The Best of Chippewa Falls Volume One's guide to the riverside city » Presented by Mason Companies, Leinie Lodge, Northwestern Bank, and Go Chippewa Falls

Opening Up Entrepreneurship

The Bar is Set for New Soap Biz

It’s no lye: Ope! It’s Soap sells some darn good bars of soap

Grace Schutte, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

SOAPMAKER, SOAPMAKER, MAKE ME SOME SOAP. Tony Liedl slicing up some homemade soap.
GOOD CLEAN FUN. Tony Liedl slicing up some homemade soap.

The pressure is on for Tony Liedl – a Chippewa Falls native – as his new business Ope! It’s Soap starts picking up steam. But, the origin story behind it all may not be what it seems.

Liedl didn’t intend to start a business. By day, he’s a graphic designer for Royal Credit Union, and by night an impassioned soap maker. He was simply curious.

“I’m just having fun with it,” Liedl said, “taking it day by day.”

Nothing has kept my interest as this has, and I feel like I can continue to keep learning and learning. It can be a bit frustrating in a way – I want to do it all. I want to learn how to make every type of product out there, but I have to (practice) self-control.

TONY LIEDL

soapmaker

A self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, Liedl has dabbled in just about everything: construction, gardening, and even wildlife rehabilitation. He feels a strong desire to learn everything he can – including how to make soap.

And just like that, an opportunity presented itself in the form of a global pandemic, forcing people to stay in their homes for what at the time felt like an indefinite amount of time (in case you’ve forgotten).

FLOWER POWER. Some of Liedl's colorful Ope! It's Soap! creations.
FLOWER POWER. Some of Liedl's colorful Ope! It's Soap creations.

Liedl figured, if not now, when? After some quick research, he ordered some supplies from everyone’s favorite capitalist deathtrap: Amazon.

“It started slowly,” Liedl said. “There are countless ways to make soap and countless different kinds of soap you can make.”

With each completed batch, he would send bars to friends, seeking their feedback on how he could improve. After a lot of trial, error, time, patience, and help from friends, Liedl was able to find a recipe he liked.

Upon clearing that hurdle, Liedl says he became practically addicted to making soap. For him, it is an opportunity to dig deep into his creative mode, inspired each day by the simple question: What kind of soap do I want to make today?

Now, about a year and a half later, Liedl claims to have five shelves’ worth of fragrance oils.

“Nothing has kept my interest as this has,” he said, “and I feel like I can continue to keep learning and learning. It can be a bit frustrating in a way – I want to do it all. I want to learn how to make every type of product out there, but I have to (practice) self-control.”

Liedl has branched out to new product types, going beyond classic bars of soap. He recently started selling pomades, lip balm, beard balm, and body butter, as well as “solid cologne.”

As business has become settled, Liedl began buying from local suppliers, with one of his personal favorites being the Midwest Fragrance Company. He’s all for local businesses supporting other local businesses. That’s why he also enjoys giving back to his community through a multitude of events and fundraisers.


Liedl’s products can be found at The Local Store, Broom & Crow, County Treasures in Chippewa Falls, Bloomer Chiropractic, and Live Well Massage in Bloomer. To keep up with the action, you can follow him on Facebook (Ope It’s Soap), Instagram (@opeitssoap), and TikTok (@opehandmadesoap).

WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE. Some of Liedl's creations have specific themes, such as
WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE. Some of Liedl's creations have specific themes, such as "The Wizard of Oz."