What started as a ‘random’ opportunity to attend a soap-making course grew into a passion of Butter Bar Soapery’s creator Christina Clements.
“I never considered myself the creative sort, but I instantly fell in love with everything about the science and art of creating cold-processed soap that is natural and gentle to the skin,” said Christina.
At the same time, Christina was feeling a need to change her career in administration. Further driven by her being made redundant in her secretarial role, all stars aligned when she decided to pursue the art of soapmaking with the support of her family, which led to the establishment of the Butter Bar Soapery in 2016.
Today, in just a short span of a year and a half, Butter Bar Soapery has been picked up by several stockists, and offers a wide product range, including soaps, bath salts, body polishes and face masks, all handmade with love and ethically produced. “Luxury skincare brand that is handmade, natural and effective.” This is what Christina envisioned her brainchild to be.
Christina tells us more about Butter Bar Soapery:
Hi Christina, to start, could you describe the essence of Butter Bar Soapery?
As I’ve always liked to indulge in luxury once in a while, it was important to me to make my products reflect that but without the high price tag. My vision was to create a skincare brand that produced a variety of every-day products which people would feel excited about; they had to be beautifully designed with handmade and elegant packaging, but the number one priority was formulating products that leave skin soft and smooth, rather than dry and stripped of natural oils.
What led you to start Butter Bar Soapery?
With years of working in the administration field I felt I needed a career change, but I needed to do something that I was passionate about and that I could really get involved in every aspect. I attended soap-making coarse which was rather random because I’ve never considered myself the creative sort, but I instantly fell in love with everything about it such as the science behind it and the art. From there I practiced the traditional method of soap-making called “cold processed”. Fate played its part and I was actually made redundant from my secretarial role, however it let me go full steam ahead into studying like never before and I had the full moral and financial support of my husband and family.
What are some of your highlights or challenges since starting your business?
With a background in administration, I was pushed straight out of my comfort zone. Stepping into the world of cosmetics and being a business owner brought and still brings many challenges almost daily! Right from the get-go, it was scary trying to work out the legalities of selling cosmetics within Europe, but I found and received plenty of help and guidance from fellow soap makers and other authorities.
My biggest challenge is funnily enough making a decision and time management! Being a mother, a wife and a business owner is really difficult, however I am thankful to have the support of my family. But I still find myself working late until the early hours of the morning, and then up continuing after 5 hours. It’s not easy, but I am so passionate about my brand that it’s important for me to keep going. I also started off being a perfectionist and stressing about minute details, but those little imperfections are what makes everything unique and I love that.
With all that said, I’m able to feel proud for doing something for myself, growing my brand and not giving up. I always receive such lovely comments and feedback from customers and I’m so excited that I have a variety of stockists. My product range is constantly growing and I’m thrilled to be able to offer handcrafted soaps, bath salts, body polishes and facial masks that are suitable for a variety of skin types.
What are your hopes for your business in the future?
I’d love to see my products being sold in independent boutiques and being used in spas and hotels. Seeing my products being used and enjoyed far and wide would be an incredible achievement and my ultimate goal is to open my own boutique store.
What do you appreciate the most about being an entrepreneur in the UK?
Being a business owner working from home can be lonely at times, but there are so many groups, workshops and other organisations that brings people together to network or to learn. I feel that the opportunities are countless, and I’ve met amazing entrepreneurs along the way at events. These business owners are happy to share their experiences and the knowledge that they have gained. Their encouragements are incredible, and it is refreshing to hear their honest feelings and all the ups-and-downs of building, growing and running a business. I also realize that social media paints a far different picture from reality, and it is great to be able to hear all of these challenges that happens behind the scene through these fellow entrepreneurs.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Having only been around for a year and a half, I am still learning so much. Customer feedback is incredibly important and helpful in this learning process. Also, another thing that I strive is to ensure my products are ethically produced and packaged. I have never and will never use palm oil, and I am looking for ways to improve on packaging all the time and ensuring everything is recyclable and reusable.
Thank you, Butter Bar Soapery!
The Local Collective
Our story-telling platform to tell the philosophies of local businesses all around the United Kingdom.