The Solid Bar Company spent years perfecting our complex care products that are now award-winning, sustainable, plastic-free and vegan. They smell great too and eliminate the need for water and plastic. They are manufactured by us in Oxfordshire.
They are different to other solid products on the market and include haircare bars, repellent lotion bars, healing balms, magnesium deodorants, Castile soaps, pet bars and more. We also use some of our own grown herbs and flowers in our products.
Tell us about yourself?
I started off in banking in the city, specializing in equity arbitrage trading.
I then studied horticulture, moved to the countryside, and had a landscaping and design business before selling up and buying a boat, crossing the Atlantic, and living on it in the West Indies for almost three years (and losing our engine half way across, which I’m currently writing a novel about).
It wasn’t easy or quite what I’d planned, but it did end up giving me the inspiration for solid, waterless products that are easy to use, kind to the seas and environment, travel well and don’t cost the earth!
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Don’t do it! Just kidding. I’m not sure really.. probably ‘keep going, you’ll get there’…
What problem does your business solve?
The products are not only ticking lots of eco-friendly boxes but they actually work. If they didn’t work then we would not bother and consumers would switch back to what they used before because as much as people want to support local, sustainable businesses, they don’t want bad hair or deodorants that don’t work in order to do so.
Our products actually work and are competitively priced too – another important factor.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We got our inspiration from sailing a 36ft yacht across the Atlantic with days of blue as far as the eye could see, nights of stars down to the water during every phase of the moon, crossing paths with flying fish and dolphins racing at the bow.
However, our plastic-laden bottles of shampoo and shower gel were always ricocheting noisily around on passage as they bounced off the walls for much of the time or would often leak everywhere.
That was the light bulb moment which then took many years of formulating to actually get right.
What is your magic sauce?
We have tweaked some of our products over 40 times to get them right (as they are waterless any slight change makes a big difference). I see alot of shampoos/conditioners, for example with ingredients that science shows won’t work well, for example.
We have spent years on the chemistry of them. We also spent two years in the Caribbean perfecting our repellent bars getting bitten a lot by black flies and mosquitoes to get them right!
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
To save as many plastic bottles as possible is one of important one whether through brick or online stores, directly to consumers, subscription boxes, hair salons, hotel chains (we are now in the Mandarin Oriental Global catalogue) and so on; getting everyone using plastic free care products (unfortunately many on the market aren’t good which is off putting and a re-education process is required so people understand the differences; our blogs explain the science behind them and what to look out for).
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Re-educating people that soap is terrible for hair, pH balanced ingredients are necessary for your hair and scalp.
Also keeping ourselves going financially, spending what we have on marketing and stock, seeing inferior products do better.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Anyone interested in stocking our products or possibly investing in us.