Celebrate IWD with Emma from The ANSC

Mar 07, 2020by Julie - F&F

As part of our International Women's Day focus, we're talking to Emma from The Australian Natural Soap Company, a gorgeous relaxed human. Emma started this business to help everyone appreciate the greatness and versatility of soap. Let's find out more. 

1) Emma, what is your favourite thing about running The ANSC?

I love that I’ve been able to create a business out of a passion. Most of our products have come out of my family’s own personal journey to reduce household waste so it’s wonderful to think that our soaps have become an important part of other people’s households.

2) What is one lesson you've learnt on your journey - could be work or personal?

Never undervalue your own time. I still fall into the trap of thinking I can do everything. But I’ve regularly learnt the hard way that my time is best spent on the development and management side of the business. It is hard though when a big part of my job when I first created the business was actually making the soap... I sometimes miss those days! 

3) Are there three words to describe your day?

I’m still the primary carer of my 18 month old daughter so a typical day in 3 words would be: A juggling act!

Emma, Founder of The Australian Natural Soap CompanyEmma, Founder of The Australian Natural Soap Company

4) Is there one piece of advice you would give for any future entrepreneurs?

Start small! And as soon as you can humanly possible get your products in front of paying customers. My first year in business, I sold at any market possible, which was exhausting and not all that profitable but it meant I got feedback straight away and was able to become confident in our product range. 

The Australian Natural Soap CompanyThe Australian Natural Soap Company

5) What is your favourite The ANSC product?

I cannot live without our soap flakes. I feel like I use about a kilo of these some days, washing all my daughter’s clothes and nappies and the cleaning gel it makes works on pretty much anything. We’d been using our soap offcuts for years in this way in our house so it makes me so happy that they have become one of our most popular products.

6) Running a business is stressful - how do you make sure you stay on top of the hecticness, not the other way around?

Accept that you can never turn off from the business and work around it. Work comes with me everywhere, which to some might sound awful but it actually gives me a certain freedom. As long as I have a mobile or laptop, I don’t have to be in the office so I can choose where I work.


6) Can you name a time you have had to be Bold and Brave?

Definitely when I first took the plunge and quit my very comfortable and well paying day job to concentrate on the business full-time. I think a lot of people around me didn't understand why I would give up that security for something that seemed so risky and wishy washy. It was definitely a hard slog there for a while, with little reward and I'm not sure I would want to do it ever again but I learnt a lot from the experience both personally and professionally.

7) Lastly the theme of this year's IWD is 'An equal world is an enabled world'. What does that mean to you?

The word enabled makes me think of technology so I can't go past how technology has served as a great equaliser in recent times. I'm part of a few business groups on facebook and I'm in awe of the amount of women that take the leap and start up their own business, often with not much more than a gut feeling and confidence in their idea. Technology has made it much easier to start a business. I often think when I am doing my accounting, rostering, invoicing, inventory management, etc, all on my laptop - usually while my daughter is playing with her toys next to me - how did people do this before the internet?!

You can find all of The ANSC products at Flora & Fauna

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