Today’s Asbury Park Press business section has a profile of Ellen D’Amore, proprietor of Soapmarket on Monmouth Street.

In the article, D’Amore recounts how, after working 20 years as a textile designer in the garment industry, she longed to create a business centered on something she enjoys: face and body soaps, the kinds of products she’d always buy when traveling to mills in India, China, Russia and throughout Europe for her job.

From the story:

“It sounds silly, but I love soap and all the products,” D’Amore said. “When I thought about what I want to do all day, it was going to be something I would enjoy, that I want to see every day, a nice place to walk into every day.”

Funded by about $75,000 in personal savings, the business opened on East Front Street in November, 2004 and moved to its present location about 18 months ago.

From the story:

“I decided really early, when I was picking what I wanted in the store, (that) it started from what I knew, what I often used and loved,” D’Amore said. “I realized that everything was pretty natural. I wasn’t picking anything that is just all chemicals and additives.”

She also wanted to open a shop where someone could spend a small amount for a great product.

“My concept is simple luxuries. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a nice product,” D’Amore said. “You can spend a lot of money and have an amazing product, granted, but you don’t have to.”


Sales have grown, reaching about $125,000 last year, up from about $80,000 in 2005, D’Amore said. “It has been a steady growth,” she said.

Now, she is working on a corporate gift-basket program. Gift baskets have become an increasing part of her business.

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