Ottawa is full of innovative makers, amazing crafters and awesome small businesses. We are fortunate to live in a city with so many creative people who are making incredible products. SAABOON is an all-natural vegan soap boutique, located at 595 Gladstone Avenue in Centretown. Joulian is the man behind the business and creates handcrafted soap, body and facial care products from scratch. He prides himself on using only the best, all natural ingredients and 100% essential oils for each product. We were lucky enough to visit his beautiful shop and meet his adorable pugs Winston and Leon. We asked him 5 questions in celebration of his recent 5 year anniversary of SAABOON.
1. What initially attracted you to soap making?
At the beginning, soap making was a hobby for me that developed into SAABOON. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, and found that soap making was a nice way for me to fill my time. Nowadays, everything is so fast-paced, and our access to technology is changing the way we perceive old art forms. I wanted to explore an old art form, like traditional cold-process soap making to create something new and introduce it in a fresh way. I think that people are gravitating from large-scale manufactured products to smaller, hand crafted ones because they appreciate the attention to detail and level of care involved in creating each product.
2. What do you enjoy about the soap making process?
It's a great break in the routine of everyday life. As I said before, I really enjoy working with my hands, but the customer experience gives me a unique and different perspective. Seeing my customers use my products and appreciate them is wonderful.
3. How has the community responded to your business?
The community has been so amazing to me. Everyone has been extremely supportive and many customers have become friends. I really enjoy hosting small events and having workshops in the store because they highlight the elements of community that I think are important: bringing people together, learning something different and of course making friends and meeting new customers. We have hosted two Kombucha workshops in the past and have a group of musicians play in-store occasionally!
4. What inspires you to keep going?
Seeing the result of the products I create in the positive responses from customers is what drives me. I am inspired by what I make and by the feedback I receive - it keeps me motivated.
5. What are some of your favorite essential oils to work with?
Bergamot and Lemongrass are two of my favorites. You can find bergamot in our Coffee Break and Himalayan soaps, as well as the Utility deodorant and Elemental facial oil. Lemongrass is featured in our French Clay soap and Utility deodorant.
We've picked our three favorites to share with you!
charcoal in soap is known to stimulate blood circulation and help regenerate new skin cells, leaving smooth, nourished and radiant skin.
2. FRENCH CLAY:
created with French pink clay that works to absorb excess oil and detoxify the skin without causing dryness or irritation - a perfect choice for sun-damaged or acne prone skin.
3. DEAD SEA:
created with Dead Sea mud that is known to exfoliate, detoxify and cleanse the skin - excellent for dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and acne.
Visit 595 Gladstone Avenue to see the full product range, or check out http://saaboon.com/
The GBD Team