Meet Bloom In Soap
If you’d have said to me five years ago that I would be running my own skincare business, I’d have laughed in your face.
I’m Alison and I handcraft artisan soap in the heart of the Fenlands in Cambridgeshire. My business, Bloom In Soap, came about in 2020 as a result of redundancy during the pandemic.
As it turned out, losing my job was the best thing that could ever have happened to me.
The resident soap nutter
I’ve always LOVED buying handmade soap whenever I saw it – I’d be ‘that’ person (you know the type) running out of craft markets with armfuls of the stuff. It was whilst furloughed that I first wondered if I could give soap making a go – that way I would know exactly what was going into it and could use ingredients that I knew would benefit my skin, and the environment.
So I began my research into the process and properties of botanical ingredients. Soapmaking is very scientific, and as I’ve never really been interested in science I wasn’t sure I’d make the cut.
However, my first batch came out pretty well, so I made another. And another. Realising how much fun this science experiment was, I thought to myself ‘I wonder if I could turn this into a business?’. Bloom In Soap was born.
My biggest inspiration
Soapmaking for me is a passion – I spend hours researching the benefits of natural, botanical ingredients before putting them into practice. Nature is my biggest inspiration as our planet provides everything we need to live, breathe and flourish. That’s why I use all-natural ingredients in my formulations – not only are these ingredients beneficial to our skin, they don’t harm the environment unlike lots of ingredients you find hidden in 95% of skincare products on the market. There’s really no need to use products made with artificial ingredients that strip your skin of its natural oils when nature provides the good stuff.
The soapmaking process
The process of making soap is a very long one, so having patience is an absolute necessity. Once I’ve researched ingredients and trialed and tested a formulation, I send the formulation off to a charted chemist who assesses it for safety. Once approved, I can get to work making the soap. Did you know that soap takes around six weeks to cure? This makes my life very difficult as I have to know in advance what soaps I’ll sell over the next few weeks. Unfortunately, I’m not a mind reader and have no idea which ones will sell out. So if you head to my website and I’m out of stock on your favourite soap, now you know why!
Packaging that grows wildflowers? C’mon!
I work hard to ensure my business is ethical and planet-friendly. I question everything I do and make sure that businesses I partner with have adopted a like-minded attitude to sustainability and ethics in their own business. I use a woman-owned business to print my wildflower seed soap labels (you can actually plant these and they’ll grow beautiful wildflowers in your garden!), who sources this revolutionary paper from a UK paper mill. I could go the high-profit route and get my labels printed up in China, but I prefer to support other small businesses wherever possible.
The jewel in my crown is supporting an amazing group of women in Ghana through the purchase of their Fairtrade shea butter (which is an absolutely incredible product by the way). Akua Wood, Founder at Sheabutter Cottage (and someone who inspires me daily) mobilised this group of women to form a co-operative so that together they would have a stronger voice in the marketplace. They’re an amazing bunch of empowered women who are living their best lives, and it’s a real privilege to be part of their success.
So where do I see myself in five years’ time? I aim to have a few more awards under my belt, and to have developed an entire range of planet and skin-friendly products. I’m currently working on palm-free, vegan, and plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars, so watch this space for delicious skin (and hair) loving goodies coming your way.
*This blog post is provided by the business owner featured – the views and opinions expressed on this blog are not our own.