Indiana Daily Student

Soapy Soap Company relocates, revamps business

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for Bloomington’s Soapy Soap Company, co-owner Mohammed M. Mahdi said.

The company receives individual orders as well as orders from wholesale stores looking to stock up on their products, Mahdi said. To accommodate, production has shifted to creating holiday gift sets with the company’s current products.

It has a kiosk at Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis for the season that Mahdi said they built. He said that’s how the company began — doing things on its own.

To top it off, it is also in the middle of moving its entire production in Bloomington.

“This is the worst time for us to move, simply put,” Mahdi said.

The Soapy Soap Company warehouse has relocated to 903 W. First St. after three years at its previous location.

The company, started by co-owners Mahdi, Mohammed A. Mahdi and Anthony Duncan, began producing handcrafted bars of soap in the owners’ kitchen in 2012.

They later expanded their operation to a warehouse at 300 W. Hillside Dr., less than five minutes away from the new location, M. Mahdi said.

Their new location should be open to the public in mid-January, Duncan said.

M. Mahdi said they have a broad range of ideas about the design but haven’t had the time to draw up blueprints yet.

The move to First Street is just the first step, he said.

“We’re seeing this move as an opportunity to 
reorganize,” M. Mahdi said.

They would like to customize the space, but their first priority is cleaning, M. Mahdi said. In January, they will decide what rooms to paint and outfit for different parts of soap production.

“Because we treat our products like food, we don’t feel comfortable opening up a box of coconut oil knowing there are spider webs in the corner of the room,” he said.

Duncan said customizing its production space has always been important. He said they like to maintain a fun work environment and encourage creativity among their employees.

“The business has a certain personality,” he said. “Kind of playful, but serious about quality. So we want our workplace to reflect that.”

Duncan said they plan to hire more people for production and restart their internship program this spring.

The company also plans to keep holding its monthly soap-making workshops and add a retail space to the new location, M. Mahdi said.

“We do want to maintain stability,” he said. “If that means us only having three hours of sleep, then that’s what we’re going to do ... We want to support our community with the products they demand. We’re gonna make it happen.”

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