Base Soaps

Locals, Lianne and Mick, hail from Bungendore and recently set up their business, Base Soaps. Based on the principle that locally sourced ethical ingredients can contribute to the wider community, the business produces beautiful, naturally made soaps. Base Soaps will be at Handmade for the first time on 10 & 11 June, so we caught up with Lianne and Mick to find out what they are up to.

Tell us about your business

Base is an ethical soap-making business run by us (Lianne and Mick) from our beautiful country town of Bungendore, NSW. After the completion of a hectic PhD and the birth of our lovely little Iris, we embraced the opportunity to work together on a family social enterprise. An ethical focus is fundamental to the existence of Base. By associating the purchase of every-day hygiene products to the provision of health and hygiene programs for Australian communities, we aim to encourage people to buy ethically and locally. Base products are made from simple, high quality materials and are designed for gentle everyday use.  Our soaps are naturally vegan, cruelty free and free from sulphates and palm oil.

What made you apply to Handmade?

 We started Base at the end of last year. Once we had a small line of products ready to show the world, we were eager to explore the world of markets and local creators. This naturally had us gravitating towards the March 2017 Handmade Canberra Market. We were initially blown away by the sheer scale and attention to detail displayed by individual stall holders and the event as a whole. This had the double effect of setting a standard for how we wanted to present Base, as well as showing us just how much work would be required to achieve this.  We were in awe of the amazing products and the friendliness of the stall holders to discuss their experiences. On our way home and upon reflection, we decided to throw caution to the wind and apply.  We were under no illusions that we would be successful with our first application, rather it was a high standard with an attached timeline that would push us to grow and improve. Imagine our surprise to find out that we actually got in!

What’s the best thing about Canberra?

We are from Bungendore, so we kind of classify ourselves as region locals. What we love most about the Canberra/Bungendore region is the climate, the small community atmosphere and the natural environment. The seasonal variation in climate and colour gives such a spark to creators. Lianne’s a native of the Netherlands, so when she adopted the region as her home she was quite at home with the frosty mornings and evenings with the bonus of glorious winter sunshine to recharge those batteries. There’s no hiding our love of Bungendore.  There really isn’t anything quite like driving the rolling hills into Canberra while looking out onto the Brindabella Range.

What’s the best way to keep warm in Winter?

A hot chocolate or glass of red in front of the wood fire! What more would you need?

Please can you describe your studio/place of work?

Given the small state of our enterprise, we primarily work from one of the cleanest garages you can imagine. On particularly cold evenings the kitchen is thrown into the mix, but we’re already on the lookout for a communal creative workspace in our region.


Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


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