So, the December Issue of Worcestershire Life has hit the shelves and Little Soap is nestled amid its glossy pages
Bretforton: Little Soap Company
Entering the small annexe factory of the aptly named, Little Soap Company in Bretforton, it’s hard to ignore the enticing aromas used to perfume the company’s range of all natural soaps. Emma Heathcote-James started producing high quality soaps in November 2008, as a creative hobby to offset a demanding PR career. “I was fed up with coming up with great ideas and having them turned down,” she says.
So why soap? Emma had always enjoyed handicrafts and soapmaking seemed a good outlet for stifled creative urges, as well as answering a personal desire for high quality skincare. “I wanted a top quality product, something I wouldn’t mind giving to my mum or using on my own skin,” she explains. Her products have remained true to this vision. Hand-made in small batches, many of the ingredients are locally sourced, such as lavender from Snowshill Farm near Broadway, whilst the packaging is made from recycled Worcestershire board. Those ingredients that aren’t locally sourced are most often Fairtrade or organic, like the shea butter from a women’s co-operative in Ghana and the Orangutan-friendly, sustainable palm oil.
There’s no denying the drive and enthusiasm behind the Little Soap Company. Within just a few months of starting production, Emma had secured listings in several local branches of Waitrose supermarkets. “I’ve since found out, we were only the second company to have got into Waitrose within the first six months of trading.”
It’s not all been plain sailing for Emma. “It’s my fault, I was thinking ‘everything is great, it’s all really boring’.” Then six months ago a legal letter turned up from a US company, claiming that she could no longer use the original name of her company ‘Naked Soap’. She has had to totally relaunch the brand, complete with new name, new packaging and new website within that short space of time. But, she reflects that it’s also given her a chance to fine tune the product range. The result is a range of some 11 or so luxurious soaps, including a 5-in-1 travel soap and a pet soap, as well as some special editions for local events such as the Pershore Plum Festival and the Evesham Asparagus Festival. She also runs soapmaking courses for those who’d like to learn. Tel: 01386 831379 www.littlesoapcompany.co.uk