Post archive

Christmas Soaps are here!

My range of Christmas soaps are finally ready. Every year I always say I'll get myself more organised and launch them earlier, but every year I just can't get "Christmassy" until now!!

But I'm really pleased with the range this year. As well as the old favourite "Figgy Pudding" and "Christmas Forest", I have added a new festive soap called "Secret Santa". A big thank you to Chrissy and Ray who thought up the name! I wanted a fragrance to encapsulate what I hope Santa might enjoy himself, and decided for a warm masculine blend of Sandalwood and Vanilla. The result? WOW!!!
The soaps are now on sale in my online shop, priced at £6 each.

Soaps now available to Purchase on Amazon Prime!

Just to let you know that some of my soaps (including the very popular bundle of five) are now available to purchase through Amazon Prime.

We have moved to new premises!

Phew, finally we are moved into our new nicer, bigger premises!

Our new address is:

BS26 2UG

Phone line being connected next Tuesday (fingers crossed!) so in the meantime I can be contacted via email
or mobile: 07758 510893


Jasmine Soap featured in Telegraph Magazine Beauty Page!

Really chuffed that my Jasmine soap has been featured in the "Three of the Best Bath Soaps" in the Fashion and Beauty page of the Telegraph magazine today!!

Showing off our new "MILLA MADDERN SKINCARE" range!

Gosh, can't believe it is 9 months since the last blog post! So much has happened....where to start??

Firstly to apologise to my customers for a certain amount of confusion I caused over the branding of our new MILLA MADDERN skincare range. We initially thought we'd call it "Jane Maddern" and launched a new website, for which I received a number of emails from very confused customers asking what had happened to my original soaps etc? Well, we had a rapid re-think, rebranded the new products as "MILLA MADDERN" (named after my lovely step-daughter/business partner Camilla!) and got my original website up and running again PDQ!!

Well, Camilla and I have been really bowled over by the positive response and feedback we've received about our new MILLA MADDERN skincare range
"So what is it?" I hear you ask...

Well, in a nutshell, MILLA MADDERN skincare products are all made with 10+ UMF* Organic Manuka Honey.
I absolutely love manuka honey after learning a bit about it on a holiday to New Zealand a few years ago.

* 'Unique Manuka Factor' or commonly known as UMF is the only worldwide standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength or quality of some strains of Manuka. It is a guarantee that the honey being sold has the special UMF antibacterial property.

Manuka Honey is really good for the skin, having proven skin healing and antibacterial properties.

Here are some links to comments made by beauty experts and bloggers so far.....

Jo Fairlie and Sarah Stacey from The Beauty Bible called it "The nicest British beauty story we've heard for a while"
See the full review here

Dandelion Baby blogger has written "I love the harmony hand wash and lotion, harnessing the antibactieral properties of manuka honey, they are great for all the family to share, and the scent of sandalwood, frankincese and neroli restores balance and serenity after a brisk country walk! "

See her full review here

Anyway, the Christmas season was crazy this year, with shows and craft fairs almost every weekend from the end of October to 22nd December, when we all escaped up to my family in Derbyshire for a lovely quiet Christmas - ahhh, bliss!!

I also said "goodbye and thank you" to Joan, a local lady who has been expertly wrapping and packaging my soaps for many years, as she and her husband moved back to the North East.

And so I say "Hello and Welcome!" to Alison, another local lady who is now filling the role. She tells me that she loves to wrap the soaps with the help of her partner Chris, while singing along to the radio!

Peter, Charlotte's partner is also working part of the week for me, and is now a fully trained soapmaker and a whizz with our new bottling machine!

So to update you on what's been happening so far in 2013...

We've just done the "Giving and Living" trade show in Exeter, promoting and selling both the original JANE MADDERN SOAPS and also our new MILLA MADDERN SKINCARE. We were very pleased with the reponse we received, and welcome some new stockists, details coming soon!

Also, my lovely quiet husband Nigel (a retired police officer) has discovered a rare hidden talent: he's also a gifted salesman! So he's going out and about to discover and woo new stockists, and also help with this year's craft and gift fairs. So if you own a gift shop in Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Surrey, Hampshire or Gloucestershire and would like Nigel to visit, please let me know!

Exciting new developments in the pipeline!

Changes are afoot at Jane Maddern HQ...

Firstly, I would like to welcome my step-daughter and new business partner, Camilla! She came to give me a hand a couple of months ago after moving to Bristol with her husband and their new baby, and now she is firmly an indispensible part of the team! She has vast experience in marketing and PR work, having worked at for Mr Dyson himself for a number of years before having a baby.

We have some exciting new developments planned, including lots of new products coming soon, an exciting new look to the Jane Maddern brand, a new and improved website and our first trade fair is booked at the Harrogate Home and Gift on July 15-18th.

