The Camel Soap Factory’s Journey with ARTE
Five years ago, traveling through Australia, my husband and I came across a little treasure of a place called The Natural Olive Oil Soap Factory. Set in the Western Aussie bush, it had a retail outlet and factory where visitors could see the soap being made, and buy locally made products and produce. I came home with a dream for Dubai!
My first steps were to learn to make soap. Not much in my background in payments software had prepared me for this. I found a course in London and met my soap mentor and guide, Melinda Coss, without whom the factory might not have happened as quickly. Paying somebody every month certainly focus’s the mind.
Next was learning how to make soap with camel milk. There are not too many books on the subject. I thought I would attend two school fairs that Christmas. I never made it to the second one after we sold all our stock at the first.
That’s when I decided I needed to dream a little bigger and faster.
But I realized that moving into bigger and different markets meant that I was going to need a license. Initially I was allowed to manufacture from home under a trading license but as we got bigger I needed to get a full industrial license. We now have a factory situated in the heart of Dubai and export across the globe.
Without Arte, it would have been impossible for me to get the business off the ground.
Selling at ARTE, The Makers Market helped me refine my product and learn more about our wonderful customers who buy our soaps. It allowed me to gather market intelligence, work out what sold and what didn’t. It allowed me to start to build cash to invest in growing the business. And most of all I made the most wonderful friends among the other ARTE vendors. Friends who have left the UAE, and now sell our soaps as distributors in other parts of the world.
Thank you ARTE, we are deeply grateful.
Stevie Lomass is the founder and creator of The Camel Soap Factory in Dubai.
If you are an artist or artisan that makes handmade items in the UAE and would like more information about becoming a vendor at the ARTE Markets, contact us via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or read our section Book a Table for more information.