaving bars, and even dish soap, all designed with sustainability and efficacy in mind.

Q: What is it like to work with your mom? We have always been close and done thing together! Now that we have a shared vision in Simpl Bars working together comes natural.

Q: What is your favorite thing about running a business in Santa Barbara? I love how the Santa Barbara and Goleta community is receptive to eco-friendly initiatives and supports small businesses with a mission. Choosing eco-friendly goods is not always the most convenient, but people seem to understand what a difference they are making to their environment and to business owners like us.

In essence, Simpl Bars isn't just about hair care—it's a testament to the power of familial collaboration, conscious consumerism, and community-driven entrepreneurship in creating a greener, more sustainable future.