Phew! I somehow don't think there will be much spare time to get bored or twiddle my thumbs :)

Spring is here at last!

Well, it's been a busy year so far! I'm very relieved that the new Spring soaps are now all ready, as I really didn't start planning them until the middle of January, which is probably a bit late!!

Ah, well, that's the fun of running a small business like this, you never know when you're going to feel inspired...

Must mention a couple of new trade customers!

Welcome to Hatice Erdogan, who now sells my products on her lovely stall in Camden Lock market. She is there
on Fridays or Saturdays until the end of March then she will be there every week on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from the first week of April.

Also I must say thank you to Jayne Rothery of who sent me a lovely picture of the products which she recently asked me to produce for her. She designed the labels herself, and I must say, they look brilliant! Her new website, which will sell high quality european equestrian clothing and accessories will be open soon, so please check it out soon!

Here is the picture of her custom branded products.

Jane Maddern Handmade Soaps has opened an Ebay shop!

Yes, finally got round to it - my new Ebay shop is here and open for business. Items for sale so far are my 90g soaps, handcreams and skin balms. I also have a limited number of gorgeous soap loaves for sale, though I will be making more of these soon.

Hope you can visit.

New Muscle and Joint Rub now on website!

Just to let you know that the new MUSCLE AND JOINT RUB in a 90g pot is now available to purchase on my online shop - priced at £12.00.                                                                                                                                                                                             Ease aching muscles and sore joints with this arnica and comfrey-infused rub, made with a specially-formulated beneficial blend of Peppermint, Spearmint, Black Pepper and Juniper Essential Oils. Massage a pea-size amount of rub into sore muscles or joints for gentle yet effective relief from aches and pains.

Ideal for athletes, runners, ramblers and gardeners.

Special Spring Offers!

Thank goodness Spring is here! The days are getting warmer and longer, and it's so lovely to see the Spring lambs gamboling along in the field behind the workshop. The pigs also like this warmer weather and often come over to say hello!

Saying that, it's still warmer outside my workshop than it is inside (bbbrrr!) so I still have several layers of clothing on to keep warm while I'm working.

So I've decided to launch a special Spring offer!

Buy two of the same 90g Goats Milk Soaps for £8.00

Just click on my online shop, then go to the Goats Milk Soap Page and click on the "Options" tag below the description to see the offer.

It's the perfect excuse to stock up on your favourite soaps, or buy one for someone special and keep one for yourself. Go know you want to!

Hope you have a lovely Easter


2011 Spring and Summer Show Dates Added!

I've just updated the "Show and Craft Fair" page with the events I'll be at during the Spring and Summer 2011. I'll be at the following events:

MAY: Stourhead 14th & 15th May
           Sherborne Castle Country Fair Bank Holiday Monday 30th May

JUNE: Axe Vale Festival 25ht & 26th June

JULY: Exeter Craft Festival (NEW!) 1st & 2nd July

AUGUST: North Devon Show, 3rd August
                 Gillingham & Shaftsbury Show 17th August
                 Dunster Show 19th August
                 Melplash Show 25th August

SEPTEMBER: Usk Show 10th September

More dates for Autumn and Christmas coming soon!

Welcome to my New Stockists

Just to keep you updated with my new stockists who have bugun stocking my products in their stores this Spring!

Say hello to:

Miss Carolina's Fine Soaps and Gifts, 1085 Pacific Coast Hwy, Seal Beach, CA.

Carolyn, the owner of Miss Carolina's, is my first American stockist, so welcome! She stocks a beautiful range of soaps, toiletries and gifts for all occasions.

The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9AF

The shop is full of beautiful itmes, many produced locally by skilled West Country craftsmen. Well worth a visit, and so near to beautiful Dartmoor!

Shy Violet, 27 High Street, Stalbridge, Dorset DT10 2LH

A gorgeous home accessories and gift shop in the heart of Dorset, run by Suzanne Rowlett and her husband, selling beautiful items for you and your home.

JAM Gallery, 47 High Street, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AG

Jam Gallery is a jewellery boutique based in the historic market town of Arundel, Run by Jackie Ramseyer, she has a keen eye for interesting jewellery design. The soaps make an lovely extra  gift for the discerning customer, as well as scenting the shop beautifully!

Gremlins in the website now fixed!

What a tough few days, since I tried to change a few things around on the site then all the pages got in a complete mess!!!
Have been working hard to get the website back on track, hence the "Under Construction" notice for the last couple of days. Anyway, sorry to any of my customers who tried to get on the site but couldn't! Hopefully everything is working again, but please do let me know if you are having trouble with browsing for or purchasing anything.
Thank you!

Belated Happy Christmas!!

Whoops! So sorry for not getting my Christmas greeting out on time. The Christmas fairs were busy as usual and I particularly enjoyed the "12 Days of Christmas" craft fair in Taunton town centre during December. (despite the cold!) But I have to say I am enjoying a bit of time off now and a chance to spend time with the family (and get my nose in a good book - "Heartstone" by CJ Samson to be exact!)

A great big thank you to all my customers for their custom and wonderful messages of support during 2010.

I am now taking a little break until after New Year to rest, relax and get organised for 2011. With this in mind, I have begun my January sale early with soap bargains galore in my updated sale page. Please note though that orders will not be processed until the 4th January. Sale items will be dispatched on a "first come, first served" basis.

I am also updating the website and am putting a new, fairer postage system into place. So orders up to £5 will only be charged £1.95 postage, orders up to £10 will have a £2.95 postage, orders up to £15 will have a £3.95 postage, orders up to £30.00 will have a £4.95 postage, and orders over £30 will be sent postage-free. Please let me know if you have any problems with the new postage system when you order.

So seasons greetings to everyone, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See you in 2011.

Craft and Vintage Gift Fair at Spaxton Village Hall Saturday 18th September 12-4pm

Had a last minute opportunity to be at the above craft and vintage gift fair tomorrow, so I said "yes please"! It's on from 12 noon till 4pm at Spaxton Village Hall, a beautiful and historic little village on the outskirts of Bridgwater. Sorry it's such short notice, but hope to see you there! It should be packed full of lovely gift and vintage-style accessories, so really looking forward to it.

Wow, what a great summer.

Just finished the last of my summer shows yesterday at Usk, in Monmouthshire (what a beautiful place, would love to spend a weekend there exploring when I'm not working!)

Well, it has been a really great summer of shows, beginning with Totnes Show, then on to the North Devon Show (in which I also won 4th prize for indoor exhibit in the Craft Marquee!). I then had a week off to go on a little holiday with my family to the Lincolnshire coast, then back to work at the end of August at the Melplash show, where I met lots of lovely customers who were coming back for second helpings! Finally, I had a great show at Usk yesterday where the weather held out, the sun eventually shone, and I won 1st Prize for the "Best Indoor Trade Exhibit 2010"! That was a lovely surprise, and lots of customers commented on how nice the stand looked, which was lovely!

Production-wise, I'm now hard at work making enough soap and stuff for the Christmas season, which looks like it's going to be the busiest yet. I'm really looking forward to being part of the 'Christmas Crafts' in Taunton town centre every day throughout the second and third week of December. There will be the chance to fill beautiful little hemp bags full of your own goodies, and plenty of items for under £10. Great if you're watching yout budget this Christmas!


Phew, it's that time of year when the summer shows have now begun. North Devon show last Wednesday was great - loads of local people supporting it, the weather reasonable (rained in the morning then lots of sunshine after that). Had a very busy day in the craft marquee, so at the end was tired but happy!
Looking forward to the weekend craft fair at Sanders Garden World (on A38 North just off M5, Junction 22).

New Products

Alright, don't get too excited!

 I decided this week to add a new handcream to the current range. It's to compliment my new Neroli, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense soap which I brought out a few months ago. It's been quite a success so the new handcream will soon be in the shop, so look out for it!

I am starting a new 'sister' company called "Jolly Good Soaps" (website out soon) as for a long time I have wanted to develop my creative skills making bright, colourful goats milk soaps with a modern twist, which are still good for your skin, but just a little different from the rest, and fun to make! The soaps are currently available exclusively through ebay

Thankyou to everyone who returns the fabric wraps to me - I pass them on to Joan to use for her sales of lovely handmade quilted items to raise money for the South West Childrens Hospice down in Barnstaple, Devon.

If there are any quilters out there who have made anything interesting out of the fabric wraps, please feel free to send in your stories and pictures, as I'd love to add a feature on the website! Look forward to hearing from you.

Hubbie now roped in to help!

Yes, poor man, I've got Nigel doing a few hour a week for me up at the unit! It turns out he's actually rather good at cutting my soap blocks up into bars, so that's now his job (for now).

I have lots of new personalised label ideas which will be on the website in the next few days.

I occurred to me that soon I'm going to have to get a little "End of Year 6" pressie for my son's teacher, and suddenly had one of those "lighbulb over the top of the head" moments. Aha! What about creating a "For the Best Teacher Ever" soap presented in a lovely white gift box with raffia ribbon to finish?

If you like this idea, check it out, and let me know what you (and the teacher thinks)!

On the same train of thought, to recognise some of the great unsung heroes and heroines in school, I also created a "For the Best Classroom Asssistant Ever" and "For the Best Learning Support Asssistant Ever" also a "For the Best Lollipop Lady Ever" and "For the Best Dinner Lady Ever" soap. I hope the chaps at school don't feel missed out, so if you need a "Best Lollypop Man" etc, just let me know and I will gladly change your soap to your personal needs!

I have created these to coincide with the end of the school year, so order soon!

New "Happy Birthday" and "Thankyou" soaps now online

I'm really pleased that I found time to put my lovely new personal message goats milk soaps on the website!

There is a "Happy Birthday" soap page, with special labels for mum, dad, grandma and grandad. Then there is also a new "Thankyou" soap page, with special labels that say "Thankyou for looking after our dog", "Thankyou for looking after our cat" and simply "Just to say thankyou". I hope these will be a welcome addition to my range, especially as we approach the holiday season, where friends, kennels, catteries and neighbours may be looking after our beloved pets!

New Individual Personalised Soaps! Plus new logo unveiled.

Had a flash of inspiration today. "Why not offer my private customers a personalised soap for a really speacial gift to someone?" So that's what I've done.

Began with some ideas,

'Happy Birthday Grandma'

'Thankyou for looking after our dog'

'Happy Anniversary' etc

Printed out some labels, got the old camera out, click, click and hey presto! So if you have someone you know who would like to receive an extra-special soap with their name and a message on it, consider it done!

Other news: hope you have noticed the 'new look' web header, with my new logo! Cool eh?



Neroli, YlangYlang and Frankincense soap now on website

Hooray! My new soap, Neroli, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense is now ready and looks fabulous in it's chosen fabric. Can't wait to add it to the site - hopefully tomorrow when I've had chance to photograph it!

Have just come back from a lovely weekend in Derbyshire visiting my mum and sister. The weather has been glorious, and we found some lovely local footpaths to take Lucy walking on. The delicate spring woodland flowers were out and were so beautiful to see - like a fairy wood!

Well, back to work tomorrow, though I think I will be mostly organising the sending out of orders and updating the website. Then the day after I will need to make another batch of Lemongrass & Cedarwood soap, followed by a batch of Violet and Rose soap. The batches will be much easier to pour into my soap frames from now on as I now as I have a new super-duper pot tipper, made for me by a very talented local carpenter - thankyou Doug, you're a star!!


Had creative burst this week.

Still pretty chilly in the unit but have had little heater to keep me warm, and have been wearing lots of layers! Now I can really focus on what I'm doing, so made small test batches of a new doggie shampoo bar, made with all natural ingredients including castor oil (for a good lather), lashings of kukui nut oil and calendula oil to nourish fur and the delicate skin underneath. Can't wait to try it on Lucy! (our golden retriever pup - now 6 months old) We take her down on Berrow beach every morning which she loves. It's such a great big open space for her to run about on, and I like to go beachcombing for driftwood for my friend Eleanor's open fire. Lucy gets a bit smelly though, with all the sand and saltwater (and mud!) so I'm hoping she'll enjoy a bit of a soap-down with my new solid shampoo bar!

I've also made a batch of my new soap for 2010 - Neroli, Ylang Ylang & Frankincense - mmm, yummy! This will be ready for sale beginning of April. The fabric is ready and waiting, and should look fabulous.


New premises now up and running!

Am so excited to report that soaps are now made at my lovely new premises in rural Somerset! This week thanks to the extra room and fab new oil melter I have managed to make batches of English Rose & Buttermilk, Honeysuckle & Rose and Rosewood & Patchouli soap. Peter and Jill (the site owners and makers of The Beautiful Beanbag Company have made me feel very welcome (thanks guys!) and have already baggied (Sorry - no pun intended!) some of the soaps, once they're ready.


Snow, snow and more ruddy snow!

Hi to everyone who reads this - Happy New Year by the way! (yes, I know it's a bit late...)

Well, the year got off to quite a good start. Signed on the dotted line for my new premises (yay!) at Badgworth Barns, Weare and have started moving stuff over there. It's basically a single-storey converted cowshed with an office, kitchen and huge storage room. (no heating though, so it's also freezing at the moment!) Doug, my carpenter neighbour (lovely guy) and I went out to get some timber and stuff as he is going to build me a little drying room (ok, a glorified airing cupboard) that I can dry and cure the soaps in. I've also arranged for an electrician to come over to give me a quote for a bit of work I need doing (a few extra sockets and stuff) but unfortunately the snow has meant I couldn't get up to the premises so everything has been on hold until the weather improves.....what a pain!
So I'm continuing soap/handcream/balm production here at home until the above work is finished. Made a batch of 'Violet and Rose' soap on Friday and will make another batch of 'Heather and Honey' soap tomorrow, all being well...

Will keep you informed of developments.......!

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