Oct 09 2018
55-SECOND is a short documentation of people (and things) with stories to tell.
In our first ever feature, we've snuck into a soap maker’s studio to capture her story and some precious moment.
Everyone, meet Mei Lee — Founder of Comosoap and workshop instructor.
When did all of this start?
I started making handmade soaps since 2014 because of my sensitive skin. In 2016, I started conducting workshops and did some crossover classes in cafes. This year, I’ve started my own studio here.
Tell us a little bit about your journey.
At the very beginning, I’ve played with different ingredients like red wine, beer, oat, clay powder and more. After exploring and experimenting, I realize that these soap bars are very beneficial to my skin. From there, I started to do more and eventually explored into workshops.
“I want more people to come to understand cold-process soap; the natural ingredients and its process, which is friendly to both our skin and also, our mother earth.”
Tell us a little bit about your workshops.
I conduct beginner classes and sharing sessions, and occasionally melt & pour workshops too. My mission for sharing my knowledge to others is that I want more people to come to understand cold-process soap; the natural ingredients and its process, which is friendly to both our skin and also, our mother earth. For the soaps that I make, I replace palm oil with shea butter because the palm plantation is destructive to our rainforest.
Why do you focus on cold process soap?
For this method, there’s no heat involved that would take away the nutrients of the natural ingredient. It's like cooking! Without heat processes, we can retain the benefit of soap as much as we can.
What's your all-time favourite soap?
Rose soap, my favourite! It's a super moisturizing, anti-wrinkle and anti-aging soap.
Share with us some of the struggles.
I think convincing people to use handmade soaps could be the biggest challenge as many are so used to using shower gels.
For someone who is new to soap bars, what's the right way of using it?
I would suggest you to buy a soap bag. Many are not used to using soap because of the lack of lather. When you put soap into the soap bag, it will help to create more lather and then you'll have a better scrub feel.
On a scale of 1-10, rate your contentment in your business.
7? Haha! I see a lot of area for improvement. Like right now, I'm researching and experimenting on how to create soaps that are suitable for swimmers.
What do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I love to teach a lot. I want to teach as long as I can. I want to create a bigger and better space for a DIY bar which I'm actually already doing it. Many students after they've learned about handmade soap, they are not able to invest in materials, tools, and ingredients in big bulks because they are only making it for personal usage. My idea of a DIY bar is that people can just come in with their formula and start making their own soap because all the tools and materials needed are all ready here.
If you are intrigued to try out making your own cold process soap, don't miss the chance to get up close and personal with Mei Lee in her next class! Bring a friend along! :)
13 Oct | 12.30pm-4.30pm | Naiise @ The Zhongshan Building
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