Corby mum hoping to clean up with new soap business

Donna had the idea for her child-friendly soap dispenser business when her daughter was born

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 12:23 pm

A Corby mum, who was inspired to develop a child-friendly soap range in eye-catching dispensers is preparing to launch her new product as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Donna Lawrie had the idea for creating a new soap and dispenser product after her daughter, Emilia, was born 12 weeks early.

Emilia's incubator was in the same room as another premature baby who was fighting E Coli caught from cross-contamination.

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Corby mum Donna Lawrie has started a new business, which has been three years in the making

Donna said: "When Emilia was in special care there was another baby with serious infection. It must have been cross-contamination.

"I was scared to pick up my own baby. She was only the size of my hand but the midwife told me you need to hold her.

"It made me think I'm going to feed her and bath her and I was going to make sure that my hands were always washed.

"From that point on I was always vigilant about washing my hands and I didn't cough around her."

Daughter Emilia with the dispenser

On Emilia's first day of primary school four years ago Donna was horrified to see that there was no soap in the reception pupils' toilets.

She said: "There was no sign of soap. It was an absolute breeding ground for germs and that's where the idea came from.

"For me it was a light bulb moment. This is something I have been so passionate about."

Mum-of-four Donna took her initial designs to Kettering company Creative Spirit where the fun cartoon characters were brought to life by graphic expert Dave Denton.

Emilia was born 12 weeks early and spent the first six weeks of her life in hospital

Donna, a marketing manager, then created the characters of Milo Monkey, Bella Bunny, Felix Frog and cheeky monster twins Dixie and Trixie.

The characters will have their own cartoon animation which will feature a bespoke song about the friends to encourage children to sing along whilst washing their hands.

Her market research showed that children preferred using the colourful soap dispensers rather than plain ones with pictures of germs on or 'wash your hands' signs.

Donna has also created the soap using her training as an aromatherapist, making sure that they are suitable for age three and above.

Donna with designer Dave Denton from Creative Spirit

"We should be on top of hygiene all of the time and educate children from a young age.

"It's incredible timing with the coronavirus outbreak. Now people are focusing on washing their hands. If you've got young children and older relatives, we need kids to have fun washing their hands and to want to wash their hands. These dispensers encourage that.

"Everyone needs to work together with hand washing and start them young."

Donna's website goes live this week. Go to for more information. also features animal pictures for dispensers in vets