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  • Writer's pictureSheree Hoddinett

A Lather Of An Idea

When Michelle Finnigan’s teenage daughter struggled with eczema and there was no product that helped ease the itch, she knew it was time for a change.

It was then Michelle decided to come up with her own natural products and thus began her journey to what would eventually become the start of her very own business, Nourishing SoapBee.

 

As a mum of four girls, Michelle Finnigan knows all too well the nature of dealing with sensitive skin. It was a little over 10 years ago when Michelle decided to venture down the path of making her own soap products.


Michelle Finnigan

Watching her then-teen daughter struggle with eczema and constantly itchy skin and going through multiple store-bought products with no relief, Michelle decided it was time to take matters into her own hands. She started on a journey that would see her create products for her daughter, plus other family and friends before making the big leap and sharing the “magic” further afield.


Fast forward a couple of years and Michelle, who is based in Rothwell, is now the proud owner and operator of Nourishing SoapBee. Michelle credits her role as a stay-at-home mum as well as working in retail and hospitality and studying business and accounting with getting her to where she is today – building her business from the ground up.


Michelle makes a variety of soaps, but has recently added a skin balm and also a lip balm to the range. The products are particularly aimed at those living with eczema and psoriasis or anyone with dry skin. They are also good for those wanting to live a low-toxin life.


“Being eco-friendly is very important to us at Nourishing SoapBee. We strive to keep everything as natural as possible and source ingredients as ethically possible as we can,” Michelle says.

“For years I made soaps for mostly my family and a few friends. I’ve experimented with so many formulas since then, some successful, some failures,” Michelle says.


“Two years ago I made a new soap that was a big experiment and went against what the numbers should be. I let others apart from family try it. It started to be called my ‘magic’ soap as it was helping people’s skin in cases where sometimes steroid creams weren’t working.


“It gives me immense joy when I hear my products are helping others with their skin problems. I love seeing their skin happier and in turn, they are happier too.”


So, what is it about Nourishing SoapBee that makes it different to other brands out there?


“My soaps are completely natural,” Michelle says. “Plus I’m the one who makes and formulates all the soap bars that I sell.


“They are really skin-friendly products, particularly to those with eczema and psoriasis. I refuse to add colours or scent – either essential or fragrance oil. All of my soaps have honey and beeswax, as they have great qualities for eczema-prone skin. I use shea butter in some of my soaps and even some animal fats, as well as olive and coconut oils. They aren't pretty in the conventional way, but are pretty in a rustic way.”


Along with coming up with an amazing range of products, Michelle has also worked hard to lessen the impact on the environment.


“Being eco-friendly is very important to us at Nourishing SoapBee. We strive to keep everything as natural as possible and source ingredients as ethically possible as we can,” Michelle says.


“All of our ingredients are naturally derived, apart from the sodium hydroxide also known as lye. It is a manufactured substance and has a low carbon footprint. It also dissipates in the curing process of the soap. There is no other alternative which will make the oils and fats saponify and therefore produce soap. Some people have tried bicarb soda, but the results show it is difficult to achieve a good product.


“The packaging we use is from Kraft paper, some watercolours, raffia and 100% recycled paper stickers, which also uses a water-soluble eco-friendly adhesive on them.”

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