We recently featured in a three page article in the national magazine Country Smallholding. The article talked about our business and more generally about our life and place in the community. One panel described our soap and cream making.
We started our handmade soap business in 2010. We moved into our lovely Victorian house in Hayfield on the edge of the Peak District in 2009. Gill took some time out of teaching to renovate the house. She had always had an interest in natural skin care, so once the house was complete, she took the opportunity to start making soap by hand. Gill also started making natural balms and body butters, and put these together into gift boxes.
We started selling our handmade soaps through local fairs and craft markets. We joined New Mills Original,a gallery that supports local artists and craft workers. We have gradually added other galleries and shops to our outlets.
All our soap in genuinely handmade. We make 6 blocks at a time in our kitchen. Once the soap has cured, each block is cut into 12 individual bars of soap. After drying for a month or more, each bar is then trimmed and wrapped, ready for sale.
Gill's real passion has always been creams. In 2013 she went on a series of courses run by Aromantic, Soap School and Herbs For Healing. This led to her developing a range of hand and face creams that were launched in 2014. After further study achieving her Advanced Diploma in Organic Skincare Science from Formula Botanica, she spent 2016 developing and launching the Hayfield Holistics Botanical Skin Care range.
Dave has always been involved in the business, though this was challenging when he was also working full time. In 2016 Dave resigned from work and joined the business properly. He helps Gill with all the making, has built the web site and sorts out much of the 'back office'.
When we have some time away from the business we love to garden and grow our own fruit and veg. We make our own bread, jams and beer! We like music, with Gill playing the piano and Dave the guitar. Dave is also a member of Kinder Mountain Rescue team.
We take Conntinuing Professional Development very serious and invest in high quality training each year to keep learning. Gill has successfully completed these courses: