It takes approximately three months before I make my natural handcrafted soaps available for sale. I often describe my soaps as fine wine that gets better with age. That is the nature of these pure olive oil soaps created without extracting the glycerine by-product beneficial for the skin or the addition of synthetic alternatives. The curing process is as important as the recipe that I use for my soaps and ultimately it is what I call slow soap making which ensures a gentle and hard bar of natural soap as opposed to one aptly described by someone as “burning the bits” soap!
I started making natural soaps 16 years ago. That was the stepping stone to my handmade business and I haven’t looked back since. My first soap was simple – a plain olive oil bar. It had a lot of success with people who had sensitive skin including a lady suffering from rosacea. I gradually experimented, took suggestions and requests from customers, created new recipes, tweaked old ones and made changes along the way.
One consistent factor has been to only use local olive oil as my main ingredient making more economic and environmental sense apart from the fact that it has been so good for the skin. I only use natural ingredients for colour and fragrance. I steer clear of synthetic colours and fragrances as I believe it only defeats the purpose of producing something as natural as possible.
My soaps are also multi-use. They can be used for hair and body including face unless specified otherwise. For people who do want specific shampoo bars, I have currently have two types in stock and in the process of creating a third one. I now have up to 17 soap varieties selling through my market stalls and online, picking and choosing to introduce new varieties according to demand as well as catering to people’s custom made requests.
Longer curing times is the reason why my customers comment on how much harder my soaps are compared to other natural handmade soaps in the market. Having been in this business long enough, I appreciate the value of quality over quantity and certainly don’t feel compelled to churn out a product for a quick dollar.
And the results speak for themselves!