The Handmade soap Company is one of the most exciting brands to emerge from Ireland in recent years. With an ethos of simplicity and a belief in only using the best, natural ingredients Donagh Quigley and Gemma McGowan have created an incredibly special product range. As with all the best entrepreneurs, the team began making their creations in their home, selling to their neighbours and local farmers markets but before long their product was selling across Ireland and beyond. A true Irish success story the core ethos and charming personalities of the creators is evident in everything they do, from sourcing the most beautiful scents to the stunning packaging that makes gifting a real joy.
So as you can imagine we were delighted when Founder Donagh Quigley took a little time to chat to us about his inspiration and what’s next for The Handmade Soap Company!
Where did the inspiration for The Handmade Soap Company come from?
Before The Handmade Soap Company, I was a thatcher, so I had always made stuff from natural ingredients. When the recession hit I had to look at doing something new. I had always suffered from dry skin which seemed to be aggravated by mass-produced soaps. While on a trip to Australia I discovered some amazing handmade soaps in a small market. They were so soothing on my skin. The rest, as they say, is history.
What was the very first product you ever made?
It was an apple and mint soap.
Do you have a favourite fragrance from the collection?
I love the Art Deco Collection, which is Bergamot and Sandalwood. The scent blend is probably the most complex we have ever developed and the design is something I’m quite proud of. Art Deco design is full of geometric patterns, something we have never really featured. But everything about the 1920s invites you to shake off the shackles of conformity and lavish in luxury. That’s what we have done with this collection. It’s a nod to an extraordinary era in history, where prohibition reigned and flappers and dandies danced to The Charleston beat.
When looking for new ideas where is your go-to place?
Definitely the great outdoors! If I ever managed to bottle the fragrance of a summer’s day in an Irish bog or a spring walk through the forest or a climb up an Irish mountain on a fresh winter’s day, I’d be a happy man.
Is there one product you just couldn’t live without in your own home?
It might sound like a cliché but I really do love a good bar of soap! For me, it’s the Grapefruit & Irish Moss soap that’s a staple at home.
How would you sum up the new Christmas fragrance?
I wanted to capture the emotion of sitting around my Granny’s fire (in Drogheda) in the month of December. People popping in to visit every evening. Christmas back then was a fragrant blend of Granny’s constant cooking and decorative festive sprigs. The warmth of the company, chats, music and laughter.
What’s next for the Handmade Soap Company?
We have been pretty busy expanding into the international market but I am really excited about a series of seasonal limited edition collections we have coming out in 2019. They are inspired by the great outdoors and the wildflowers that grow across Ireland in each season. Watch this space!
A big thank you to Donagh for taking the time to talk to us!
At M&B we are proud to have such a uniquely Irish product range in our stores and online and are delighted to introduce The Handmade Soap company’s seasonal scent “Kindness Come Naturally” diffuser and candle. With the perfect combination of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, Doonagh and Gemm have captured the essence of warming winter scents that will create an inviting ambient in your home on long winters evenings.
Now available exclusively at Meadows & Byrne we are celebrating with a wonderful giveaway on Facebook!
To be in with a chance to win a Kindness Comes Naturally diffuser and candle for someone special, simply tag the kindest person you know and you will be automatically entered into the draw to win this beautiful prize for that person. Pop over to our Facebook to enter