“I’ve always been an entrepreneur, but this is probably the biggest challenge in business I’ve ever gotten into because we started off with zero in a market that’s still evolving,” said Fitzpatrick, who also owns another environmentally friendly company, Storm Water Inspection & Maintenance Services Inc. “Even in this economy, people are purchasing products for their kids and their pets, and organics are where people are putting their money.”
Indeed, Ennis and Fitzpatrick have diligently been courting big brands and catering to the needs of their clients since Green Soap Inc.’s inception. Their success has enabled the charming, fast-talking, dynamic twosome to make a living, but it’s also laid the groundwork for Green Soap Organics to eventually compete in the natural and organic marketplace.
“You don’t want to be in the market at the end of the trend; you want to be at the beginning, and we’re right there,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s exciting. There are no limits to how much you can grow.”
After 20 years in electronics sales and marketing, Ennis became a massage therapist and collaborated with manufacturers to start a line of natural and organic products. “Through massage therapy, I had a lot of clients who had autoimmune diseases and skin concerns,” she said. “I’ve always been health oriented, but because I had to be mindful of my clients’ conditions, that really prompted me to go the natural and organic route.”
Following the dissolution of her main skin care manufacturing partnership, however, Ennis rolled up her sleeves, called Fitzpatrick and got to work.
“I spent months playing chemist and found out I was good at it,” she said. “What we ended up creating was the very first certified organic household cleaning products for a national chain, and that became the cornerstone of the business. Now, if I see something at the grocery store and it’s organic, I can purchase it and start formulating with it,” said Ennis, who crafts products that can include combinations of organic food and plant extracts and/or essential oils.
Green Soap Inc. earned the USDA Certified Organic seal of approval for its products and 3,000-square-foot production facility in October of 2010.
“It’s a pretty intense audit that happens every single year,” Fitzpatrick said. The process is arduous, time consuming and heavily regulated. For example, certifiers who work on behalf of the USDA conduct detailed site inspections, and all formulation recipes and raw material receipts are submitted to ensure that every ingredient is certified organic. Without the USDA Certified Organic seal, Ennis and Fitzpatrick’s products could not officially claim that the bar soap they produce, for instance, is 95-percent certified organic.
Green Soap Inc.’s formulations can be found in brands at major retail chains such as Whole Foods and Lowe’s, and have also made it overseas. Their goods include laundry detergent, dish soap and household cleaners; pet products; personal-care products for adults (e.g., lip balm, body lotion and butters, body wash, bar soaps and liquid soap); and baby care that’s wheat, dairy and nut free and/or vegan.
As the Green Soap Organics brand launch looms, Ennis is getting the retail site up and running. Additionally, the duo wants to take advantage of the upcoming holiday shopping season and set up a local pop-up shop come October.
They envision an interactive atmosphere that welcomes customers’ input for the creation of custom-scented, custom-blended body care products. Guests could also watch soap being made right in the store. The store would also sell other goods, such as liquid laundry detergent, and customers could pump and purchase detergent by the ounce into containers brought from home.
“I love my work because I enjoy creating something from nothing, and we’re also creating something positive,” Ennis said. “There’s reward for the planet and for people, and it’s fun, too.”
For private label and other inquires, visit www.greensoapinc.com.