Our blog is always packed with great ideas, our business women and their ideas and now we introduce The Interview. Here Sue McKenna, tells us why she joined the BWN after just one event, why Sue is so passionate about her business and the ethos behind Maldon Soap Company ;
What made you set up Maldon Soap Company?
I have always been interested in health and beauty. I was doing some research into cosmetic ingredients, what they do and why they are in our cosmetics. I discovered that the soaps and cosmetics I was using from a popular ‘natural’ beauty company were not as pure and natural as they claimed so I decided that I just didn’t want to subject my skin to those chemicals any more. I couldn’t find anything that was suitable for my incredibly sensitive skin that was affordable so I decided to have a go at making my own.
I started with lip balms and then created a hand cream – which is my best selling product today! I wanted to make soap the traditional way without any additives or added foaming agents so in January 2013 I made my first batch of cold process soap and never looked back!
At first I made things for friends and family but when demand began to outstrip supply I realized that I might be able to create a little business out of it and I did! 🙂
How many years have you been in business?
I began making soap in January 2013 and started selling it properly (once I’d had all my safety assessments done) in June 2013 so I’m coming up for my second anniversary.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love the fact that I am doing something I love and that people seem to love what I do. I love the freedom I have to make my own decisions and that what I do is fun and exciting. I love helping people choose the right products for their skin and it’s a wonderful feeling when they come back to buy more, saying that my products work perfectly without the need for any nasty additives. I love that I use local ingredients that have not had to travel far and that, by buying locally, I can give money to the local community which benefits everyone locally. I also love that my products are affordable to all, they’re not elitist and they and don’t price anyone out of the market, so everyone can have natural, paraben and additive free products that help their skin. And of course nothing is tested on animals.
What do you hate most about running your own business?
I hate the fact that I don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything that I need to do. I still work part time which I have to do to pay the bills but, until I give that up, I can’t devote myself full time to the soap business and make it make money. Catch 22 situation.
What benefits do you get from networking?
It’s great to meet with other women who have businesses because it makes me realize I’m not alone! I like the diversity of situations that the members are in, some are struggling like me (I’m not alone) and some are doing really well (something to aspire to).
What was the reason that you decided to be a member at The BWN?
I attended a meeting by invitation and felt comfortable straight away. I have been to networking meetings where I have felt like a fish out of water but it wasn’t the case at BWN. Everyone is very friendly and interesting to talk to.
What do you see the future holding for Maldon Soap Company?
Well I’m not looking to take over the world! I would like to have more outlets to sell the products and eventually expand enough to be able to afford a shop on Maldon High Street and maybe expand the local aspect of the business to source and grow more local ingredients. I’d like to be able to afford to pay for some help within the company to make things easier for me and I definitely want to give up my part time job.
We love Sue’s honesty and passion for her business and the future and want to be a part of making the big dreams happen. To learn more about Sue you can meet Sue at our Essex events and say Hi and “great interview” on Sue’s social media here;
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/maldonsoap.co.uk
Website Link: http://www.maldonsoap.co.uk/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/MaldonSoap
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