I fell in love with Dook soap at the beginning of this year. I was drawn in by their unique products, beautiful imagery and the conscious way in which the brand is run.
Dook is a small, artisanal company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Helen, the founder of Dook makes the salt soap in small batches using organic ingredients and all her soaps are vegan.
I absolutely love that the soap bars don't include any plastic packaging, the boxes that the soap comes in are made from recycled coffee cups and are recyclable. Each bar lasts for months (and I use mine everyday in the shower and it's so far lasted me about 4 months!)
I welcomed Dook Soap to the Pepper You web shop in spring this year. You can now purchase a selection of Helens soap bars and I’ve also featured one of the bars in a gift box along with a notebook and pair of Pepper You earrings for the ultimate gift (if I do say so myself!)
I store the soaps in my studio ready to send out to custoemrs and every time a friend or family member of mine visits my studio, they always comment how wonderful it smells in here! The subtle and really more-ish scent of the soaps fills my whole space - it's great!
Ella who works here at Pepper You caught up with the lovely and talented Helen to find out more about the brand:
Q: What was your main inspiration behind the brand?
A: I wanted to create a brand that was innovative and different, but one that didn't take itself too seriously either.
The word dook is great as it’s bold, very Scottish and a bit quirky too! To dook is something folks in Scotland say all the time these days - it means to dip, plunge or bathe.
Q: We would love to know a little bit about your journey in starting to make soaps, and how did you turn what you love into a business?
A: It started as a hobby. A friend and I like to cook and make things together, we thought we’d try a bit of soap making and it just went from there.
In order to sell in the UK you have to correctly label your products and get a chemist to sign off your recipes. So once I thought I might give selling my soaps a go, I had to jump in with both feet. It’s just grown organically from there.
Q: We would love to know what your favourite soap is and why?
A: At the moment I love the Cedar and bitter Orange. The smell is really complex and summery - there’s also some coriander seed in there too. It’s a really lovely soap to make - the swirls are very relaxing to do.
Q: It’s amazing that sustainability is central to your manufacturing and your retail approach. How important do you think this is for all brands to develop in this area, and hopefully to become more sustainable?
A: I think it’s essential for all businesses to place this at the heart of their business. There’s plenty everyone can do, getting rid of plastic is a great first step, with lots of plastic-free packaging and equipment coming on the market. Knowing more about our supply chains is also something everyone in manufacturing has a duty to do.
Q: What is a typical day like for you in the studio?
A: At the moment, I focus on getting orders completed in the morning, then look at emails and other admin jobs in the afternoon. There has been a big impact from Brexit and working out new ways of dealing with this takes up a lot of time.
I’ve also been renovating the new workshop so have been there most days.
After my kids have gone to bed is my preferred time for soap making, I try to make a large batch most nights to keep up with demand.
Q: Congratulations on your new workshop/retail space in Edinburgh! What are you most excited about for this new venture?
A: It’s going to be great to have more space to work in, we have beautiful huge windows and I’m excited about the potential for cool and beautiful displays... it’s also the first time I’ve ever been behind the creation of a new working environment and culture. It’s fun to think of what dook in bricks and mortar will look and feel like to work in. Lots to do!!
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is in the early days of starting their own business?
A: Give it a go! Carve out a bit of time and dedicate it to getting your idea off the ground. It feels like a really great time for folks to try new things right now. The more energy you put in, the more energy you’ll get from others around you. Instagram has been an invaluable way to create a supportive community. It’s so lovely to get feedback and be cheered along the way!