Sælusápur produce handcrafted, cold process soap. The spark to start the company came from a start-up course held by the Innovation Center Iceland in the rural North East in early 2008. The business idea of „Sælusápur“ received a special price at the end of the course and as a consequence the owner of that idea felt it was right to give the it a go and founded the firm in late 2008 just about when the Icelandic financial system collapsed. Sælusápur are a „one-man-firm“ with only the founder, Guðríður Baldvinsdóttir, working there full time. She is responsible for the design of all the recipes used in the production and the main ideas for the packaging solutions. She handles all aspects of running the company; production, sales and innovation of new products, with the exception of bookkeeping. Although not a chemist or a graphics designer, Guðríður is a google enthusiastic and self-thaugt soap maker. Her background lies in forestry, she has a MS degree in forestry from the Norwegian agricultural university (1999) ( now Norwegian university of life science), and worked as a forestry consultant until she founded Sælusápur. The firm is located a sheep farm called Lón in Kelduhverfi , North East Iceland ( not far from Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe) where she and her husband have 530 sheeps.
In the production no machinery is used, everything is done by hand, with the exception of the occasional use of a stick blender and a hotplate (!). Sælusápur produce cold process soaps, the old fashioned way. They have few simple ingredients; the basic recipe contains 6 ingredients: water, lye, olive-, coconut- and rapeseed oil, but most inmportantly sheep tallow – because the emphazise is on using local material as much as possible, the tallow is a byproduct of sheep farming. Diffrent Icelandic herbs are added to the soaps, that are collected during our short summers. Other local ingredients that are used include, sheep- and cowsmilk, goat tallow and clay from Jökulsá river. Sælusápur also produce lip balm and scented candles made of sheep tallow and soy vax to broaden the selection.
Our main customers are the socalled „puffin-shops“ in the capital area of Reykjavik, called so by sarcastic people who do not like the fast growth of the tourist sector in Iceland; souvenier and gift-shops. We also provide gift shops around Icelands with soaps plus local health stores. Our full list of customers can be found here: http://www.saelusapur.is/soumllustaethir.html .