I first discovered Tilda’s Tribe at the Countryfile Live show back in 2019. The small but perfectly formed stand stood out of the crowd as a smiley Jade was behind the burlap covered table cloth with a soap in each hand, happily chatting to customers. Once drawn in, I then chatted to Jade as she pointed out my children were fighting behind me in the buggy (cringe!) I soon learned that this mum of 2 entrepreneur owned this business and set it up herself. As an animal lover myself and someone who loves all things eco the product was right up my street. After purchasing a bag full and taking it home, I am still regularly buying it for myself and for friends and family. – Laura Head of Marketing.
For everyone else reading this can you introduce yourself and how you came up with the idea of Tilda’s Tribe?
Hi Everyone, my name is Jade :) Tildas Tribe is made up of me and my husband Josh and our small herd of naughty goats. We hand make goats milk soap using any of the surplus milk from our goats and adding it to our soaps.
We came up with the idea of goats milk soap after seeing the amazing benefits that goats milk has for your skin and we were thinking of ways you can cover yourself in goats milk without getting sticky and a bit smelly in the process and that’s when we thought about soap and if It would actually work. We tried it and it did so we set off on our journey to create the business we have today.
Did you have any idea you would be where you are now when you started this? For anyone else daydreaming about taking that jump and starting their own business, what would you say to them?
Aww no not at all, when we first started our neighbour was involved as at the time she had a herd of goats and was gifting us the goats milk and we had so much of the stuff that we started to think of ways we could utilise all the milk without any needing to go to waste. At the time we were running a cattery and a dog walking business so in all honesty my head was completely in that and making sure that was a success. Josh was the real driver behind it whereas I was slightly nervous and sceptical, with the two of us focusing on what we believed at the time was important was what made it a success. I was able to concentrate on the income which we had whilst he was creating the product itself. I really started getting involved when it came to the marketing and structure of the product and it was then that I started seeing the real potential of the product and branding we had created with it. The biggest change in my mind set was after I had been using the bar and really seeing what a fantastic product it was and the benefits it had on my skin.
We had some difficult life changes in 2016 which left us giving up our jobs and starting the dog walking business and cattery, until that point I had never thought I would ever be capable of running my own business and it being a success. Our eldest little girl was born and her insides weren’t formed right, meaning she needed several operations to fix her into the healthy little girl she is today. It was a hard time but looking back at what we have achieved by becoming self employed I wouldn’t change a thing. I would say to anyone thinking of taking the leap and making that change just to go for it and put your whole heart in it, you don't need to of overcome a hard time to find that passion and drive that just comes naturally once you don’t have a choice but to make a success of what you do. Stay positive, prepare to feel slightly overworked and way over your head but enjoy every minute of it and your work will then fit around your life and not the other way round.
Clearly you have worked hard ensuring you are as eco friendly with all your product offerings, why is this something you’re so passionate about and any tips for our Makers on how to be more eco-friendly?
My passion for being eco friendly and using only natural and sustainable ingredients came from when I was a lot younger, I’d watched some documentary on products and what you put on your skin and how it can affect your health so I have always been cautious of what I do put on my skin so when it came to adding our ingredients to our soap I wanted to make sure each ingredient was 100% natural. In more recent years I have seen the damaging effects we as humans have had on our planet and it really is heartbreaking and I believe as a business it is our responsibility to make sure we are doing our bit behind the scenes and in our products to look after our environment.
I love creating and thinking of new innovative ideas in which we can keep our business eco friendly as well as helping others find environmentally friendly alternatives and hopefully with the products we offer we achieve this and hopefully make it easier and more accessible for our customers to live a more eco friendly lifestyle.
Have you always been a hands on maker? Do you do any other making?
I have always been good with a sewing machine and have enjoyed making all my own curtains to try to save pennies and restoring old furniture rather than buying new but that’s really as creative as I have got. Since starting Tildas Tribe my creative flare has definitely grown as I try and home make as many things as possible and experiment.
Can you tell us the biggest highlight you’ve had since starting Tilda’s Tribe?
My biggest highlight since starting Tildas Tribe was probably Countryfile Live the weekend we met. The whole weekend was great, meeting so many amazing new people on the stand and selling our soaps was just such a positive and invigorating experience. With the dog walking and cattery although I loved it and had so much passion for the animals I cared for sometimes it was people who made my work extremely difficult and on a number of occasions it did have a massive impact on us as a family, Here's an example - A customer is due to collect a dog from daycare at 4pm and we close at 4pm but I get a text at 4.30pm saying they can’t collect their dog until 5.30pm but we have my dads birthday meal booked at 5pm and i'm the one that’s agreed Ill sort decorating the table and Josh has had to go get our children from nursery at 4.30pm. So not only will we be an hour late for my dads birthday that i've organised, the decorations won’t get done, the kids are then eating until a lot later and us as a family a stressed and annoyed at having to deal with that situation whilst the customer is totally unaware - now this sort of situation would happen regularly. That weekend at country file live is one of the happiest memories over the last 5 years - if people liked my soap they would come and tell me their positive views, if they didn’t like the look they didn’t bother coming to the stand it was amazing. I got so accustomed to people messing me around and thinking that poor behaviour was acceptable that I lost touch with people and the enjoyment of meeting new people I would get a knot in my tummy every time a customer would contact me. Tildas Tribe has helped me gain that love of people back and the knot in my tummy when meeting new people has vanished and it was a moment stood on that stand and meeting great people like yourself that I realised I had to set boundaries so that I never had to doubt myself when I was unable to live up to people's expectations. Maybe not the highlight you were expecting but for me on that journey it has been life changing.
What are your aspirations for the next 5 years?
My aspirations for the next five years would be to get our soap factory on the farm up and running which will then give us more opportunity to focus more on our customers and what they want from us as a business. It's been hard because since starting Tildas we have had the same product range and ideally this would of expanded by now but due to circumstances we haven’t been in a position to create new products so my main focus in the next five years is to expand our product range and add the difference to our business that others may not be doing and with that id also like to target some of the bigger, with the factory fully working we will have the capacity to do so.
For anyone who hasn't already checked out Jade’s range, visit www.tildastribe.co.uk I promise once you try this soap, you won't go back.