County Leitrim has much to be proud of. Among its finest jewels, you will discover a strong enterprising creative sector. We would like to introduce you to two of Leitrim’s creative businesses, Lucy’s Soap Kitchen in Bornacoola and Natural Ireland/The Soap box in Drumshanbo These are our Leitrim soap makers. Both extremely experienced and deeply dedicated to their craft, Lucinda Lee from Lucy’s Soap Kitchen and Majella McAuley from Natural Ireland/the Soap Box are currently working very hard to meet the challenges posed by Covid-19. Throughout this pandemic they are working to ensure the availability of high quality, kind to your skin, natural soaps. Their eco-friendly nourishing soaps and skincare products are extremely sought after as both these businesses ship their products both around Ireland and abroad 

The traditional bar of soap is now being hailed as the preferred option to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. According to the Irish Times Article on March 24th “Why Soap Can Kill Coronavirus” According to the article hand sanitisers are not as reliable as soap. “Sanitisers with at least 60% ethanol do act similarly, defeating bacteria and viruses by destabilising their lipid membranes. But they cannot easily remove microorganisms from the skin”. Hand sanitisers can be effective if soap is not available, however soap and water is seen as the preferred option. Leitrim soaps are available at 

Majella McAuley, the face and inspiration behind Natural Ireland/The Soap Box an award winning business based in Drumshanbo, believes 

“we can all save our hands a little during the pandemic by using natural soaps which are less harsh than many other sanitizing products. Natural handmade soaps contain glycerine which helps to stop our hands from drying out during hand washing. Glycerine attracts moisture to the skin preventing dry cracked skin.”  

Majella uses ingredients such as oatmeal, honey, seaweed, goat’s milk and herbal teas in her soaps, all chosen for their beneficial properties. Each variety of soap has its own natural exfoliates in the form of flower buds, seeds, citrus rind, wholegrains and seaweeds. Colours are provided by nature from pant roots and seeds. The Soap Box luxury shaving soaps are 100% natural which reduce irritation and sensitivity. 

The Soap Box has grown out of a deep interest in natural skincare & a belief that the more natural the product, the more beneficial it is to our skin. As well as being kind to our skin, these products are kind to the environment. Their soaps and shaving soaps are 100% natural which reduce irritation and sensitivityThe high quantities of oils used in the shaving soap formulations deliver exceptional razor glide, reducing razor burn, nicks and cuts. The Soap Box eco-friendly biodegradable product range avoids unnecessary plastics in the home as Majella states “Customers feedback reveals that they get up to 150 shaves from a single tin of our shaving soap. That’s 4 times longer than your average tin of shaving foam or gel. If you don’t shave every day, a single shaving soap can last up to a year, in fact many customers say that a single product lasts them more than a year.” By avoiding the purchase of multiple shaving foams sprays and chemical based gels customers are making positive choices, reducing a significant amount of packaging and waste for the environment.

Lucinda Lee from Lucy’s Soap Kitchen believes in slow sustainable living. She lovingly creates her nut free, gluten free products in a traditional way in small batches with petro chemical free ingredients. Lucy kindly shares with us how she is coping with the Covid restrictions in Leitrim at present; 

“At the moment I’m coping well with the Covid restrictions. I’ve a large poly tunnel that’s very well established so I’m having lots of outside time which is really good head space.

Producing vegetables in the garden is very important to us. This is the 3rd year of home schooling our children so we’ve had a big head start as we were already in a good home education routine. I haven’t had any difficulty getting materials for producing my beauty products during the pandemic. Most ingredients are still available however there is a big delay with dispatch due to courier delays. There is no impact on how I operate during this crisis because for the last 4 years I’ve been solely based online with one exception, the Leitrim Design House is the only outlet I sell my products in. 

Lucy first became interested in natural skin care and soap about 12yrs. She has always had an ethos of making things as simple as possible and also as sustainable as possible. This affects the oils she purchases, and both the materials and packaging that she buysLucy is driven to find a more sustainable eco way of producing, buying and packagingVigorous hand scrubbing multiple times a day can be labour some and harsh on our skin. So why not make it a pleasurable experience and treat your skin to a natural range of handmade soaps while supporting a small local Leitrim business and protecting your environment. The luxurious natural soaps with only the best ingredients are made with care in County Leitrim. The Leitrim Design House is proud to represent both these businesses.  

As a not for profit organisation, for over two decades, the Leitrim Design House has nurtured creative businesses, particularly those that have sustainability at the heart of their practice. We are working hard, behind the scenes, in our support of the creative sector. Our beautiful gallery and the wonderful Dock Arts Centre may be currently closed to the public with both teams working remotely but we are united in our passion for County Leitrim its creative sector. The Leitrim Design House online shop is still open however so you can both support local and shop Irish from the comfort of your armchair.  Visit us anytime from the safety of your own home at for a selection of 100% Irish made gifts that we can deliver to your loved ones worldwide.

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