From Ashes to Success: The Soap Company of Nova Scotia Ltd.

From Ashes to Succes: The Soap Company of Nova Scotia Ltd. Originally published in WBE Canada Magazine; Issue 12. Read our full magazine HERE.

The Soap Company of Nova Scotia Ltd. located in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia makes soaps, skin care and cleaning products that are so pure & gentle, they test them on their children. After a lifetime of chronic issues caused by synthetic ingredients & growing up with a dad who was even more afflicted by the same things, Leigh McFarlane was inspired to create simple, gluten-free, nut-free products that were both unscented (guaranteed!) & scented with essential oils. But her road to success has been faced with catastrophic challenges and incredible resilience.

In 2020 when the pandemic hit Leigh McFarlane and her team at The Soap Company of Nova Scotia dug deep and got busy, determined to not only survive, but thrive. Their growth plan was on track, it was November 22nd and over 30 retail orders were awaiting transport and 80 wholesale orders were being packed. Pandemic aside, they were on target to increase revenue by 1.25% from 2020-2022. Everything looked so promising.

After a busy day, Leigh wandered into the factory to discover the washer on fire. In no time, the inferno raged, made worse by the howling winds off the ocean and almost in the blink of an eye, 8 years of effort, the entire business and Leigh’s home were gone. What do you do? Dig deep. Make lists. Get busy again.

Like most small towns but especially in the Maritimes, the community gathered, ready to pitch in and offered practical support. Within 2 weeks Leigh and her team were making soap in a temporary factory, then moved to a 4,000 square foot space 2 weeks later. No looking back. In 2022 sales grew and they rebranded, launching beautiful new packaging at Toronto CanGift.
In 2023 sales continued to grow as they implemented a new strategic growth plan. They hired a business development manager, renewed online ads, and the full-time team grew to 6.

This past February, The Soap Company of Nova Scotia Ltd. became WBE Canada certified. Currently Leigh is participating in TAP – EDC’s Trade Accelerator Program as well as Supplier Diversity Mentorship programs with CWB (Canadian Women in Business) and WBE Canada. There is no time to be wasted as Leigh McFarlane plans the continued success of her company.

“Together with my incredible team we are growing this business with products folks rely on & trust, while creating jobs & contentment.We are reliable, resilient and ready to partner in shared success with both private and public sectors. Together we will help so many more folks feel great in their skin.” – Leigh McFarlane, Founder & CEO, The Soap Company of Nova Scotia Ltd.

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Leigh McFarlane

Founder & CEO, The Soap Company of Nova Scotia Ltd.

Leigh is the creative force behind The Soap Company of Nova Scotia Ltd., which produces natural soaps, skin care and cleaning products that really work. Leigh believes every person has a right to feel great in their own skin. After a lifetime of chronic issues caused by synthetic ingredients, she was inspired to create simple, gluten-free scented and guaranteed unscented products. Sought out by folks suffering from scent and chemical sensitives, these products make a meaningful difference for those who must avoid synthetics. Leigh has grown her business with products folks rely on and trust.

Since being chosen for the Wallace McCain Institute’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Program in 2018 she has continued to strive toward the goals outlined in the ONE Nova Scotia report by scaling her company, creating jobs and contentment with products so pure and gentle they are tested on children! Grandbaby- tested & Nana-approved.