Starting a Family Business
Charlie Sutherland, Sr. surveys the site of Sutherland Products, started to make yarn oil for local textile mills. His son, Charlie, Jr. is employed to make those oils.
Meet Charlie's Soap
+- Our Mission
We are dedicated to the development, manufacture and worldwide distribution of the highest quality biodegradable, environmentally safe and hypoallergenic detergents.
Our commitment to continued scientific research ensures that we provide excellent products that protect the environment and the users of Charlie’s Soap.
We feel adherence to real science is essential in the production of environmentally friendly products and we are committed to solicit the participation of University and private sector testing to attest to the features and benefits of our products.
We are committed to truthfulness, fairness, goodwill and the mutual benefit to ourselves, our business partners and our customers.
+- Our value for quality
Our formulas are what make us special. We do things differently here at Charlie’s Soap because in our case, different is better.
Our formulas have been tested by a third-party proving that they do work (SGS US Testing Labs). They have also been certified to have a low environmental impact (Japan Food Research Labs and Situ Biosciences, LLC). Our products surpassed thresholds for “ultimate biodegradation”.
Our green ingredient raw materials can be separated into two categories: biodegradable ingredients and natural mineral ingredients.
All of these accolades have been achieved with simple, yet innovative science.
+- Our commitment to you & the earth
- Surpasses standards for biodegradability
- You could say we’re a natural.
- We were green before it was cool.
No Animal Testing
- Charlie’s Soap NEVER tests on animals.
- Nope. Nada. Never.
- We recoil in horror at the very idea.
- Works on a wide variety of soils. Improves high-tech fabrics.
- Someone has to do the dirty work.
- Ours is a simple game, played to a higher level.
- Rinses completely, leaving nothing behind but the sweet smell of clean.
- Just plain clean is what we do.
- If you want flowers, go pick some.
- Safe. Non Toxic. Gentle on the skin.
- Nothing to sneeze about.
- As itch free as detergent can be.
Starting a Family Business
A Soap Company is Born
Charlie, Jr. learned about yarn lubricants from his dad, the original “Charlie” (above) and created a special cleaner specifically engineered to clean them. Charlie Jr. knew his formula performed better than expected, but never anticipated that this simple but powerful cleaner would be the center of an international company 40 years later.
One Step at a Time
As the ideas evolved, so did our manufacturing process and facilities.
Always Thinking, Always Tinkering
Charlie Jr. tinkering around with another great idea
Passing the Baton
By now, Charlie, Jr. was only working at the soap plant part time, but his day job was a dead end. On his wife’s birthday and with a newborn Charlie, III at home, he quit his day job, took a leap of faith, and bought the little soap plant outright. He was then on his own, adrift in a sea of suds and uncertainty, but managed to continue selling his cleaner to his dad’s partners.
First Consumer Sales
The textile workers using 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.
Charlie’s Soap, 500ml and 16ml.
This is where today’s Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner began.
A Bump in the Road
North Carolina textile mills pickup and move completely out of the country. With that, Charlie Jr. loses 90% of his business (and all his salary!) almost overnight. The outlet store keeps his head above water, but only just.
Close a Door, Open a Window
Charlie’s father-in-law, Ciremba Amick introduced Charlie, Jr. to a customer that replaced quite a bit of the recently lost business. It would not be the last time that Lady Luck smiled on us.
(From left to right: Jane Sutherland, unknown, Henrietta Amick, Ciremba Amick, Charlie Sutherland, Jr., [baby] Taylor Sutherland, aka Charlie, III)
Charlie, Sr. joined his wife in the hereafter. Charlie Sr. certainly left his mark on this company. His son, Charlie, Jr. inherited a legacy of his dedication to excellence. He is still missed.
The Next Generation
Charlie, Jr’s children finally come on board: Taylor (sales), Jane (chairman), James (production) and Morgan (R&D). Together, they pushed the little soap company into the 21st century with new technology, updated branding and a new direct-to-consumer outreach via www.charliesoap.com. That same year, Morgan and Charlie Jr. created the now legendary Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder.
Laundry Powder (2nd Gen)
A National Brand in the Making
With a lot of legwork, and some help from friends, Charlie’s Soap lands its first national chain. It was the first of many brick and mortar, online and even international business ventures that would add to each other, creating a nationally recognized brand. Say “Hello”, George Penn!
Early Packaging Design
Ya’ gotta start somewhere. Even from the beginning, we wanted to be biodegradable and responsible to our customers and the planet.
Passing the Baton Again
Charlie, Jr. steps aside and turns day-to-day operations over to his sons who divided up responsibilities and installed Charlie Jr’s secretary and financial manager, Jenny Craver, and their sister, Jane Whitehurst, to full partnerships. At that same time, our Laundry Powder becomes the #1 Selling laundry Powder on Amazon, a mantle it will keep to this day.
Laundry Liquid, 32oz (1st Gen)
Laundry Liquid, 1 Gallon (1st Gen)
Laundry Powder (7th Gen)
Lingerie Powder (1st and ONLY generation)
“Some ideas are best kept to yourself and not on the shelf.”
We’re hitting the shelves & the aisles!
From Whole Foods, EarthFare to Fresh Market and Ace Hardware, Charlie’s Soap is embraced with commercial success.
A brand activation with Charlie’s Soap at EarthFare
Here we are offering samples and a lil’ education on what’s inside Charlie’s Soap (and what’s not) and how it effects your clothes, your wash machine and more importantly, your skin.
Charlie’s Soap is mentioned in Fortune Magazine as an up-and-coming brand striding alongside giants in the natural cleaning market.
Like father like son
Taylor and Charlie Jr. representing the brand and products behind Charlie’s Soap. You can often find these two on the road taking a stand for quality and customer satisfaction.
Charlie’s Soap starts the process to move into a new 100,000 sq.ft. facility to prepare for the challenges and opportunities that growth brings.
Charging forward into 2017 – NASCAR style!
Charlie’s Soap covers the hood of #51 race car driven by Timmy Hill. Here we are at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race.
Learn more about the man who dreamed up most of the Charlie’s Soap products and the methods to make them.
Our commitment to scientific research attests to his legacy.