My lightbulb moment: Entrepreneur Samantha Jameson reveals the inspiration behind her soap company
- Samantha Jameson, 43, founded handcrafted soap company Soapsmith in 2010
- Revealed her inspiration came from doing a three month soapmaking course
- She pawned her wedding ring to start compnay but within a year was stocked in Harrords
In 2010, Samantha Jameson, 43, founded handcrafted soap company Soapsmith. She lives in London with her partner and four-year-old daughter.
I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I started an events company aged 24, working with Arsenal football club, French Connection and BP.
I went on to design and produce a mini chocolate fountain machine, which won a Good Housekeeping Award. My stock was purchased by Thorntons chocolatiers and I used the proceeds to turn my passion, soap making, into a business.
In 2010, Samantha Jameson (pictured), 43, founded handcrafted soap company Soapsmith. She lives in London with her partner and four-year-old daughter.
I’ve always been crafty, and had been making soaps at home for 15 years. I loved the old artisan technique of doing things slowly and methodically — the opposite of soulless mass manufacturing. People were always hassling my mum for samples, so I felt I could make a go of it.
I did a three-month course in making commercial soap, bath and body products. It took me two years to develop my items, with the support of the Fragrance House, which manufactures high-end scents for fashion houses. The soaps are made in London using the traditional cold process method. I’m passionate about natural organic ingredients — my favourites are dead sea salts, mango butter and shea butter. All our products are vegan.
The first scent I made was called Lavender Hill, after the area in South-West London known for growing and distilling lavender essential oil in the 18th century.
Scent has an uncanny way of resurrecting memories. Brick Lane, the second scent I developed, with amber and sandalwood, was inspired by happy times dancing and having a curry.
Within a year my products were selling in Harrods and became the store’s top three best-selling bath and body products. They are now stocked in Liberty and Fortnum & Mason. The brand won QVC’s Find A Beauty Brand competition in 2015.
Samantha revealed her inspiration came from doing a three month soapmaking course
I pawned my wedding and engagement rings to buy equipment and rent the right workspace — buying them back 14 months later with the profits. Instead of receiving Christmas and birthday presents, I asked for monetary contributions to purchase trademarks for product names such as Marble Arch and Knightsbridge.
But it was worth it. Creating soap is an escape for me. I get pleasure from it. If I can profit from that pursuit, it’s a dream come true.