Cape Town

go! Platteland - - 6 ENTREPRENEURS: SOAP -

Zene al­ways wanted to start her own business, and while she was do­ing a Google search for a recipe for bath salts she chanced upon a web­site about goat’s-milk soap. She dis­cov­ered that it could do won­ders for peo­ple with eczema, pso­ri­a­sis and sen­si­tive skin, and be­cause she suf­fered from eczema on her hands, she de­cided to make the soap her­self. And it worked!

“I watched videos on YouTube and bought the raw ma­te­ri­als, but my first three at­tempts failed. Six months of trial and er­ror later, I’d learnt (among other things) about the ben­e­fits of dif­fer­ent oils, for ex­am­ple, grape-seed and al­mond oils mois­turise the skin, whereas cas­tor oil foams beau­ti­fully. I also re­searched the ben­e­fits of nat­u­ral clays and es­sen­tial oils.”

Is soap-mak­ing a prof­itable business? Yes, but for me it’s also about help­ing peo­ple with skin prob­lems. Soap­mak­ing is hard work. You spend hours on your feet and you have to con­cen­trate, be­cause even small mis­takes can be costly. I still have a full-time job, but my goal is to turn this into a full-time pro­fes­sion.

What makes your prod­ucts unique? Ev­ery­thing – the soap, liq­uid soap, milk bath soak, sham­poo and con­di­tioner, lip balm, and face and body creams – con­tains goat’s milk (fresh or pow­dered). Goat’s milk is sooth­ing and nour­ish­ing, as it has the same pH as our skin, and it con­tains vi­ta­min A, amino acids, pro­tein and lac­tic acid (a nat­u­ral ex­fo­lia­tor).

Big­gest mis­con­cep­tions?

If you do proper re­search and ob­serve the ba­sic safety rules, soap-mak­ing isn’t as dan­ger­ous or dif­fi­cult as peo­ple think it is. What did sur­prise me, how­ever, is the im­por­tant role tem­per­a­ture plays in the process: when the milk and oil are mixed to­gether, they need to be at the same tem­per­a­ture to al­low the nec­es­sary chem­i­cal re­ac­tions to take place. Some es­sen­tial oils could also cause the soap mix­ture to over­heat and sep­a­rate.

Top tips

• Do your re­search: there’s an in­cred­i­ble wealth of in­for­ma­tion on­line about the soap-mak­ing process and es­sen­tials, as well as fo­rums where you can ask oth­ers for ad­vice. • Soap-mak­ing is a nat­u­ral process – don’t try to rush it. • Keep at it – many things can go wrong at first, but you learn.

soaps­from 021 913 6118 info@soaps­from­char­

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