When and how did you start?
We were normally fascinated about health and beauty products which were marked vegan, organic, herbal etc. We always wondered what would be the real difference in the ingredients of them and other commercial ones. And that curiosity is what made us read more and thereby learning a lot on various natural and handmade cosmetic product making processes and finally pushed us for a realistic attempt. Initially, we tried and tested it for ourselves and gifting it to close friends. Development of prolonged demand and positive feedback for these soaps within our circle was when we decided to take it to the next level of turning it into a startup business. We didn’t wake up for a day deciding to become entrepreneurs but it was just experimenting and the way our audience (customers of course) acknowledged and endorsed us, that made us spin to entrepreneurs. A silent reason being, we besties never wanted to be drifted apart, no matter what and however old we grow and so we made SoulPure happen. We officially launched SoulPure on 15th August 2016.
How did you come up with the idea? Your inspiration moment
We were normally fascinated about health and beauty products which were marked vegan, organic, herbal etc. We always wondered what would be the real difference in the ingredients of them and other commercial ones. And that curiosity is what made us read more and thereby learning a lot on various natural and handmade cosmetic product making processes and finally pushed us for a realistic attempt. Initially, we tried and tested it for ourselves and gifting it to close friends. Development of prolonged demand and positive feedback for these soaps within our circle was when we decided to take it to the next level of turning it into a startup business. We didn’t wake up for a day deciding to become entrepreneurs but it was just experimenting and the way our audience acknowledged and endorsed us that made us think of turning it into business. A silent reason being, we besties never wanted to be drifted apart, no matter what and however old we grow and so we made SoulPure happen.
Brief about the organization and founding members
SoulPure is a passion-driven business initially set up at Bangalore in 2016 but moved its base to Mumbai, India in 2018 which is run by Uttara Ramkumar (Founder & CEO) and Nishi Bhuvandas (Co-founder & COO). Recently we have launched our business in the UAE & Middle East. All our handmade soaps and products are made in small batches right here at our shop! We specialize in making pure and natural, handmade soaps and luxury skin care formulations that will help protect and nourish your skin.
Our handcrafted soaps are all veggie and completely natural, SLS and Paraben free, packed full of the finest oils and kinds of butter to gently cleanse and moisturize, and scented with naturally uplifting essential oils sourced from USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) organic approved manufactures. The fragrance oils in our soaps which are particularly popular among our customers are also sourced from USA which is IFRA (International Fragrance Association) compliant and phthalate free. We also strongly stand against animal cruelty hence none of our products are tested on animals and we make sure to source our raw material through cruelty-free companies and through fair trade distributors.
We both are basically Civil Engineers. We both hold a master degree in Civil Engineering from NIT. Uttara has a PG in Environmental Engineering and Nishi has done her PG in Water Resources Engineering. We met during our masters in 2008 where we grew from room-mates to besties. We were loyal to our educational background have always thrived to be environmental friendly beings, by giving our best to mother earth.
We take bulk orders, customized and theme based orders like birthday return gifts, corporate gifting, etc. Queries regarding orders are accepted via E-mail, through Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp.
Image Credit/ Source: Soulpure Soaps
” Slow and Steady wins the race. Nothing can be attained overnight. Have patience and your true efforts will surely take you to heights” , Says the Founders.
SoulPure is solely a bootstrapped Startup. Bootstrapping allows a lot more freedom in decision-making and more scope to follow our instincts with advice from our well-wishers who are experts. The focus is also directed towards one clear goal and there is no interference from investors who might have conflicting visions. For bootstrapped companies, you are forced to get good fast, there is no time to waste and no resources to waste on mistakes. Nonetheless, mistakes are still made, lessons are still learnt but in the process, you also learn how to stretch your limits. We know we have boundaries but it’s only in this situation that we realize that these boundaries are only in our head.
Challenges and Opportunities/ Marketing Strategies
The initial challenge was to make people aware of the harmful chemicals which were present in the Store bought Soaps and making them understand that how are our products safe to use and the numerous benefits of using natural Handmade beauty products. Yet another challenge for us was to source our raw materials from the US but at the same time keeping the product price as affordable as possible.
We feel any handmade business is: Make, Market, Sell and Repeat. And the detail of how this is done is the business model. But for us what is most significant is how our customers take it. Their input and feedback is the key source of inspiration and motivation to come up with more and improvised recipes minimizing the flaws.
There are lots of bright and coordinated colours, also a large variant for those who aim at soaps specific to skin types. We always have been transparent to our customers while we market our products. We experiment all our new product range with us before we recommend it. Understanding individually each of our customers, their skin type, requirement, addressing all their queries and doubts they have about which product would best suit them etc. have been always our top priority.
Video Credit/ Source: Soulpure Soaps
In India, we are all set to launch our extended range of products in the category of bath and beauty in the following months. We have been approached by a couple of platform in India which is core only into marketing and selling of handmade, artistic and innovative products, so we will soon be a part of their market where SoulPure products will be exhibited and would be open to customers to purchase.
We have recently marked our presence in the UAE and Middle East region through pop-up markets and online sales like souq.com (an Amazon company) and littlemajlis.com which are e-commerce platforms serving majorly the Middle East. The response so far has been truly amazing. We are in the process of setting up our retail store in the UAE where our customers can find our full-fledged collection at just one stop shop.We hope to see SoulPure in full swing and be known as a brand of its known.
A quote from the founder on the journey, or dealing with the challenge, or any inspiring moment.
“No matter what, once you walk in the direction of your dreams then never surrender. Hurdles are part of the game but not always things remain the same”.
EXCLUSIVE: Founder’s advice to budding entrepreneurs
The only secret mantra of becoming a successful entrepreneur is to have a passion for your business. Do not equate it with money all the time. This is not an escape from a regular 9 to 5 job, it involves hours of hard work, determination and making customers satisfied with all that you have and in all possible ways you can. There is nothing more satisfying than a positive feedback for your product but at the same time let the negative comment NOT demotivate you. Love what you do and do what you love is the KEY to becoming an entrepreneur. Secondly, once you flag off in the direction of your dreams then do not turn back. Just strive for progress along with perfection.
Provide some statistics like revenues or clients Acquisitions etc.
Since the day we have started officially in 2016 till date we have made more than 4000 soaps (purely handmade from scratch-right from choosing the ingredient to packaging) all in small batches of 10-12 soaps each. And we have a happy customer list of 1200+ who have always been our constant source of inspiration and support with their constructive feedback.
Your website / apps / and contact details
Email: [email protected]
Contact number : +91 9845501189 (India)
+971 566210190 (UAE)