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Meet the Makers - Helen Atherton, Dook Soap
Welcome to #MeettheMakers
These are the people, the movers the shakers, the makers and doers. Right here they share their story with us, for you, their journey, their products, along with tips and insight for your making, so without further ado
So, let's start with why the name, in your case Dook?
Hey! I’m Helen and I run a soap company in Edinburgh called dook
Dook is Scots for ‘ to dip, bathe or plunge.’ I’m lucky enough to live and work by the sea in Portobello - Edinburgh’s beach. So, the name references the place the soaps are made and also the salt in the soap which creates our very special lather.
What’s different about what you do at Dook, what do you see as the USP?
We make salt soaps – they look and smell beautiful are plastic-free and most importantly work really well. The salt in the soap creates a hard, long-lasting bar with a thick creamy lather that cleanses and nourishes the skin.
What got you making, what or who was your inspiration?
I’ve always loved making things, cooking, sewing, knitting and then soap making. I love making beautiful things that you can also use and that others can enjoy!
What is your studio space / lab like? What’s important to you?I’ve recently renovated our garage into a making space. Its only 5m square, but it’s such an amazing space. It has everything I need to create my products and I can use it as an office and a sanctuary as well!
What’s the best thing about your job / business?
I really enjoy working for myself and making my own decisions and I love how dynamic the retail sector is. I also enjoy learning all the time. I had no retail, business, social media, manufacturing or branding experience before I started dook. There are so many resources and groups on line to support you and so much that you can do, it’s really empowering and exciting. I love how diverse and interesting it is to run your own business.
What was the very first product you made (and sold)?
My Rosemary and Frankincense salt soap was the first product I sold – first to friends and family, then, at Christmas Fairs in Edinburgh in 2018.
Which is your favourite Dook product?
In summer, I really like the Bergamot, Juniper and Rose Geranium salt soap – it smells citrussy and herbal and just floral enough plus it has a lovely sage green pattern from the French Green Clay.
If you didn’t run Dook, what would you be doing?
I’m a qualified primary school teacher – I was working as a supply teacher until just a few months ago. Running my own business is much more flexible and works better for me now that I have two young children.
Why do you buy from us here at Makers Ingredients?
You have a great range of products, consistent quality and competitive prices.
I also really like the fact that you don’t have a minimum order and that all the products are offered in sizes as small as 50ml up to 25kg. This gives me a lot of flexibility when ordering my supplies. I’ve been really impressed that the providence of the oils is right up there at the top of the information rather than hidden away.
What’s your favourite Makers Ingredients product?
Bergamot Essential Oil is one of my favourite oils and the one from your range is beautiful. A fruity citrus with a touch of herbal cologne and the most gorgeous lime green. I love it!
Finally, if you could give other Makers any tips or advice, what would they be?
Go for it!
There are lots of great supplies out there, plus websites and Facebook groups with a wealth of information about different types of homemade cosmetics and fragrances. It’s very empowering to create your own products, and even more so to brand them and have a go at selling them online or at markets.
Find out more about Dook just here.