Chloe of Cheeky Suds makes bath and body treats, like soap in the shape of cupcakes, fried eggs and ice lollies, that could leave you foaming at the mouth!
1. You have a fascinating product range! What made you think of making soap shaped like doughnuts or coffee beans?
I buy most of my fragrance oils online, and you can get an amazing range these days – like birthday cake and banoffi pie! I made some soap for my brother that smells of freshly mown grass because he loves the smell. Chocolate is another favourite!
2. Do you have special facilities for making your products?
No – I use saucepans, a microwave and double boilers! It’s a challenge, as I don’t have space in my one-bedroom flat to hoard stuff, so most items I make to order.
3. What about safety and testing?
I have a cosmetics safety assessor who gives me lists of what ingredients I can use and in what combinations. If I stick to those I don’t need to test my products, but if I use other combinations I have to have them tested. I also have insurance just in case! I suffered from eczema when I was younger, so none of my products contain sodium lauryl sulphate, which is a mild irritant. I use everything I make myself, so I know they’re good for sensitive skin.
4. Do you have a background in chemistry?
No – my career has been in criminal justice, first as a prison officer, then in the probation service and youth justice! But then my contract ended, the public sector cuts came in and I thought I should do something else. I’ve always loved cosmetics, and I get bored easily, so this is ideal for me – I can experiment with different fragrances and ideas.
5. So you don’t get bored living in Brixton?
I’m originally from Manchester – I moved to London 14 years ago. In that time I’ve moved house 10 times – but I’ve lived in Brixton for the past eight years. Considering I get bored easily, there must be something about it that keeps me here! London is more multicultural and has a huge variety of restaurants. Whenever my brother comes to visit we try to go a different nationality restaurant.
6. Can you recommend some of the places you’ve tried?
The Gold Coast in South Norwood does good Ghanaian food and service. Bar Estrela, the Portuguese café on South Lambeth Road, does great mussels and paella. And I also like Asmara, the Eritrean restaurant on Coldharbour Lane. I love food. When I set up my own business I did think about baking rather than making cosmetics. And even now, when I see people selling food I feel a bit jealous!
7. And why did you join Makerhood?
My neighbour told me about it and asked whether I had any stuff on the site. I think it’s great for people to be aware that I’m in the local area, even if I don’t get many sales. And it’s good for finding out information – I was gutted when I was too late to get tickets for the local makers’ forum.
You can order Chloe’s gorgeous bath and cosmetic treats at http://brixton.makerhood.com/cheeky-suds