A day in the life: Monica Norley of the Visionary Soap Company

PUBLISHED: 01:17 30 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:28 20 February 2013

A day in the life: Monica Norley of the Visionary Soap Company

A day in the life: Monica Norley of the Visionary Soap Company

The founder and director of the Visionary Soap Company, the Fairtrade bodycare company <br/><br/>based in St Leonards on Sea, talks us through her day

8.30am. Monday Arrive at the factory and get the coffee flowing through my veins!

9am Visionary Soap staff and our great team from Hastings Trust arrive and I usually have a quick check-in with all of them in terms of our production schedule for the week. It is a constant challenge to make sure everyone has what they need at all times to keep things flowing, whether that be Fairtrade certified ingredients, other raw materials, packaging, etc. We also talk about orders that need to be dispatched for the week and any new purchase orders that may have come in.
Visionary Soap Company now supplies the likes of Waitrose, Traidcraft, Oxfam, Ethical Superstore and also has several distributors who supply our products to many independent wholefood shops across the UK. We also sell to a growing list of international stockists. Needless to say, keeping on top of production, inventory of stock and quality is critical!

10.30 Our lovely bookkeeper, Karen, comes in and I have to devote some time to the financial aspects of the business. Luckily, I have been able to delegate most of the day to day details of this to her now but anything with regards to the bigger picture and overall growth of the company, the financial burden falls squarely on my shoulders and that is a bit daunting at times, especially when one is trying to manage a very rapidly growing business which is branching out into UK supermarkets!

11.30-1pm I receive so many emails! Again, I delegate and forward on many of them but I spend a lot of time responding to media and journalist interview questions. I may spend this time writing our monthly newsletter, posting things on the companys Facebook and Twitter pages or writing a press release, for example, about Waitrose recently launching our soaps in store, our collaborative manufacturing project creating skills training and employment opportunities in the Hastings/St. Leonards community or perhaps about a visit from the president of Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society in Ghana, producers of our Fairtrade shea butter.

1pm Lunch, if I am lucky!

2-5pm I also am the main point of contact for our Fairtrade producer groups in Palestine, Ghana, The Dominican Republic, India (to name but only a few) and constant communication and contact with them is not only enriching and enjoyable but also absolutely key to being the UKs leading Fairtrade certified body care company! I may take this time to touch base and re-order ingredients from them as well as other raw materials from UK based suppliers. I also take this time to follow up on the mountain of sales enquiries we receive and keeping in contact with our key stockists/retailers, arranging sales presentations, meetings, etc. Never a dull moment and every second of my day is precious. And hey, I honestly rarely get to shut off at 5pm!

Visionary Soap Company

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