In 1997, Kathy Notaro was nearing her fifth decade on Earth, employed as a nurse and happily enjoying life. But something kept drawing her back to a book on soap making she ordered two years earlier from an advertisement she saw in Country Living Magazine; a book she had read an estimated 13 times in that timespan. Sure enough, a lifestyle change was in the making and this was the genesis for the opening of L.E.H. Soap Company (Little Egg Harbor Soap Company), which today has four store locations and online orders coming in all across the U.S. and abroad. Kathy started her business as a wholesaler, making all-natural soap by hand — which is still the way it is made today — when serendipity seemed to find her. First, she met a commercial realtor who told her he had the perfect space and encouraged her to make an offer. Any sized offer. She did; $3,000, which was accepted and thus began the retail side of L.E.H. Second, key followers from her wholesale business made media connections for her resulting in a feature article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, followed by a Sunday morning profile aired on Philadelphia-based NBC 10 television.  These two stories jump started her business and she’s never looked back. Today, L.E.H. produces not just soap, but skincare and bath products that cover one from head to toe.  They have expanded their product line to include natural lotions, body butters, sugar scrubs, bath salts, body balms and fizzies. There’s no need to delve into great detail about the many ingredients that go into these products, but rest assured, all are natural and their mission remains the same as when they first opened: “To create the best in natural, handmade soap and skincare products while educating our customers on the importance of caring for the skin naturally.”
LEH - Coffee

The Coffee-Infused Eye Treatment helps reduce the appearance of dark eye circles.

I’m sure part of the success of L.E.H. is also in the fun with the naming and marketing of their products.   Here are a few examples; you judge for yourself: Facial and Lip Care: Coffee-Infused Eye Treatment: Fresh coffee infusion and chamomile essential oil will reduce inflammation and appearance of dark circles. Lavender essential oil and coffee infusion will improve circulation and reduce puffiness. This powerful blend of our favorite oils will keep help keep the delicate area around the eyes looking healthy, happy and youthful. Body Butters and Lotions: Apple Martini Body Butter: Get intoxicated by the sassy scent of our Apple Martini line! Crisp, clean and perfectly fruity! Combat your dry skin and keep it smooth, young and soft. Sugar Scrubs: Apricot Sugar Scrub:  The sweet and fresh scent of this delicious fruit will hit you as soon as you open the jar!  A non-greasy, exfoliating sugar scrub handmade with Vitamin E and Jojoba oil for extra moisture. Foot ScrubsCooling Foot Scrub with Peppermint and Tea Tree:  Keep your feet looking and feeling their best. Handmade with ground pumice and tea tree, this all natural foot scrub will remove dead skin cells while killing odor causing fungus and bacteria.  Peppermint oil will leave your feet feeling cool and relieved. For GuysThe Men’s 6-Pack Sampler:  Gentlemen, we have you covered with this sampler just for you (and those who love to smell you).  Includes: Gentlemen Only, Walk in the Woods, Almond Crumb, Spicy Bay Rum, Honey & Olive, and Olive Oil Smoothie. To this day at their headquarters location in Marmora they are proud of the fact that they still lovingly make, cut and wrap 800 lbs. of soap each week, one small batch at a time.  Kathy could have moved to a mass-produced model for her products, with bigger sales, but that’s not what she wanted or is about.  This is literally a “hands-on” business; one that Kathy has put her heart and soul into and it’s great to see an NJBIA member achieve success doing it her way with such care and dedication. You can learn more about L.E.H. Soap Company, and have fun doing so, by visiting their website, Twitter or Facebook pages. L.E.H. Soap Company is just one of 20,000 companies that comprise NJBIA’s membership, which is very diverse with representation from an amazingly large and wide spectrum of fields, industries and professions. Look for more unique stories about NJBIA members in future issues of “Beyond 10 West Lafayette,” NJBIA’s membership blog.