17-20 July 2022
Home & Gift
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/ 24 Jun, 2021
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BEHIND THE BRAND THE HIGHLAND SOAP

Can you give an introduction to who you are and who/what your brand is and how long your brand has been around for? Is this your first Home & Gift?  
 
The Highland Soap Company is a small, family-owned maker of soap and skincare products based in the Highlands of Scotland. We make organic, cruelty-free and sustainably packaged products at our workshop in Fort William. We partner with retailers to offer our range of products in some lovely shops across the UK and abroad. We welcome enquiries from high street retailers, heritage gift shops, health food shops and pharmacies looking for information about stocking our product range. 
 
How did you start your brand? (Include where the idea come from and who/what was your inspiration, who helped you along the way etc.) 
 
My name is Emma Parton and I started making soap and skincare in the late 1990s because the organic brands that existed were unattractively packaged. I thought that high quality, beautiful and sustainable products would be popular everywhere and so started making our own. I love the Highlands, the countryside and am constantly inspired by nature, and from our sugarcane bottles to our floral, fruity or herby fragrances, it all comes back to our Highland home and making it accessible to all, near and far. From our base in the Highlands of Scotland, we are trying to create a skincare brand loved nationally - 50% of our sales come from outside of Scotland and we are continuing to try and bring our products to new towns across the UK.  
 
What’s been your biggest highlight whilst creating your brand? Why is it you love what you do? 
 
We have just built a new workshop; set in six acres of parkland with views over Ben Nevis, the UK’s biggest mountain, it is emblematic of what we are trying to do. It has been a £3m investment, which for a small company like ours has been a once-in-a-lifetime effort. It has a beautiful café and shop and we do tours and give soap-making classes. We really believe in what we are doing and want to use our new home to showcase where we come from and what we are about. 
 
Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out? (e.g. any struggles and how you overcame them) 
 
Though I founded Highland Soap 20 years ago, we have enjoyed massive growth in recent years, quadrupling in size. We have opened a number of new shops, built relationships with distributors in the EU, USA and Asia and gone from supplying 30 stockists to over 400. With these big changes, there were a lot of nerves. Oh to have known that all was going to be well! The advice would have been to enjoy the process. 
 
Can you tell us about your new collections/ranges that you’ll be launching at Home & Gift? (include any events you’ll arrange onsite if applicable) 
 
We are launching a new gifting range at the show which we are really excited about. A hand wash and hand lotion gift set in a contemporary tartan wash bag, a new Juniper & Lime fragrance and a men’s range are the highlights. All organic and sustainably packaged, of course.  
 
Any personal favourites from your new collection? 
 
I love our new Juniper & Lime eau de cologne. A woody, citrusy fragrance and beautifully bottled. We think it will be a big hit.
 
 
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