Every day we take time out for a small ritual to cleanse our body of the dirt that we unwittingly accumulate through daily activity. We use either bodywash or soap as our main cleaning agent, without really knowing what’s in it.
“Hundreds of products proudly advertise the fact they’re soap-free, but the truth is that soap has largely been replaced by detergent formulas, which contain a range of nasty chemicals,” says Emma Cook, founder of startup business The Australian Natural Soap Company. “The movement toward natural soap has been steadily increasing in Australia as people begin realising just how many chemicals are lurking in supermarket soap and search for a more natural alternative. It has never been more important for us to look after our planet and reducing the nasties in our bathrooms is one small way to do this.”
The Australian Natural Soap Company has been making waves in the local scene since 2013, peaking people’s interests with its exciting range of 60+ products (think soap classics, novel soaps, liquid soaps, facial cleansers, men’s range, pet range, laundry range) and eco-friendly designs.
Cook starting her business from her kitchen, on the side of her day job as a journalist for SBS. As interest rapidly grew in her products, she expanded to a temporary, then permanent space at the South Melbourne Markets, and now opens her doors to a new retail outlet in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. The Modern Connoisseur was lucky enough to secure an interview with Cook to pick her brains about her journey:
So Emma, tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a former journalist/speechwriter who a couple of years ago decided to make a bit of a career change and start selling soap. I think if I hadn’t turned this into a career for me, I would still be making soap as a hobby. I really love working with essential oils and creating new scents and textures.
Why soap? It’s an unusual thing for someone your age to be into, especially with such a budding career in journalism.
I actually can’t imagine doing anything else now. I really loved being a journalist and a speechwriter because I loved the creativity and I think there’s even more creativity in what I do now. I just love working with natural plant oils and the natural smells, creating something that people enjoy. It also gives me great satisfaction building an environmentally friendly and sustainable business.
What can people expect to find when they come into your new CBD store?
They will smell us before they see us. The natural essential oils that we use in our soaps and skin care combine to make an amazing natural scent that instantly calms. Once in, we have about 40 soaps at any one time – all freshly hand cut. It really is a feast for the senses.
What would you say is unique about your brand?
I think fundamentally our brand is about keeping things real – We’re about sourcing high quality natural ingredients that are good for the skin, which we make into products that are environmentally responsible.
What’s your favourite part of the concept-to-sell process and why?
My favourite part is the great feedback that we get from our customers. Nothing gives me more satisfaction then when people tell us how much they love using our products and how great they are for their skin. It also makes me happy that there’s a lot of support for what we’re about – when we say that we are palm oil free, for example, people get what we mean.
The Important Stuff
The Australian Natural Soap Company is located at South Melbourne Market: Shop 88A, 322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne every Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun and Centreway Arcade: Shop 12 Centreway Arcade, 259-263 Collins Street, Melbourne, open seven days 10am-6pm.
For further information visit www.theansc.com.au