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Meet Local Maker Small Kindness UK
Small Kindness is based in Birmingham and produce luxury handcrafted natural soaps. They believe that small changes can make a big difference and put kindness at the core of everything they do. All soap bars are made with fairly traded and organic butters and oils. To make them a little more special they come wrapped in plantable labels that grow UK wildflowers to help sustain and protect our bees.
What first fuelled your passion to make/ create your designs/ products?
Having always been passionate about sustainability, reducing waste and being kind to the planet but also knowing that those ideals are not always easy to uphold in our busy world, I wanted to do something that could help people start on a journey to reduce their impact on the environment. Making and selling soap seemed like a perfect place to start. Soap needs little packaging and is a simple first swap for people on the way to lessening their impact on the environment.
Tell us about the origins of your business.
I started Small Kindness after being made redundant during the Covid19 pandemic. Like so many people I wanted to live a kinder way, to myself, people and the planet and I wanted to help others to do that too and that was how Small Kindness was born.
What’s your motto?
'Small changes, big difference'. I truly believe that small changes can really make a big difference - and what we need now more than anything is for lots of people to take simple steps that together amplify into huge impact!
How would you describe your designs / products?
Kind to your skin, kind to people and kind to the planet.
Our soaps are luxurious, beautiful, handcrafted in small batches to give every bar it's own unique look.
What was the first success / landmark moment for your designs / product range?
When I decided to start Small Kindness I had never made soaps before. Ever. But I am a scientist by training and soap-making is chemistry, so I decided not to let my complete lack of experience put me off. And I can't tell you the absolute joy and satisfaction that I felt making that first bar of soap! And to be honest that feeling never goes away.
Now I am making soap to my own formulation and knowing that people are using my soap and loving it, well that's a joy that never gets old!
Tell us about your materials - where do you source your materials from?
We use natural ingredients in their purist form - unrefined butters and extra virgin oils which are fairly traded and organic where possible. We never use palm oil or any of it’s derivatives and my soaps are all vegan. When it comes to our packaging it is always plastic free, recycled, recyclable and home compostable and sourced from the UK. And our soap labels are made from plantable paper that contains 15 different UK native wildflower seeds that is made in a UK paper mill.
Tell us about your making process?
I use all natural and ethically sourced ingredients to produce products that smell incredible and look beautiful too. The blend of oils and butters in all my soap is carefully formulated to be gentle and nourishing, kind to your skin.
When designing the look of a new soap I love experimenting with natural colourants and different ways to pour the resulting soap batter into a mould.
Producing soap for sale in the UK is tightly regulated and the mandatory safety assessments of my soap means that my customers have confidence that every soap will perform the same and be made to that carefully formulated recipe, but my products are hand poured in small batches meaning every batch and every bar looks truly unique.
Do you have a favourite of the Birmingham museums? If so, why?
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has incredible exhibitions, the delight that is the Edwardian Tearooms and that flooring!
And finally, a tourist arrives in Birmingham for the first time ever, where do you take them?
I am a bit obsessed with Art Deco so I would have to take them to the Electric Cinema to watch a film. Then on to Digbeth for the independent shops followed by a drink in the zero waste bar, Kilo Ziro and then pop on a train to Stirchley for some incredible food and local craft beers!