Hello, I’m Blanka, a soap maker from Brighton. I adore natural, artisan soap and anything to do with natural skincare.
This passion began by chance, over ten years ago, when I stumbled upon an independent maker’s shop in East London. Natural scents of essential oils, so superior to the synthetic ones we find in standard toiletries, stopped me in my tracks. The shopkeeper explained that the soaps I was intrigued by were very mild and often preferred by people with dry or sensitive skin. “That’s me”, I thought, and bought a few bars. When I used them at home I was astonished to see how well my skin responded. I’d been used to needing to apply body lotion after each shower but discovered that with these soaps my skin was soft and smooth on its own. The dryness and flaking I’d struggled with for years disappeared. And they smelled so good. I was hooked.
A self-confessed geek, I needed to understand more about this wondrous product and why it worked so well on my skin. I spent countless hours perusing both scientific journals and blog posts, I found a couple of books on traditional soap - I devoured anything I could find on the matter. I found out it was the naturally occurring byproduct of soap making, glycerine, that made these bars so moisturising. I learned that the ‘superfat’ phase in soap formulas (ie. the oversupply of oils in relation to the amount of alkali that they need to react with to form soap), was a technique responsible for the skin-conditioning magic. I realised that thanks to being anti-bacterial and self-preserving by nature, this type of soap didn’t need any artificial, synthetic additives - another thing that made my hyper-sensitive skin happier.
Inevitably, my preoccupation eventually lead me to having a go myself. My self-appointed mission – to make a perfect bar of soap. Within a few months I’d made my own batch of organic, cold-process soap and loved both the technique and the product. From then on, I kept on trying out different ingredients, from various types of plant oils and clays to sea salt and cuttings from friends’ gardens. I continued tinkering with my formulas for years, as a hobby, while keeping my daytime marketing job. I completed a couple of soap making courses and continued reading about soap-making science whenever I could find time. My friends and family grew accustomed to soap gifts for pretty much any occasion. They started asking for more, they wanted to gift my soap to their friends. I was encouraged to try and make this a business more and more often.
An early soap batch in the making (ca. 2012-13)
Several years passed before I left busy London for Brighton, and it was a further couple of years before I finally left my office career to start a natural soap brand. During this time I’ve become more attuned to the issues that are of ultimate importance to me - we need to change the way we treat our planet and its natural resources. I began paying a lot more attention to the products I bought and, in general, to sustainability. I started minimising my plastics and buying less, but more ethically (we do ‘vote’ with our money too!). When I finally made the leap and launched my own brand, I knew it would be guided by these values. Artisan soap lends itself beautifully to plastic-free packaging, uses quality, well sourced ingredients and is fully biodegradable. I’ve realised that making sustainable products like this is something I want to spend my energy on.
Today, aside from making what I believe is the best soap available on the market, I’m also continuing my training in organic skincare formulation, so that I can bring you more amazing plant-based products in near future.
I hope you enjoy exploring the range which is entirely inspired by, and made in harmony with, the incredible natural world.