Welcome Red from Manilla!
Tell me how you started in soapmaking.
As a little boy, our son had terrible skin asthma. His skin was breaking open and he had sores and wounds on his body. It’s heartbreaking to see his condition at that time. Dermatologists suggested a combination of petroleum jelly and steroidal ointment to be applied on his body daily then covered in cling wrap. My poor baby! It was a long treatment that did not work. Soon he had boils every month in different parts of his body. Apparently, the petroleum jelly clogged his skin pores.
I started looking for alternatives to treat his skin condition. That’s when I studied soap making.
How long have you been making soap?
It was in the year 2000, but I started making artisan soap in March 2013.
Tell me about a project or experiment that you consider to be the most successful. It doesn’t have to be soap.
My husband and I and some friends, together with a well known dog trainer from Thailand founded a visiting therapy dog program called Friends For Life Visiting Therapy Dogs. We trained our own dogs to become therapy dogs and reading assistance dogs. It started out as a get together of friends who wanted to do something special for the sick children and the elderly. Soon, we were visiting hospitals and orphanages and schools. We taught the school kids how to act around dogs through our bite prevention program. Our trained dogs performed tricks for the children. It helps those specially with ailments forget their pain and smile even for just a while. We consider the dogs as gifts from above, because they were the real healers and teachers.
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in soapmaking, what did you achieve?
Green Gourmet Artisan Soap is now getting known locally. We have had repeat orders and lots of inquiries. People have started noticing our creations and how good our soap are. I’m just elated and so thankful for that. We are now in the process of creating new stuff that we are excited to bring out this year.
Do you have a specific goals? In one year? In two years?
We are hoping to join the more prominent bazaars. Our own little shop somewhere in the heart of Manila. More soap for everyone!
If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
Wow! I would definitely want that. I’d like to remove crab mentality. I believe that we are all here to help each other out. Our purpose in life is to take care of one another as human beings. Bringing somebody down does not benefit society.
Tell us about a time when soaping didn’t go the way you wanted. What was your “great catastrophe?
There was a soap project I worked on before wherein I was not familiar with the scent oil. The mixture went into trace the instant I poured the scent in!
I panicked (well, more than I usually do) and started scooping the mixture into the mold, hoping I could save the soap. I guess I was lucky because I was still able to press down and pack the soap in the mold, decorated it and saved it. Catastrophe… that turned out good anyway. Hahaha!
All soap makers have them so tell me about your worst “lye burn”.
So far, I’ve only had little touches from the lye. I am very cautious and scared of lye and getting lye burns. I have a concoction of vinegar and water on stand by for when I get some on my hands. I don’t like using gloves because I can’t hold anything properly with them on. I don’t use goggles either. Our weather is humid and when the goggles become foggy, it’s difficult to see. If I do get a serious lye burn, I will let you know.
Do you get a lot of support from your family?
My family is 100% backing me up in everything I do. My two kids help out when we sell at the bazaars. They carry stuff and sell soap. I’m teaching my husband now how to make soap. He is willing to learn. He does all the design materials for our packaging and advertising. My parents-in-law and my sister-in-law have always supported us. We are thankful for them always being there for us.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
My kids and my husband said that I am always jittery and over cautious when making soap. I just want my soap to come out perfect. They said Sandra Bullock hyper panicking would be really funny if she portrayed me making soap. I agree!
You’ve cast the main character, now what do you think the title should be?
Don’t Lye To Me!
It should be a comedy about soap.
What motivates you and what doesn’t?
Thinking about my children motivates me. They inspire me.
People who don’t give you a fair shake and come up with criticisms without any basis dampen my day.
How would your best friend describe you?
“She can pack a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, socks, sneakers, markers and pencils, a water bottle, a chocolate bar, her wallet, and probably a small refrigerator in a bag the size of a notebook. Organized, efficient, and a little bit OCD… which is good.”
What’s the biggest mistake you made in your life and what did you learn from it?
Just like everyone, I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. There’s so many lessons. Too many to enumerate. It’s accepting the truth and putting into action the things you’ve learned that matters. I believe that we are judged by how we got back up after falling down. Fall seven times, stand up eight.
If you had to give up ONE of your favorite foods, what would it be?
Fried Siopao (steamed buns, fried at the base). Lately, I haven’t been able to keep one down. It’s all tasty and delicious, but I don’t know why my tummy acts up. My husband and kids don’t have any problems with it.
Tell me about your soap. What is your brand name and company philosophy.Green Gourmet Artisan Soap.
We are a young home based soap making company in Manila. We make small batches to make sure that the quality is top-grade. Our soap kitchen uses only the best natural ingredients to create lightly scented lovely soap good for everyone and anybody who has sensitive skin.
All our soaps are handmade in small batches using high quality natural oils and butters and using the traditional cold process method with Olive Oil as the base ingredient. We make each soap from scratch using carefully formulated recipes.Green Gourmet Artisan Soaps are enriched with an array of natural additives making them unique and extra luxurious. Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Honey, Beer, Oats, Green Tea, Coffee, Yoghurt, Botanicals & Herbs, Buttermilk, Goat’s Milk, Coconut Milk, Clays and Charcoal …. are no strangers in our soap kitchen!
We hope to come up with more nourishing formulas in the future. We’ve just about begun packaging and will have our current batch of soaps ready to anyone who appreciates good quality hand-crafted soap.
1) Where can it be found? Are you on Etsy?
We are on facebook and on instagram.facebook.com/greengourmetartisansoap
2) What is your most popular soap — —
We have two best sellers. Our activated charcoal combined with shea butter and cocoa butter soap called Black Magic with fresh bamboo scent is good for clearing up acne and removes the blemishes from the skin.
Our Soap Maker’s Choice is the soap I made for my son. It worked well for him. His skin is normal now. It’s made from calendula infused oil, guava infused oil, aloe gel and goat’s milk. It’s unscented. It is also formulated to help treat skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis. Folks with sensitive skin get this soap from us.