I can appreciate all the hard work that goes into being a momma. I find it even more amazing when a momma can balance everything we balance on a daily basis AND run a business. Sometimes, that business comes out of the love for her children. When I come across these women, I can’t help but want to know more about them and their story. As I learn of more mommas who make a difference in the world simply by caring enough about their children to spread the love to other mommas, I will share them with you.
Recently, I was able to meet up with mompreneur, Mia Lauchengco for a yummy ramen lunch at Yushoken. I had been wanting to meet up with Mia after finding So True Naturals at her first Expo Mom this past summer and was intrigued when Mia explained to me that her hand made soaps were “true” castille soaps. True castile soaps are made from olive oil, and get better with age. Mia was sure to make this point to me when briefly explaining her products that day when we met. I love my all natural mosquito repellent (bye bye everybuggy) that I scored for Gellibean back then, and I wanted to learn more about her line, so I asked her to lunch.
So True Naturals was born out of Mia’s love for her daughter. As moms, we always try to find ways to soothe our children, comfort them and kiss their boo boos, right? Well, when her daughter N was diagnosed with skin asthma, Mia did her research (with the help of Mr. Google) and discovered that castile soaps (which first came about sometime in the 1500’s) were the most mild soap you can use for a baby’s (or anyone for that matter) skin and bath. In fact, true castile soaps have actually been referred to as the “newborn soap,” because it is so mild.
The necessity to provide her daughter with an alternative to the harsh soaps in the market led to a search here in Manila that was fruitless and disappointing. From there, she began scouring the internet and books, looking for ways to make the soap on her own, since she could not find what her daughter needed readily available in the area.
Even though Mia comes from a family of entrepreneurs and artists, the idea to make her passion for soap into a business did not occur to her right away. During lunch, Mia proudly recalled a story when she was a child and wanted a new bike, her parents told her to save money for it. She set out to pay for the bike by selling polvoron in her neighborhood, and so the ability to think out of the (soap) box was instilled quite early by her loving parents.
So, with resolve for her daughter’s skin and comfort Mia set out to make the best castile soap to ease her skin asthma. As she found her groove, Mia began gifting her hand made soaps to friends and family as N grew bigger. But, when she became pregnant with baby number two she took a hiatus from soap making so she could take care of house, home, and herself. After her son D was born she picked up right where she left off this time figuring out that she might be able to do a little something more than just gifting her soaps to people she knew.
Mia had her “aha moment” when a friend of hers from church asked for a lesson on how to make her own soap. She quickly agreed to help her friend in need, citing that she wasn’t thinking about making a business out of her desire to provide her children with the best soap possible. But it was during that tutorial that she realized she in fact, COULD make a business of her handmade soaps.
So, with her plans to go bigger and top of the line raw materials she begged singer, artist, husband Raymond for patience as she began curing her soaps all over the kitchen and the house. Being hands on, Mia mixed each and every batch of soap to be sure that all the right ingredients went into each soap and that the process was done to perfection.
Through her growth as an artisanal soap maker she has figured out the tastes and preferences of her customers. She explained the differences to me between essential oils and synthetic fragrances. Mia only uses essential oils in her soaps SO it’s “Truly Natural”. You can learn more about what exactly goes into Mia’s soaps and the comparison of olive oil and coconut oil HERE on her blog.
In the future she sees big things for So True Naturals. She wants to expand and grow her business “naturally,” the way she has done it thus far. She continues to challenge herself in coming up with new products with quality ingredients, attention to detail, and always taking into consideration her customers. Her promise to them? “If I wouldn’t use it for my kids-I’m not gonna sell it.”
Well-from one Momma to another: That’s good enough for me.