“We were doing the markets, it wasn’t making a lot of money but it was really about getting the face to face contact with the customer. And really understanding what the customer wants, in real time.
It’s amazing to think that it came from just making it in our kitchen and selling it at little markets, to now having these big machines that make huge batches, but it still follows the same process, in that it’s all being handmade.”
In today’s episode Kaity is joined by Emma Cook, Founder and Director, The Australian Natural Soap Company. Humble beginnings had Emma, a journalist, and her husband, Anthony, a Doctor, making soap in their kitchen after they grew tired of seeing nasty sulfates, parabens, detergents, and artificial fragrances amongst other irritants in store bought soap. Friends and family eventually cottoned on to their new hobby and fell in love with the all natural, vegan, palm oil free, sulfate free, paraben free, detergent free sudsy creations. A love that eventually outgrew Anthony and Emma’s kitchen and found them opening their first shop at South Melbourne market in 2013, where their soaps still have a loyal customer base. Fast forward to today, and their soaps can be found in hundreds of stores across Australia and the world. But they are still all handmade in Dandenong, Melbourne. At the ANSC they believe that our environment knows best when it comes to nourishing, and sustaining healthy beautiful skin. They only use the highest quality plant oils to create soap, and a skincare range for all skin types – even the sensitive little souls! The beautiful fragrances are created with pure essential oils, each with their own unique benefits. They have strict policies against animal testing and the use of palm oil, each product is guaranteed cruelty free, vegan, and palm oil free!
In this chat, we will be talking about how the transition from making soup in the kitchen to expanding to markets, retail stores, two factories and now a global e-commerce store. We discuss the surprising upsides discovered through-out Covid-19 and how parenting can refocus your priorities.
Let’s jump in!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
The beginnings of The ANSC
The benefits of working in a partnership
How Emma and her partner Anthony bootstrapped their business
How they started at markets & transitioned to a permanent stall & retail store
From manufacturing at home to managing two factories remotely
How parenthood changed Emma’s approach to business
The surprising upsides discovered during the pandemic
How The ANSC has shifted focus to online retail
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