Missoula-Based Soap Manufacturer, Botanie Soap, Set To Expand

Botanie Soap, a Missoula-based soap manufacturer, plans to expand their manufacturing efforts and workforce this year. As consumers become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of plastic, demand for Boatnie Soap’s sustainable products has increased dramatically in the past few years (the business uses only high-quality, certified organic oils in their products). The company’s move to minimize plastic usage has also resulted in more clients. Tim Iudicello, founder and president of Botanie Soap, says Botanie Soap’s “commitment to natural ingredients quickly marked us as the right partner for growing brands committed to offering the best” – particularly in a market flooded with poor quality and unsustainable products.

Free from plastic

Botanie Soap dedicated 2022 to developing their solid shampoo bars via a government job-creation grant – consumer feedback leads Iudicello to confidently say their bars are the best on the market. “In the post-Covid area, there’s been a shift in sustainability against plastics,” he explains. “One of the products that came out of that is that what goes into a shampoo bottle is now available in solid form. We took the time to make solid products, like a solid shampoo bar.” Now, eco-conscious consumers can wash their hair without worrying about plastic waste. According to Iudicello, one eco-friendly shampoo bar is the equivalent of around two plastic bottles of shampoo.

Fulfilling large orders

One client recently placed an order for 30,000 bars. “It’s a good start, and we’re going to start producing for them in two weeks”, says Iudicello. The order requires six different scent blends, and, with 4,000 bars per blend, manufacturing is a lengthy process that doesn’t lend itself to easy automation –  hence Botanie Soap’s current need for more workers. “At the end of the day, we’re always relying on good people to do the work. We can do semi-automation, we can use tools and we can use equipment, but ultimately we need people to fix what we have in our facility, and we’re interested in expanding that”. An effective manufacturing facility plays a key role in Botanie Soap’s success. For example, roller conveyors provide smooth and precise control features and optimal functionality, while also being cost effective.

Soapy success

Botanie Soap began as a home-based business born in Iudicello’s own tiny kitchen. Over time, the business grew and fulfillment methods developed into a manufacturing facility that spans a whopping 20,000 square feet. As a private-label soap manufacturer, Botanie Soap makes soap for clients to sell under their own names. The business can now meet a range of customer needs, spanning from 48 bars (the minimum online order purchase) to orders of over 70,000 customized bars.

“At this point in time, we’re really poised to be one of these primary manufacturers for shampoo bars,” says Iudicello. Capitalizing on the success of the shampoo bar, Botanie Soap is also making moves to develop a complementary conditioner bar. “We’re almost through the development of that,” he says.