From Humble Beginnings To Now.
Today we’re having an interview with our Founder & COO Orianna who shares with us the incredible journey.
So, Orianna a bit about your family? Are they just as health conscious and organic as you are?
“I was born into a healthy, organically conscious home. I’ve grown up with an organic, ‘everything natural’ type of lifestyle.
Both my parents lived “normal” lives before they got married. They ate like everyone else, washed in chemicals like everyone else & did things the “normal” way. But just after they got married mum spent 5 years ill with chronic fatigue. During many days in bed things changed. She realised that you can have money but that its not much use if you don’t have your health. My parents decided they had to make a difference to their diet, lifestyle & way of living. They spent considerable time researching & changing their way of doing things. Living in St. Andrews on a small farm made this healthy living easier, but still a challenge. Now 22 years later they are still continuing this organic, healthy & natural lifestyle.
So that’s exactly what I’ve grown up with. I’ve been given the understanding of how important our body is & the need to look after it the best way we can so we can enjoy our health and avoid the problems ill health can bring. I’m passionate about helping everyone else to understand & experience good health too.”
What gave you the courage to ever make that first batch of soap?
“I’ve always been a creative kind of person. When I was little, my dinner & drinks always got mixed & the amount of ‘half edible’ creations my mum had to feed to the chooks was uncountable! But it didn’t stop me creating new things! Growing up on a dairy goat farm from a very early age I learned to make all different types of organic goat cheeses, ice-creams, yoghurts, smoothies & the list goes on! I started cooking full organic meals when I was 9 years old. I used to get bored with just making the same thing over & over again, so I was always cooking up something new. I loved to knit & crochet, but I never just had one project on the go, there was one hundred going at once because when I got bored of one thing I started creating another! Plus there’s those days I got covered in mud while serving freshly created mud pies to my family in the garden or orchard! I just loved creating & coming up with new things like recipes, designs & so much more.”
So it sounds like you’ve always been a creative, ‘try something new’ kind of person. What made you decide to make soap?
“Well, it’s goes like this – my mum had been unable to use any soap for quite a while, even the “natural ones”, due to her very dry hands and skin. No matter what soap she tried, it just dried her skin & cracked the skin on her fingers. She got to the point where she only used water & avoided washing them as much as she could, but that’s not easy on a farm!
Then one day when I was 11 years old I saw someone make soap at a show. I thought to myself ‘that’s so interesting, I could do that!’ Though it was not until a few years later, after much researching, collecting of materials & ingredients that I was finally started to put the milk to use and make a difference out there. I still distinctly remember that very moment I poured the first ingredient into the pot! I was so excited & couldn’t believe my dream of making soap had come true!
Where did you make that very first batch? 🙂
“The place where every child cooks up concoctions – their parent’s kitchen!! But don’t worry, it’s no longer made in the kitchen!”
What happened after you made that first batch of soaps?
“I had to wait for them to be ready, so we could try them! Then I tried it…oh, it was such an incredible experience. I didn’t know someone could get so excited about washing their hands! I then gave it to my mum to try as well as many others, including friends & family & they were all thrilled with the amazing soap that I’d produced. They couldn’t believe how different it was to all the other soaps out there. I gave some samples out to a few friends & family who not only LOVED it, but encouraged me to sell it.
A few more batches rolled in until the day when I decided my recipe needed a little tweaking! Then I spent around 1 year perfecting the recipe until I was finally happy & pleased with my results.
Why did it take so long to get a good recipe? Don’t you just ask Dr Google for one?
“Yes, well I did ask Dr Google a lot of questions, but I was not happy with any of the recipes out there. All the recipes were designed for refined and processed ingredients. They did not work for the high quality, pure, and extra virgin oils that I was using so I made up my own! But it took me so long because every time I made a new batch I had to wait 6 weeks to try it, & if I wasn’t happy with it I had to repeat the process of tweaking it some more & then waiting another 6 weeks for it to cure before I tried it again!
Wow, what a process! So, then you had a recipe you liked, but what made you start a business with it?
It worked so well my mum could use it and her hands became softer & softer. They no longer dried and cracked. I then saw the need out there for ‘GOOD’ soap! I noticed that there were ‘goat milk’ soaps everywhere, but they were all just a white block! I wanted to be different & make mine fancy as well as healthy!
When my family & I then started looking at the ingredients of the other soaps out there, we were shocked! I couldn’t believe people would want to wash themselves in such unhealthy chemicals. My thought’s were: Did they realise or did they not care? Was it just a money making scheme & that’s how they got it so cheap? But, if everything applied to our skin enters our blood stream within 26 seconds how could they do this to their bodies? Maybe it just didn’t faze them one bit’!.
And that’s exactly our point of difference. Providing our happy customers with a completely healthy, exquisite, highly moisturising soap that works.”
You really are passionate about what you do aren’t you?
“I sure am! If I see a need, I want to solve it. My mum no longer has dry hands or skin. She loves washing her hands now & the more soap she uses the better her hands get. Her friends are even commenting on how beautiful the skin on her face now looks. She struggled with dermatitis & now her face and skin is glowing without all that makeup, creams or moisturises.
I love my products and I know you will too.
It was after much trial & error that I got right into the whole soap making industry, getting to know all the little tips, tricks & terms, but now I love it”
So then what happened after you realised you had a niche?
“I put together a small team and we settled on the name, Udderly Healthy Soaps. I then took on a CEO who is also my business partner. I also have a few wonderful floor staff & an amazing marketing & sales manager. You can read about all my other staff on our website.”
Are you happy within your business?
“Definitely! I’ve finally found what I want to do apart from being a mum & wife one day – have my own business. It encompasses everything I love, from creating to selling, from going on business trips to online marketing, from person to person relationships to dealing with large companies, from pushing through the challenges to the exciting days when a new leaf is turned & then from providing my customers with something they love to making a difference out in the world today.
Where are you today in business?
“We’re still a small business with so much room to grow. We still have our challenges as does every business, but choose to take each day to enable us to grow even bigger and better as a company. Thank you everyone for your support.”
Udderly Healthy Soaps is a growing business, dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives.