Made in Hackney: How soap made in a Lower Clapton kitchen ‘snowballed’ into the Funky Soap Company

Anni Kriesche who founded the Funky Soap Shop

Anni Kriesche who founded the Funky Soap Shop - Credit: Funky Soap

Each week the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we visit Anni Kriesche who started out making soap in her Lower Clapton kitchen five years ago

Funky Soap Shop's soap

Funky Soap Shop's soap - Credit: Funky Soap

Anni Kriesche started making natural soap in the kitchen of her home in Glyn Road, Lower Clapton, five years ago.

The mum-of-three, 48, has gone from selling 60 Funky Soap Company bars a week to up to 600 a day. She has expanded to a factory in the Lea Bridge Road where she employs eight other mums. “I was trying to find something I could fit around the children,” she told the Gazette, “so I started making soap as a hobby. It just snowballed.”

The process wasn’t without teething problems.

“I did once try it in a saucepan but I found that the things I was using had a reaction with the metal and everything exploded in the kitchen,” she said. “You must never use metal.”

She now sells wholesale to businesses and online and has a turnover of £300,000.

“That includes the post costs,” Anni explained, “which are obviously very high, as we sell online mainly. The profit isn’t that high but you can see the growth of the company.

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“I work all hours – I do everything. I do the advertising and the photos, I make the recipes and the cosmetic safety registration.”