Bellingham Soap Company
I am a mum of four, divorced and living with my Partner Derek and my two youngest children in an old farmhouse in Northumberland, the older two have flown the nest!
I started my business in 1999 with £50 on my kitchen table with the promise of a stall on the local farmers market.
The best thing about my business is that I can work round my family, I used to work in TV costume design and I was frequently away from home working very long hours on location relying on nannies to bring up my own children…not good! It has also been a long journey of exploration and has helped me find out about the planet and to respect it more.
My biggest challenge is finding new business, I’m a bit of a hermit and I find talking about myself very hard, blowing my own trumpet is difficult for me, I’m terrible at selling! (Alison is too modest to mention that she has built up a great network of stockists, from Berkshire to belfast, Cockermouth to Crete, and supplies the Nationa Trust too!)
I have a purpose built workshop at home so I can work any hours that suit me, I have made soap at 3 in the morning…I don’t sleep well!
I would say to anyone who want to sell soap and toiletries…think twice before you give up the day job…there is a lot of competition out there now!