Today, International Women’s Day 2020, is a day to celebrate the amazing achievements of women across the globe- and the inspiring work they’re doing too. Here at Little Soap we’re huge advocates for seizing the day. For taking that first step into the unknown. For taking a deep breath, embracing the fear and making our mark. Because of this, we love nothing more than to share in the success of other bold forces and to celebrate the achievements of those around us. Today is about holding each other up, supporting our endeavours and showing the world what we can do!
With this in mind, we’re sharing with you just three of the most amazing female founders and the brands that we love and are inspired by. Do please let us know in the comments of the women that inspire you too.
Henrietta from Lily’s Kitchen
Named after the most adorable border terrier, Lily, Henrietta’s amazing pet food brand has transformed the way we feed our four-legged friends and we just love it. Producing naturally nutritious and delicious food for cats and dogs, with a belief that our pets deserve the same quality of diet as we do- one that steers clear of highly processed and literally unidentifiable ingredients and one that is designed to promote overall health- Lily’s Kitchen is a form favourite here at Little Soap, and Henrietta is certainly a woman who inspires us every day.
Not willing to accept the myriad of unrecognisable ingredients in the food she was faced with for feeding her pets, Henrietta made it her mission to create ‘proper’ food for pets, and alongside this fiercely protected value stands the belief that every pet deserves a proper meal- hence the fact that Lily’s Kitchen has given away over 750,000 meals to cats and dogs in need since 2016. You can read more on their charity work here.
Henrietta inspires us so much- not only because she stood firm against fierce competition, held strong when she was told her ideas for Lily’s Kitchen were simply unattainable, and refused to back down when faced with re-mortgaging her home. She inspires us because she didn’t give up- and today, Lily’s Kitchen has retail sales of £50 million, with 90 products on the market. What started on her kitchen table at home is now a business with over 60 staff, and we’re thrilled to report that Lily is now almost 16- and thriving!
Karen from Belu Water
Where to start! Belu Water donates 100% of their profits to the charity WaterAid, in order to help transform lives across the globe by providing them with clean water. The brand works hard to create the lowest carbon footprint possible and has reduced its carbon emissions by 48% per litre since 2010. Read more about the brand’s amazing work and the story behind Belu Water here.
Karen Lynch joined Belu Water in 2008 and was made chief executive just eight months later. Since then, Belu Water’s sales have rocketed with annual revenues surpassing predications and donations of over £1.5 million to WaterAid. With Karen’s focus on social and environmental targets and the determination to build sustainability, Belu Water has been transformed- an impressive achievement in its own right. All of this, while Karen herself was dealing with some pretty challenging health issues herself.
Even after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Karen never once wavered from her mission at Belu Water; she describes her passion as her purpose to just keep going- remembering that whatever she was facing could not possibly be as hard as the issues facing the countless children forced to walk eight hours a day just to collect water. And if we couldn’t love her more, Karen also spends her spare time helping young start-ups whoa re also striving to create positive social change. Our hero.
Emma from Emma Bridgewater
Emma Bridgewater was created after a failed search for a birthday present in 1984, and today the brand is a hugely successful household name- and deservedly so! The business is proudly British, with all its beautiful pottery made in Stoke-on-Trent and its full range boasting exquisite yet affordable wares for all.
Emma inspires us because she reminds us that it’s ok to have a dream. It’s ok to spot a gap that needs to be filled, and its ok to grab every opportunity that comes your way. To build up a business from scratch and to go on to strive for more.
In 2016 she was appointed President of Campaign to Protect Rural England- an organisation with a mission to preserve the English countryside. In 2018 she became a member of the Industrial Strategy Council, helping to improve and strengthen government support for British Industry. Since 1996 she has kept pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, becoming one of the largest employers of potters in the area, and visitors are able to tour the factory there, soaking in the traditional skills and craftsmanship that remain at the heart of her business.
With 1.7 million pieces of pottery produced each year, Emma is proud that every single item is touched by no less than 30 pairs of hands before its ready for purchase. Made with love, passion and purpose- a true inspiration.