Best kept Secret

The word “secret” is a bit of a misnomer because this local brand is quickly gaining both fame and a solid reputation for selling handmade soaps, balms and other assorted items for your grooming and beauty needs.

Former banker, Nguyen Quynh Le, founded the brand just shy of a year ago. “I was still working as a banker then – office work in the morning, then making soaps at night. It was tough, but fun,” says Le.

A Banker's Secret (CS) - Dec _MG_1539 - LN

“There are countless online shops selling things very similar to what I offer but at a lesser quality, and a lesser price,” she says, referring to the recent handmade cosmetic trend that has taken the young Vietnamese market by storm. “But there really is no industry standard. It’s just everybody doing whatever they want and saying whatever they want to sell their stuff. It’s ironic because while they say their soaps or their balms are 100 percent organic, they actually use chemical scents and preservers. It’s cheaper, and the scent stays longer. They can also store their products for more than a year, in case they can’t sell it. Anything that is 100 percent natural is not going to stay fresh for more than a year.”

A Banker's Secret (CS) - Dec _MG_1665 - LN

Everything in her shop must go within six months from the date of production. For Le, she’s never had a problem with this self-imposed deadline. “It’s really simple. I just make something that I myself can use. Something that is nice, safe, and beneficial. It does not need to be too fancy. It can be rustic. I think a lot of people out there think the same way I do.”

Oi’s Pick: Trial-sized Soap Set (VND 250,000)
The core offering in A Banker’s Secret collection, each of these little packages comprises five trial-sized handmade herbal soaps in the most popular scents: Spring, Beer & Coffee, Hipster Farmer, Honey & Oatmeal, and Japanese Green Tea. The size makes them perfect for traveling kits.

A Banker’s Secret
She mainly sells online through an English website: There’s also a physical booth in Cafe Me at 8A Luong Huu Khanh, D1.

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