Meet the Maker: Isobel Sangha
Isobel creates all-natural soap and bath products using nourishing oils and butters, foraged botanicals, herbs, spices and aromatherapy essential oils. Designed with purpose; putting function over form with a holistic care for self and environment. The products focus on helping people feel comfortable in their own skin, choosing ingredients that are dedicated to this.
Skin is our largest organ, our greatest defense, and how we support it is paramount to skin vitality. Palm oil free since the company’s beginning in 2010 and delighted to be the 1st Irish Company to carry the Palm Oil Free Certification mark. As a member of the Guaranteed Irish team, Isobel is always searching for new Irish ingredients to use and promote in her product range.
What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?
I start work at 6:30am to make the most of the quiet time. I fill up my oil heater to melt the organic vegetable butters that go into my soap, and measure the other ingredients that need time to cool. I then unmould the previous day’s soap loaves and take to the cutting table. They get cut into bars, labelled and put on the drying racks to cure for approx 4 weeks. I then line the wooden soap moulds for today’s soap batches. While waiting for the soap ingredients to reach the correct temperature for making, I head to my office to check emails and print out soap orders. The orders are processed ready for the courier to collect. When the soap ingredients are at the correct temperature I start to measure the ingredients, record the batch numbers and then start to mix up the soap batter. The batter gets poured into long handmade wooden soap moulds, levelled off, the soap swirls or decorations are added and then it is covered and left to rest over-night to undergo the saponification reaction.
They will be unmoulded the following working day. After the soap is made the dishes are washed and the kitchen cleaned. Each soap batch requires a log to be created for traceability, and a unique lot number is assigned to each batch. This is done after the cleaning is complete. There is then generally an hour or so in which there might be some packaging to do, gift sets to be made, more emails, and some maintenance of my ecommerce shop. I generally finish around 4pm and back to family-life.
Study the market carefully and find your USP - differentiate your product from others. Make sure to comply with the EU cosmetic regulations.
What do you like most about your work?
The creation of a product that is enjoyed by many of the human senses – the visual, the scent and the feel. To make a product that is enjoyed and helps is so worthwhile.
What’s your favourite craft item in your home?
My silk light shades and lamps by Koko Designs.
How do you switch off?
Walking, especially in the wild places – rocky shores and deep in the bog. Reading at the end of each week-day, and movie-nights on weekends.
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
Study the market carefully and find your USP – differentiate your product from others. Make sure to comply with the EU cosmetic regulations.
How do you start your day?