Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The day things got soapy!

Painting peach soap
The final touch

Peaches ripe and ready to pick!

Some people might wonder how in earth we started this little soap adventure of ours... so here's how we started getting all soapy. We were on holiday in Brasil (yes, Brasil is written with a "S"!) and came across a great project called JEAME which works with young people who live in Sao Paulo's streets and are addicted to heroin.  Verna, the worker, met us with a project idea. The project was to move our little "fostering family" to live in a small farm and help re-abilitate "foster" young people while they were attempting get off drugs.

We would offer a "family life" and teach them as much things as we could (home schooling, a trade etc. We thought that teaching them to make they own candles or soaps would help when they were in need of money once when leaving the farm.  Understanding how to sell bread, soap, candles etc is an easy way to make an income on the streets so a person won't be tempted to prostitute themselves.

Garreth also noticed that people over there had such low income and could still end up making everything for themselves in order to save money (they make cleaning products, bread, soaps, candles etc), the entrepreneurs even sell from the home to try and generate an income. He couldn't believe that such skills were forgotten at home and he resented paying a fortune for things he should be able to make.

...so we decided that soap making could be one trade we could teach. My sister found the classes with an incredible soap artist called Peter Paiva and within days the adventure begin with soap parties, stalls, creativity, fragrances and so on. Unfortunately the project in Brasil didn't work for us but we brought the idea home aiming to grow as a business to be self sustainable and in time towards a social enterprise which will engage and help our community localy (working with young people, elderly, ex convicts, etc) and abroad (We try to use as much fairly traded and organic materials we can so the world is also blessed by what we do...that also means that some of our stuff is a bit more pricy so be aware that our pricy means most of time FAIR and JUST!).

We are starting as we are able: slowly, dedicated and hopeful. You all are more than welcome to go through this with us. I'm sure we are going to create and have great fun! Right now we are working in some "gift soap range" with hand painted fruits and other nice stuff.

We just opened our ETSY shop and you can go and have a look if you wish.


Before you go have a look at these websites:

 Jeame - Work with street kids in Sao Paulo - Brasil: The site can be read in English.


Peter Paiva soap website: He is just an amazing artist and business man. A very passionate young man who was my teacher in Brasil. The site is written in Portuguese, but you can see the photos.


Post soon,

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Thanks to Nigel Smith

I blame this attempt to keep a blog to Nigel Smith who talked me into the idea of letting people know our journey as a small family business handcrafting artistic soaps and cosmetics(or maybe it is just myself been a woman giving in into the need to talk.) Anyway there is some important points to take into consideration when you are reading my posts: 1- I'm Brazilian and English isn't my first language so I already apologize for my multitude of mistakes - and I tell you that some of them will be ridiculously funny. So have a laugh, keep reading and try to figure out what I tried to say when I made the mistake. 2- I'm a wife and mother of two boys (one aged almost 3 and other aged 5 months). I'm proudly a breast feeding mother so it might take a while to update the blog as most of my time I spent feeding, making soaps and playing with my son. As my husband and I share the business I could aslk him to update the blog for me but he doesn't believe in blogs and he simply does EVERYTHING else in our LIVES (soap making, children care, ironing, accounts, baking, cooking, cleaning, washing, packing...) so I might remember to not ask for his help on this. The other important reason which encouraged me to start a blog was the fact that every time I'm using the internet to research something I get to blogs which end up been fun, genuine and helpful. So of all this qualities I might try to be at least helpful (and genuine. I promise not try to be funny as we could struggle with cultural differences and our perception of what is really funny might not really work here. So, this is it for now. I'm going to get my hands bubbly (in other words wash the soap dishes) and finally put this hungry boy into his cot. See ya.