In March 2012 after many years of dreaming about the concept of SOAK Yourself and slowly developing it, Jackie Hope launched her dream business.
"The product was ready to go to market in October 2012, but we've been tweaking here and there since then. I launched the business after years of ideas and dreams, and felt that if I didn't just go for it I would never do it," explains Jackie.
At the time, Jackie was working in the city as a Commercial Building Surveyor and wasn't happy. "It wasn't what I wanted from life. The idea of the Bath Ritual Recipe Kit grew stronger as I witnessed the long hours everyone around me were working. I was also commuting four hours per day and had no life whatsoever. I had no energy to even connect with my husband when I got home, and on top of this I was expected to study for an impending exam. I just decided it was now or never, and went ahead creating a product which I hoped would bring some joy to people's lives."
Jackie's background in marketing helped her achieve her dream. The design, packaging, copy writing, and branding is all a product of her marketing days. "I left marketing in 2004 to study towards a degree, something I always felt I was lacking. I decided on construction as I've always been interested in buildings and architecture. When I was young I didn't finish school and proceeded to have my son very early, so I knew I had missed out on an education. I was a bit of a rebel, and always will be to some degree, I guess."
The brand's USP is that all ingredients used are all natural. Jackie also tries to source as much from the UK as she can. "Our Bath Ritual Recipe Kits come with permission to take time out for yourself. They are not just smellies in a box. Each kit is designed to be an experience and a ritual, and comes with instructions which not only guide the user on how to draw the bath, but gently guide them to a more happy and relaxed state of mind.
We include everything one needs for a guilt-free soak, including tea bags to make a relaxing cup of tea while you soak. Our products are completely hand-made. We cut every ribbon, tie every bow and hand-pack each item. You can see, smell and feel the luxury of the product. Even our lovely boxes are hand-made in England."
There are currently seven different bath ritual recipe kits in two sizes: Feeling Groovy SOAK, Love SOAK, Remedy SOAK, Muscle SOAK, Blanche the Blues SOAK, Full Moon SOAK and the Broken Heart SOAK. "Creating the seven different recipes was a lot of fun but also challenging. There are so many elements to each recipe, and I wanted to get the mix of benefits, colours, aromas, etc just right. We also have a range of 100 per cent natural, hand-made artisan soaps and there are 17 in total. We have a new range of soaps coming out in the first quarter of next year. I'm very excited about that."
Jackie takes inspiration from day-to-day life. She enjoys nature and would prefer to be outdoors most of the time. "I also just love aesthetics and colour and a lot of my decisions are based on how something looks to me, and in turn how that feels to me. So much of what I have developed with this product came about by just playing with different ideas and colours."
The Feeling Groovy SOAK is the brand's best-seller. This is a generic relaxation kit available in two sizes, original and small. In January - February the Love SOAK is the best-seller, for Valentine's Day.
Other products are already in the pipeline. "Our logo lends itself to many possibilities. I have a lot of ideas in the pipeline, the first of which will be face and body cream, as well as massage oils."
SOAK Yourself is stocked in big names such as Fortnum & Mason, Blue Diamond Group and the Four Seasons Hotel Group. "These are amazing opportunities for us, but we consider the independents to be hugely important to us as our goal as a company is to ultimately be helping people to make a living from doing something they love. People who are passionate about their little retail unit are the ones we target."
Jackie is currently developing a range of new products, but won't reveal anything just yet.
For more information, visit www.soakyourself.co.uk