Tayside and Central Scotland

Ten-year-old soap entrepreneur cleans up with expansion plans

Amelia Milton Image copyright Milton family
Image caption Amelia started her business aged seven as part of a school competition

A 10-year-old soap-making entrepreneur hopes to expand her business from the family kitchen to a converted outbuilding to cope with rising demand.

Amelia Milton from Perthshire started Smelleez when she was seven, as part of a school competition.

She now sells her homemade scented soaps at local farmers' markets and in shops across Scotland.

Amelia told BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams that soap making was easy "when you've got the hang of it".

She said that she had originally considered starting a sweet business but chose soap as "everyone needs to use it".

'Very surprised'

Amelia said she now devoted "a lot" of time to the business, which has expanded to sell body scrubs and soap for dogs.

She said: "I'm home-educated, so I can go at my own pace with school work.

"People are obviously very surprised when they realise I own the business and make the soap."

Her mother Margaret said she helped her daughter "facilitating" her ideas, while Amelia's father "does the hefty lifting."

She said that Amelia's business knowledge complemented her studies at home.

She said: "It brings in so many elements of maths, science, art and design.

"We quite often find in terms of maths, she is sitting looking at a profit and loss account or a cash flow forecast, so she has context to those numbers."

Image copyright Milton family
Image caption Amelia sells her homemade scented soaps at local farmers' markets

Margaret said the family were now considering converting one of their outbuildings into a soap factory "so that I can get my kitchen back."

She said she asked her daughter two questions when Amelia was initially planning the business.

She said: "One was, do you know how to make soap. and she said no, but I can YouTube it.

"And I asked 'why soap', and she said because everyone needs it and that means I'll have a lot of customers."

Amelia recently won the Rising Star award at this year's Courier Business Awards.

Margaret said Amelia had also gained contacts through a Perthshire company supporting new businesses.

Amelia is now developing shampoo bars and conditioner bars.

Margaret said: "She is stocked in a couple of zero-waste shops because we are finding that people are going back to bar soap.

"She's just had some new soaps that have gone through their cosmetic product safety testing, so she has new things to come onto the market including soor plooms and Irn Bru (scents)".