Lather and rinse
From a young age, Giang Huynh encountered discomfort using supermarket-bought soap. Plagued with skin irritation that caused itching and flaking, climbing into bed after a shower was an unpleasant experience. Late last year she decided, quite literally, to take matters into her own hands. After spending time researching websites and tutorials dedicated to making soap, she took the plunge and began to experiment with her own recipes.
Giang cast her first soap using simple plastic containers for molds and scented it with pomelo essential oil. That first foray into soap making quickly developed into a passion. Eager to share, she gave some bars to friends and, encouraged by the positive feedback, decided to launch Pomelo Soap – named after her first bright pink batch.
Taking lessons from her first experiment, she realized she needed better equipment, ingredients and process. “I must have called hundreds of companies to find wholesalers for the base oils and ingredients and visited perhaps just as many shops to source the essential oils. Because it was only me doing the legwork, it took a lot of time, but eventually it paid off,” Giang explains. But sourcing the ingredients was only one hurdle; getting the molds made to her specifications was more difficult because most potential vendors weren’t interested in making only a few molds, telling her to come back when she was ready to order in larger numbers. A bit of good fortune led a friend to introduce her to a wood shop willing to produce the molds, and Giang’s brother stepped in to make the soap cutter, which would have proved a daunting task to acquire otherwise.
Now fully equipped, Giang began to experiment with scents and colors, turning out soap made with essential oils and ingredients including lavender, Shea butter, mangosteen, aloe, lemongrass, freesia and cinnamon. Giang plans to add lip balm, liquid soap, lotions, sugar scrub and massage candles to her line next year. – Patrick Lok
Visit Facebook: PomeloSoap, while their website is under construction, or email firstname.lastname@example.org