That heavyset fellow in the photo is me, Charlie. Charlie Sutherland Sr.’s son.
I was working for my dad at a textile lubricant plant when word came down that we needed to find a good cleaner – quickly. Not only would it have to clean up the oil on textile machines, but it could not harm the little old ladies whose job it was to clean them. It also had to be acceptable to local wastewater treatment.
My background is in engineering, chemistry and a bit of mathematics, and I knew how to make the oils. So I reverse engineered a formula to break the oils down in water. The stuff worked much better than I expected. I even named it SB-2069 to make it sound like I knew what I was doing. Not bad for a first try.
Folks working with the cleaner loved the stuff and started calling it “Charlie’s Soap” after my dad. We knew a demand was growing for Charlie’s Soap because the employees were stealing the stuff left and right. The local Winn-Dixie agreed to be our outlet and Charlie’s Soap was officially born. In the early years we tried many ways to grow the “Soap.” Some worked, and many didn’t. Marketing was really not my forte.
Baby steps, leaps and strides
But my family never stopped trying. My kids get the credit. Over time, they joined the business. My youngest, Morgan, and I created the Laundry Powder. Taylor, the oldest, took on sales and marketing. James specialized in engineering and international sales. Morgan runs IT, and QC. My daughter, Jenny, is chairman of the board and my wife, Jane, is treasurer. Today, we sell in thousands of mom-and-pop specialty shops, major hardware chains, supermarkets and through the largest online retailers around the world.
We operate our business under this guiding principle:
We are all dedicated to producing the highest quality biodegradable, environmentally safe and hypoallergenic products possible. We are proud that they have been tested against the best and have always won hands down. Our commitment to research ensures that we will continue this legacy.
So please try our Charlie’s Soap. We’ll keep making it the best product.
Visit us at the Ottawa Cottage Life and Backyard Show!
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