Karen Norgett of The Folly Soap Co is passionate about her pampering bath products, scrubs, balms and artisanal soaps. We can see why, you won’t find a harsh or polluting product, everything is natural. In fact, every ingredient is also vegan/vegetarian friendly and unsurprisingly they’re against animal testing. Most of all they smell and feel fantastic.
by Emma Johnson
I mean what is not to love? The aroma of uplifting lemons awakening your tired morning eyes. Or maybe the swirl of relaxing lavender preparing you for sleep. Perhaps, you prefer the exfoliating texture of the tangy turmeric soap as it gently tickles your skin. Whatever the reason The Folly Soap Co products bring many benefits to their users.
But, how do you get into making your own soaps? I was intrigued, so met with The Folly Soap Co’s Karen to find out how she made the move to became our local champion of artisan soap-making. She’s neither a trained cosmetic chemist, doctor nor nurse. But, she is and always have been someone who loves making and giving things a go.
Where it Began
At the time, she didn’t realise where it would lead, but in an attempt to find a solution to treat her new born son’s eczema she found herself exploring natural options. Although in reality, she hoped he’d grow out of it, her investigative mind drew her to the benefits of essential oils.
She’d been living overseas and on her return tried other business opportunities but her love of soap soon took over. The Folly Soap Co was launched.
In those early days, she began with just 2 product lines, not knowing if people would be interested enough to buy her soap. They clearly did and now she works from a purpose-built workshop and retailers stock her soaps and other products locally and nationally. Of course, she also sells from her website too.
Karen has overcome many challenges in setting up her business. Throughout its growth she has stuck to her core value of quality products – from the ingredients, the recipes, to their presentation. Her natural curiosity and creativity has helped her to work on new ideas and concepts, like bath salts, moisturisers and more. Karen explains;
“Soap is very tactile, whether you are in the shower covering your body or holding the bar at the kitchen sink. It’s about the sensations that come with its use – the touch, the aroma and even watching it lather.”
Those ideas take time to develop. From the initial concept to being on the shelf can take up to a year to ensure product safety.
Care for the Environment
Beauty and hygiene products are known for their impact on climate change. While it is impossible to avoid all plastics in this business, Karen, aims to minimise waste and adopt the best environmental practices possible.
For example, liquid soaps use 5 times the amount of water as a hard bar and are heavier for transport. Having said that, there is demand, and as a result, she does have quite an exciting but top secret idea which will hopefully solve all these dilemmas.
Folly Soaps handmade cold press soaps contain no preservatives such as palm oil and similar ingredients, however, Karen continues explores ways of naturally extending the shelf life of her products. Eco-packaging is equally important to her – the less impact the better.
Care for the Skin
These soaps began after a desire to help her son and while we know products like those from The Folly Soap Co can bring benefits to certain skin complaints she cannot legally state this. Of course, we believe Folly Soap is far kinder to your skin that most other products. It’s not just the skin though, they are the perfect pamper product, uplifting for your mind and body.
It’s Not that Easy
From what we learnt, soap-making requires real attention to the most minute detail and an incredible amount of record keeping. It may seem simple but these natural products are actually classed as potentially dangerous.
The law requires Karen to log every single ingredient that she purchases and uses – that’s batch numbers, quantities, weights to concentrations. In addition, when she creates a new product, a qualified cosmetic chemist must be thoroughly test it and provide a safety report with potential allergens. Only then can The Folly Soap Co sell their products.
We bought, tried and tested some of the products. No freebies, no requests to ask us to write this, simply because we love local and love what The Folly Soap Co do.
I’d love to give it a good but to me, it seems like it’d actually easier for me to sell a home-made cake!
Buy Some Soap
Website: The Folly Soap Co
Telephone: 07542 093830
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