Aurelia Soapworks- Vishal Samarasekera
Passionate about experimenting from a young age and making things the traditional way, soapmaking came very naturally to Vishal Samarasekera and he’s never looked back! Something that started off as an after-school hobby, grew gradually to now become a successful business - Aurelia Soapworks, which allows him to combine his talent for creating products from scratch with his passion for natural, eco-friendly products.
“Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it absorbs whatever you put on it -definitely not good news if you’re using products loaded with parabens, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, harmful chemicals and petroleum products. While people are slowly becoming more aware about the hidden toxins in daily products they use like soap, finding all natural soap and other natural bath accessories in Sri Lanka is not easy,” said Vishal. With this in mind, Vishal backed with a degree in Chemistry started researching into developing an all natural range and soon released an assortment of handmade soap and skin care products that included face masks, a face oil, body scrubs and even a beard oil to bridge this gap in the market and provide consumers with safer, natural options.
Committed to leaving out all all chemicals from his range of products, Vishal opted to create his natural soap by replacing glycerin as a base with a combination of five oils in his shampoo bars and four oils in bath soaps - coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil and castor oil. With the base always remaining the same, Vishal spent a lot of time researching and experimenting to create powerful combinations that not only smelt divine, but also had amazing benefits for your skin and hair. For instance, the Aurelia Soapworks Araliya and Rice bath soap is a popular choice for many as both these key ingredients boost cell growth and stimulate blood flow to keep your skin smooth and bright!
All products at Aurelia Soapworks are made from scratch with every part of the
process being done by hand. While this does take significantly more time than if it
was produced by a machine with a single bar of soap taking four to six weeks to be ready, it is something that Vishal will never change! “Each bar of soap we create is different from the other. I cut each soap bar by hand and even the stickers used for packaging are hand cut. These are all important aspects to me as I don’t want my products to be something out of a factory line that’s soulless and instead I always want to retain the handmade rustic touch that shows it was made by a human, not a machine,” explained Vishal.
Based out of his home, Vishal supported by his parents who are both in the Food & Beverage industry handle every aspect of Aurelia Soapworks from researching and formulating new products (something that his parents’ F&B experience provides valuable insight for) to the manufacturing process, packaging and the marketing too. Vishal ensures that only the finest ingredients are used in all his products and aims to source as many ingredients as possible from locally such as raw honey which comes from a small business that sustains a rural community.
Environmentally conscious to the core, Vishal spent hours researching and looking for eco-friendly packaging options that would not affect the quality of his products in anyway, but that was still biodegradable While the majority of his products use 100% biodegradable wrapping such as the bar soaps which are wrapped in oil paper and packaged in cardboard boxes, there are still some products that he has been forced to sparingly use plastic for to ensure the product is not affected during storage - he hopes to find a solution and make the swap soon for this too!
Always on the lookout for ways to expand his product range and provide his
customers with new products that are effective and safe, Vishal defines clear product development goals for his business and sticks to it yearly. “I usually set out a target for the year in terms of how many products I hope to release that year- for instance, it can be two soaps and one entirely new product. Planning this in advance gives me a clear plan for the year and helps make running the business so much easier,” said Vishal.
Already a big fan of Aurelia Soapworks? You’ll be happy to know that there’s a
bunch of new products in the pipeline for this year - some that would be expected,
but some that will blow your mind!
"You Are The Product. You Feeling Something. That's What Sells."
-Don Draper, Mad men