Wild Oats Soap, a Lismore kitchen table start up, borne from a love of natural oils, pure scent and the dearth of soap products for sensitive skin has recently won contracts to supply some of Ireland’s leading retail outlets.
The idea to produce fresh fragrant soaps for sensitive skin was the brainchild of marketing professional Karen Cottier back in 2013. Three years later, Karen was joined by analytical scientist, Deirdre Meany and Wild Oats Soaps Ltd was founded. In less than a year, Wild Oats Soap, has expanded its range to include not just soaps, but baths milks and body oils.
Before developing its Tender range, Karen and Deirdre approached Waterford Local Enterprise Office to enquire about what support services were available to help them grow their business.
“Upscaling and developing new ranges takes time, money and support. With the help of Waterford LEO in the form of business advice, mentoring, training and financial support we were able to focus on developing the business and hone our strategy.”
Karen added, “Any small business owner will tell you there aren’t enough hours in the day. However, the support of Waterford LEO gave Wild Oats the time and the opportunity to expand production, explore new markets and export potential.”
Wild Oats Soaps is produced using hand-picked local botanicals, which are then mixed with the finest oils. In addition, they are further blended with Flahavan’s Organic Oats, which provide a natural form of nourishment and protection for the skin.
From the kitchen table to the shelves of leading pharmacies, Ardkeen Quality Foodstores, Kilkenny Design Centre, Galway’s Evergreen chain, Nicolas Mosse Pottery in Kilkenny amongst many other stores, Wild Oats Soap is much in demand both as a beautiful gift and for the many Irish people suffering from skin problems who want scent free, detergent free, natural and moisturising soap products.
Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford LEO said that the combination of Karen and Deirdre’s diverse yet complementary skillsets, along with their determination to create a quality and attractive product were the keys to their business success.
“Karen and Deirdre came to us with an attractive, well researched product. They identified a gap in the market for tender skin products and created this product that perfectly fit that gap.”
“Waterford LEO was delighted to support them by providing mentoring and a capital grant to move into a more suitable production facility. Seeing a product that started in the kitchen and is now a prominent feature on the shelves of leading pharmacies and retailers is a ringing endorsement of the hard work and dedication of Karen and Deirdre.”
If you have a business idea and would like to find out more about what support services are available, call Local Enterprise Office Waterford on 0761 102905 or call into the offices at 35 The Mall, Waterford or The Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
A list of LEO support services is also available on www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford