Suchita Ullas, an erstwhile PR professional based in Bengaluru, took to soap making after her retirement and now runs a successful venture out of her home called Suchi’s Handmade Skincare Products.
Suchitra Ullas’s business venture started with her failures. She was learning to make natural soap and by the end of the year, there were so many soaps on her hand that she just could not use them all by herself. So she decided to sell them in the flea market.
64-year-old Suchitra Ullas retired 5 years back. Even when she was working, she always wanted to do something after retiring. She either wanted to start a tiffin service for the senior citizens or wanted to learn soap making. Her son was abroad and one thing he always asks for to send to him was natural handmade soaps. Suchitra will buy them at the market and send them to her son. Then she thought, ‘why don’t I learn to make them myself’.
This is how she went to a workshop that taught how to make natural soaps. And after the workshop, for a year Suchitra experimented with making soap. Half of it was a failure. But by the end of the year-end, she had so many soaps. So Suchitra and her husband decided to sell it in the flea market. It was pre-COVID time, and they had enough flea markets in the city. It was such a positive encouragement when their soaps were all sold out.
That is when Suchitra released the business potential of this venture. In 2016, she began to make soaps to sell under the brand name ‘Suchi’s Handmade Skincare Products’. Some customers even came back for more after experiencing the quality of Suchitra’s natural soaps.
Each batch is handcrafted with utmost care and is created in small batches in the couple’s home. “The one thing that we are very particular about is what ingredients we use. After all, our biggest marketing tool is the quality of the products we are putting out. Only the best branded natural and regional vegetable oils, butters, ghee, herbs, flowers, fresh milk, fragrance/essential oils, fruit and vegetable purees find their way into the making of our products,” says Suchita.
After a while, the venture expanded to include a wide range of natural formulations, which include shampoo bars, ultra-moisturising all-weather body butters and lotions, underarm cream deodorants, lip balms, and a range for men with beard butters and shaving soaps. “All our marketing has happened only through social media channels and by word-of-mouth. The growth has been completely organic and one that I take immense pride in,” she says. “The soaps we make are free of parabens or sodium lauryl sulphate.”
Some of the bestsellers include charcoal soap followed by sandalwood soap, Kasturi manjal (turmeric), tender coconut soap and peaches, a cream one and a Himalayan pink salt bar, which is Suchita’s personal favourite. A 100-gm soap bar will cost you upwards of Rs 120, with the most expensive soap bar priced at Rs 200, which are all sold on Suchita’s Instagram and Facebook page.
Credits: The Better India
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