Samantha moves into new base for soap and glory

IT ALL started on a kitchen table in a Southsea home.

Monday, 27th March 2017, 6:14 am
Updated Monday, 27th March 2017, 1:18 pm
Samantha Worsey inside Southsea Bathing Hut's new premises. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170324-1)

Now two years on, natural skincare business Southsea Bathing Hut has expanded and taken over a new home in an industrial unit.

The small business was founded by Samantha Worsey, who wanted to resurrect Portsmouth’s soap making heritage.

She started by selling handmade soap at markets and has gradually developed a range of skincare products.

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Southsea Bathing Hut has seen its popularity soar since, with contracts signed with major brands such as Sussex-based chocolate company, Montezuma’s, online platforms Etsy and Folksy and online retailer Not On The High Street.

The company, which celebrates its second birthday next month, has also won a host of awards including being named Retailer of the Year at The News Business Excellence Awards.

It also won Independent Retailer of the Year and it was runner-up in the New Retailer of the Year award at The News Retail and Leisure Awards.

The company branched out into retail last year and set up shop at Strong Island Co in Highland Road, Southsea.

But last week it moved into its new base at the Portsmouth Enterprise Centre.

Samantha said: ‘This is a business that wants to help put Portsmouth on the map as a home for exciting, ethical and original homegrown products.

‘Having its own new place on the map is just the start.’

Owned and managed by Portsmouth City Council, the Enterprise Centre in Quartremaine Road was Europe’s first purpose-built centre for start-up and micro-businesses. It aims to help increase business start-up rates in the city, and provide a ‘first premises’ solution for micro-businesses.

For Southsea Bathing Hut, which was shortlisted as Micro Business of the Year at the British Small Business Awards last year, it is an ideal solution.

Samantha said: ‘Bringing production, storage and management into one place will make a huge difference to us. Most importantly, having this unit will enable us to expand what we offer.

‘We will be able to explore opportunities to trade both nationally and internationally. We will be able to open a skincare laboratory, to develop new natural and cruelty-free products. We also plan to host some special events for customers.’

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