Start-up story: Clarke’s of Dublin Handmade Soap

Suzanne Clarke from Dublin is the owner maker of Clarkes of Dublin, Handmade Soap, named Clarkes in honour of her great grandfather Philip Clarke who took part in the Dublin lockout in 1914 and the1916 Rising. Suzanne has always had a passion for hand-made soaps and scent. She has shopped at craft fairs for many years with her husband Thomas purchasing Irish handmade soaps for their home.

Create a future for yourself

Suzanne initially trained as a sculptor at the North Strand College and also studied ancient history & Archaeology and History of Art and architecture at Trinity College Dublin. Up to 2008, Suzanne worked at Trinity College for the disability service and worked in galleries in Dublin and an art auction house. At the end of 2008 with the recession and cutbacks, Suzanne found herself with no job and realised she had to create a future for herself and her family. After watching “Kirstie’s Homemade Home” in 2009 there was a section on handmade soaps. The next day she headed to the Coolock Library to get a copy of Kirstie’s book. This is where the journey to Clarke's of Dublin began. While researching she also saw a gap in the market for a handmade soap business using the very best of Irish ingredients.

Passion for art

During this time Suzanne followed her passion for Art, working front- house at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Gallery in Dublin where she still continues with this role as well as running Clarke's of Dublin. Suzanne had heard of the Northside Business and Community Campus on Bunratty Drive in Coolock and rented a business unit in 2011 where she has developed her recipes and manufacturing process. It is a great facility with 24 hours security 365 days of the year. A lot of time, effort and thought have been imputed to create the soap business Suzanne has today. After securing funding from the Dublin city enterprise board she initially employed an award winning packaging designer a soap guru from France and completed a manufacturing course in London.

Launched in 2013

Clarke's of Dublin handmade soap was launched at the end of 2013 over four venues. Suzanne met Nicola Byrne CEO of 11890 and Pauline Mc Kieran of Ulster bank at the Northside Business Campus. Other launch venues included Bank of Ireland Enterprise week at College Green and the architectural archives at Merrion Square and back to the Bank of Ireland for Designer Dublin. The response to Clarke's of Dublin has been outstanding, and more people are hearing of it from word of mouth, so watch this space!

The product

Clarke’s create beautiful soap from the finest natural ingredients, seaweeds from the coasts of Galway and Donegal, beeswax from the Royal County Meath, Offaly goats milk, Irish spring water and the very best Atlantic sea salt from West Cork. There are five soaps in the range. These are carefully blended with the very best olive oil, coconut oil and essential oils sourced ethically from around the world. Clarkes adhere to a strict cruelty-free policy. The soaps are super softening. Clarkes make soap the traditional, time-honoured way; hand poured, hand cut and hand wrapped .They have 100% control over what ingredients go into the soap as well as 100% control over the process to make it. Each bar takes 4 to 6 weeks to cure, ensuring a good neutral PH. When a final quality inspection is complete the soap is put into pretty boxes and ready to be shipped.

Ireland, Canada and the USA

Suzanne’s Soaps are also now available at the following venues: Melt Natural Healing Centre in Temple Bar, the Irish Design Shop Drury street,  the Garden Flower shop at Powerscourt Townhouse, all Nourish Health and Beauty Stores,  “The littlest Museum of Dublin" on St Stephen’s Green, Coppa  cafe, Ely place, and The Old Mill House Skibereen Cork. Clarke's soaps are also shipped by My Ireland Box based in Kerry to Canada and the USA. Clarke's of Dublin Soaps are manufactured and distributed from No 1 the Studio, Northside Business Campus, Bunratty Road, Dublin 17. For further information contact Suzanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. and
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