ARTE’s Success Stories

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 – or read our section Book a Table for more information.

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Meet our Soap-er Heroes

Handcrafted soap is a blend of both science and art. Whatever your needs, ARTE Markets features a number of soapmakers who offer natural chemical-free beauty & grooming options in a wide array of colours, scents, shapes, sizes and formulations designed for serious skin care. We asked a few of our regular soap-er heroes to share some secret skincare tips.

PAN Soaps by Nada Vukasovic

As one of the first soapmakers to join the ARTE fraternity, Nada Vukasovic is now fondly known at the ‘Papaya Lady’  – thanks to the amazing results reaped by customers who have regularly used her Papaya & Mango Papaya Soaps.


Why should we choose natural handmade soap?

Nada explains, “Long ago soap companies began removing glycerin and other great natural soap ingredients to increase profits. This required the need to add other less “skin-friendly” chemicals. (Just try reading the ingredients label on your store purchased bar of soap.) This process made “soap” more detergent than true soap. We believe that nature, in its purest form, contains everything the skin needs to be radiant and healthy. We use only fresh natural ingredients in our original recipes. Our handmade products are made of pure organic ingredients. That is why our first choices are products from reliable local and international sources. Not only will you love the feel, you’ll find that true soap lasts MUCH longer than other ‘soap’.”

Nada recommends Papaya Soap


“This soap bar is enriched with almond oil and fresh papaya juice. This soap is good for redness, acne, reduces and heals acne faster, reduces dark spots and gives a lighter tone to your skin. It is an all natural hand made soap free of artificial preservatives, colours and fragrances. It is miracle soap, our best one!”

Colibri Natural Beauty Care by Victoria Molnar

Victoria is one of the most recent soapmaker to join ARTE. It was her passion for solving health problem the way nature intended that she decided to create toxin-free, gentle & natural beauty products to make the skin feel soft and smooth while helping to retain it`s natural moisture.


Why should we choose natural handmade soap?

Victoria explains, “Our skin is our largest organ and it will most definitely respond to the toxins we ingest from chemically overloaded commercially manufactured beauty care products. Our skin is not only the largest organ but the thinnest as well, which in turn, makes it the most permeable. What you put on your skin will be directly absorbed into your bloodstream and affect your health dramatically. My products heal and nourish and leave skin feeling smooth, soft, supple and looking great.”

Victoria recommends Lavender & Tea Tree Oil Body Butter


“Lavender and tea tree oil are a power couple when it comes to healing problem, acne-prone, oily, and aging skin. Lavender oil is the one of the gentlest essential oils making it great to use for children and on sensitive skin. Combined with tea tree oil, they heal, protect and soothe the skin, regenerate and restore elasticity. Both these oils are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing. For skin problems like acne, eczema, dermatitis, and insect bites, this clean and fresh smelling body butter can be your best friend. No chemicals. No preservatives. No artificial colors. No fragrances.”

Desert Rose Handmade Soaps by Firuza Wragg

Firuza’s began creating bars of soap for a fun project to do with her children, but soon got addicted to the soapmaking process. When her recipes began building a demand, she jumped into the deep end and started my own business – that recently debuted at ARTE.


Why should we choose natural handmade soap?

Firuza says, “Commercial soap manufacturers make it a practice to remove the glycerine that is produced during the saponification (soap-making) process. The glycerine is a highly profitable substance, often sold to other companies who use it to make lotions and moisturizers, which your skin, now dried out from the harsh detergent ‘soap,’ desperately needs. On the other hand, my handmade soaps are made with all natural ingredients which premium natural vegetable and essential oils. There is no water or filler. This makes for a very dense, longer lasting bar of soap. It feels as good in your hand as it does on your skin.”

Firuza recommends Beer & Coconut Milk Gourmet Soap


“Seabuckthorn seed oil and fruit oil contain healing and softening fatty acids that nourish and replenish the skin. These oils improve skin conditions as rosacea, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis; heal burns and reduce the associated pain; shrink small capillaries, even skin tone, reduce the effects of sun damage and provide minor UV protection. 100% Vegan, 100% Natural. Free of artificial colours.”