Anyone who visits Simy Arun’s flat would think that she has a sweeth tooth. With platters of yummy-looking cupcakes and pastries arranged on her dining table, one cannot resist but take a bite. Wait! You are mistaken. Those platters contain handmade artisan soaps that can be easily mistaken for a cupcake or a pastry.
Simy, who is an ardent soap lover, says that her husband encouraged her to venture into soap making. But, with many people in the town already selling handmade soaps, Simy wanted to be different and decided to bring in an element of quirk into the soaps she makes. Ask her about her journey to soap making and Simy says, “It was two years ago that I started making soaps. Initially, my husband helped me with it and later I started making them on my own. I started with simple ingredients like coconut oil and the response I received was extremely positive which encouraged me to take it up further. I had sent the samples to my cousins and they were all happy with the product. However, I decided to take a break as I was pregnant and then got busy with my little one. However, six months back I again thought about it as soap making is also one of my hobbies. I wanted to start it all over again, but with a twist. I always try for perfection in whatever I do and thus when I decided to resume soap making, bringing in an element that would persuade people to buy my soaps the instant they look at it was very essential. That is how I zeroed in on the idea of artisan soaps and Siloam started.”
Simy, who has just ventured into artisan soap making, says that it was indeed a difficult task when it came to implementation. She had thought of making luxurious-looking cold-pressed soaps that are completely chemical-free and contain only essential oils. However, it seemed nearly impossible to get the moulds as she couldn’t find them in India. Though she could buy them from the U.S., it was not a feasible idea as it would burn a hole in her pocket. Simy, therefore, decided to use simple bread loaf moulds for the process as she could alter the mixture as per her needs to get the desired output. The credit for the final look of the soaps made in simple bread loaf moulds should definitely be given to her aesthetic sense. She adds that the recognition given to her by the people for the quality product she is making has encouraged her to come up with more varieties.
The most crucial part, according to Simy, was to select the ingredients and for that, she wanted to know the common taste of the customers when it comes to soaps. “I think people are more specific when it comes to choosing soaps as they mostly prefer ones that smell good and give a refreshing feel after use. I, therefore, came up with 10 varieties that most of the customers would like. Moreover, I use only essential oil, the aroma of which might fade in some time but its benefits are intact. The soaps I make cannot be used immediately and are cured for six to nine hours before packing them.”
Simy’s most requested soaps include one in goat milk, lavender, rose and cucumber and mint among others. The young entrepreneur has organised a sale at Avenue Centre Hotel, Ernakulam, today where one can find different varieties of exquisite looking, high quality, completely organic soaps....