Entrepreneur brings Portsmouth’s soap history back to life

Samantha Worsey is hoping to revive Portsmouth's soap industry by setting up a business
Samantha Worsey is hoping to revive Portsmouth's soap industry by setting up a business

Pub party to mark major £300k revamp

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BACK in the 1930s Portsmouth was known around the world for its soap industry.

And now entrepreneur Samantha Worsey is aiming to bring that heritage back to the city.

After coming across an old article about Portsmouth’s soap-making past she decided give it a go.

In its prime, the city boasted Doudneys of Commercial Road, which sold Dolphin Soap brand around the world, and Tillys. Both are long-since gone.

Samantha said: ‘People have been saying to me for many years that I should try selling the soap that I make.

‘So I looked into it and came across the article on The News website.’

The enthusiast was amazed and delighted to discover that Portsmouth had been a major soap city.

‘I thought I’ve got to try and bring back this amazing lost heritage industry,’ said Samantha.

The Southsea resident decided to start the Southsea Bathing Hut.

Samantha said: ‘It’s a real family business at the moment. Mum helps me make the soap, my husband cuts it and my dad helps with packaging.’

After extensive research Samantha has decided to use the traditional cold process method for making soap.

‘It was the approach that our great-grandmothers and grandmothers would have used to make soap at home.

‘This would have been made by hand and used for more than keeping people clean,’ said Samantha.

The firm’s range of artisan bars use high quality, natural ingredients, reflecting the changing place of soap in our lives and Samantha’s seaside home.

‘We decided to use cheeky seaside names as we wanted to create a product that reflected our seaside city,’ said Samantha.

The range of nine includes ‘Aloe’ Sailor, Almond Ahoy, Ooh-La-Lavender and Mint Overboard.

Since starting trading in April 2015, the business has focused on building a presence at Hampshire and Sussex markets.

Through these she has seen a big boost in her online shop with companies look for goods for their customers.

‘We are now starting to get orders from shops across the country wanting our quality products,’ said Samantha.

But the ambitious business owner hopes that she can have a helping hand in the city’s soap industry making waves across the world once more.