The thing about anything handmade is that every item is made with so much care and is full of love. Bonus if they make your life a little better too. Today we have a creator who makes great handmade soaps. We got introduced through a friend, who couldn’t stop raving about her soaps.
We also found out that she is a veterinarian graduate, and currently a master’s student, who also runs her popular soap business ‘Elixir Soaperie’ on the side. Let’s find out more about her and her handmade goodies.
Meet 23-year-old Lavanya Sophie from Pondicherry, founder and creator of ‘Elixir Soaperie’, which is a range of handmade soaps, scrubs, eye gels and other beauty products that work wonders. She makes everything from scratch and even adds fragrances and essential oils as per specific preferences. She chats with R&L about her entrepreneurial journey and her handmade soaps.
- Hi Lavanya. Tell us a little about yourself and what you’ve been up to?
My name is Lavanya… Well, technically Dr. Lavanya. I’m a 23-year-old veterinarian graduate and am pursuing my higher studies now. I’m from a small town called Yanam in Pondicherry. I paint and sing Carnatic music too.
A full-time vet and a creator of soaps! So tell us what inspired you to start ‘Elixir Soaperie’? What’s so special about it?
Elixir Soaperie is something I started with the concept to reduce the use of commercial, chemical filled, monotonous and boring soaps and replace them with creative fun alternatives that are eco-friendly and actually good for you too.
“Started out as a DIY hobby making soaps for myself until one day I decided to make them on a bigger scale. First, I made soaps and then branched out to other products like body butter, scrubs, foot scrubs, bath salts, eye gels and lip scrubs. I make everything fresh, right after the order is placed so there is nothing like bulk stock or old stock. The customers also get to choose their own fragrances for the products from our list.”
What is the story behind the name of the brand?
I thought of Elixir as the brand name because I truly believe that my products bring a fresh and rejuvenated feeling to all who use it. They feel like “magic”! Seeing how they worked magically repaired my damaged and dry skin… I really hope it works the same for everyone.
How have your past experiences influenced your working style?
My entire training in getting a degree in veterinary made me stronger and filled me with the determination needed to face people and situations boldly. Also, I was a state athlete so that training too has given me the confidence to do what I really want to do.
Lavanya with her fellow Vets in Manhattan
Lavanya in veterinarian mode.
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Not really… nobody from my family is an entrepreneur. But I always found myself getting fascinated with working for myself rather than working under someone else. So I thought my small venture could be a good start.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
The biggest challenge I ever faced was launching the brand itself to the world outside. Nothing has given me more palpitations than my first post on the brand profile on Instagram.
“So many people discouraged me by saying, “you are a vet”, or, “you’ve got to be crazy”, and so on. But once I started it, the next big challenge was to make people trust in my product since we’re all so accustomed to using commercial products even though we are completely unaware of the ingredients. People have trust issues and they will be reluctant to pay for handmade products which are more expensive in comparison.But of course support from family and friends, and lovely feedback from customers keeps me motivated and excited all along”
“Packing and dispatching so many orders.. with exams around the corner; it wasn’t very easy but I could do it only with all the support and the drive my family and friends gave. Special thanks to those people who would help me study over the phone while I’m busy making soaps” ~ Lavanya
Tell us more about the range of products under ‘Elixir Soaperie’
Right now I make and sell handmade soaps which are Melt-and-Pour and Cold process soaps. Body scrubs and lip scrubs are basically made with granulated sugar as the base and other ingredients. Eye gel and acne gel has an aloe base. Bath salts and foot soaks have a variety of salts like Epsom salt, Citric acid etc.
French Clay and Charcoal Soaps by Elixir Soaperie [BUY HERE]
Creamy and Luxurious Whipped body butter by Elixir Soaperie [BUY HERE]
Custom Made Charcoal Bars by Elixir Soaperie.
Mermaid Soaps by Elixir Soaperie.
Cold Process Charcoal Soap topped with Golden Mica by Elixir Soaperie.
Where can we buy your products and what is the price range?
The price of my products ranges from INR 85-500. All the orders get handwritten notes and on special requests, I make handmade cards with paintings and messages as per the buyer’s preferences.
Interested buyers can Buy Online on my R&L Shop. You can also contact me through Instagram, Emails or Whatsapp. Follow Elixir Soaperieon Instagram and Facebook.
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