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The idea behind the Clovelly Soap Company started life in 2004 when I decided to change the pace of my busy life in the city and heal the negative effects that commercial skin and cleaning products were having on my health and well-being.
From dabbling in perfumery as a child (mixing rose petals in jam-jars in Grandad’s garden) and being bought up with a holistic understanding of humanity and nature, it made sense to learn the science behind it and eliminate all the toxins. And having been born in beautiful, rural North Devon, it had always been a dream for me to return to live and work there.
Making soap felt like the right way. I wanted to use traditional methods, the best natural ingredients and introduce others to the difference that handmade soap can make to your skin.
Healing my skin and relieving its allergies and sensitivities by using my own natural products, together with receiving a timely birthday gift of a book on soap-making and a desire to make my fortune by helping others to find wellness too all inspired me. I sealed the fate on my city-career, exchanging high-flying for happy-grounding!
Studying hard, I became a massage therapist and learnt the art of Aromatherapy along the way. Myriad massage treatments, dog-walking and pet-sitting sessions, and many experimental bars of soap later, the business was launched in North London, selling at craft fairs and in local shops. My husband Casie joined me in the dog-walking and soap-making and the business expanded, making bespoke ranges for boutique shops. When one of my oldest customers asked if I would like to teach soap-making in her new craft studio, a new branch to the business was born.
Three years later and with an additional member of the family in the form of our first daughter, Rowan, we decided to make the leap back to a rural life. We were wonderfully lucky and found the perfect new home for the family and the business on the famous and unique Clovelly Estate in beautiful Devon. The old village Granary was renovated in perfect time for us to move in, with a purpose built studio for classes and old stone workrooms for soap-making. The estate also gave the business its new name and The Clovelly Soap Company was born.
Our new home continues to give us the space, time and inspiration to grow the company and you can now find us in many beautiful shops, boutiques, National Trust properties and hotels throughout the country. In March 2014 we opened our own little soap shop in Clovelly, allowing us to meet and get to know many more of our customers in person. And in September 2014 my first book The Natural and Handmade Soap Book was published by David & Charles. I also continue to teach the secrets of traditional soap making to hobbyists as well as those keen to start their own soapy empire at our sister-company, Rowan Tree Studio.