Naples Soap Company is Cleaning Up
The business will soon expand with a ninth U.S. store.
Naples Soap Company Founder Deanna Renda
Seven years ago, Deanna Renda opened the first Naples Soap Company storefront. Every year following, the company saw serious growth. Yet despite its initial success, Naples Soap Company was struggling to get funding for expansion.
“No one wants to loan a woman money to buy inventory that’s soap,” says Renda. “Proving ourselves over and over so that we could get working capital was a challenging task. I’m thankful that we’ve moved past those initial stages.”
Now Naples Soap has eight retail stores throughout Florida with wholesale operations expanding consistently. Five shops have opened in Tokyo, and a ninth U.S. store is slated to open in Alabama around Memorial Day.
E-commerce is growing strong at naplessoap.com, and the company has seen a 65 percent increase in 2016 online sales over 2015. Overall, Naples Soap Company has 60 employees. Founder Renda has transitioned into the role of chief innovation officer; John Kerns has been named CEO. In the past year, heads of social media and marketing have been added to the team, contributing much to the company’s success.
Its performance can largely be attributed to how passionate Renda is about the all-natural skincare that is the brand’s specialty. Renda was frustrated by how ineffective the products on the market were for her own eczema. “I am probably the best model of my customer demo- graphic,” she says. “I really like to create a good value—and that means that the product has to work.” Pair that understanding of the skincare industry with Renda’s entrepreneurial spirit, and you have a recipe for success.
Naples Soap Company has more than 400 all-natural offerings, ranging from bath bombs to shaving cream to shampoo. Every product is free of ingredients like parabens and sulfate. Plus, they won’t break the bank. Their Boyfriend Solid Perfume is $9, Almond Coconut Shampoo Bar is $8, and Peppermint Lip Balm is $3.
The effectiveness of the products caught the eye of Kevin Harrington, one of the original sharks on Shark Tank. Now, Naples Soap Company is going to sell an eczema kit nationwide with his organization, As Seen On TV Pro. Kits should be available this quarter.
What else does Renda have in mind? “We’ll be expanding our facial care line by moving into masks and cleansers,” she says. To promote international growth, the company will be starting a digital marketing campaign.
“I like doing everything from the nuts and bolts business to the creative operations,” Renda says.