If you are strolling down Walm Lane in North West London, you catch a delicious whiff of lavender, roses, lemongrass and honey, and your nose will lead you to Jardin d’Eden - a soap shop.
A little over a year ago, three sisters, Rima, Zeina and Zahira Nazer started this soap making business where they make and sell a fragrant array of soap bars and body products using natural ingredients sourced from many parts of the world. The business idea has been in the sisters’ mind for a long time to revive their father’s legacy.
“We were raised making 100% natural olive oil soap. We used to be always around my father in his factory, making blossom water at home. So we were raised with a natural sense and natural product. Finally, we decided last year to do that, it is amazing to have your own business with family you trust and depend on,” Rima Nazer, the youngest of the sisters who is involved in formulating soaps, said.
The sisters started making soaps initially from the back of their house before they moved to a bigger outlet that doubles as a factory and a shop in the high street of Willesden area, which has been brought back to life by the mayor, with new business start-ups and project to rejuvenate this part of London.
On being part of this project, Zeina, who is in charge the business finances and marketing, said, “We were so lucky to be chosen part of this queens parade project that is funded by the mayor of London and the architect foundation and that because we had good design and good concept ideas so we moved here and it had made our life easier.”
The recipes they inherited from their father, who was a well-known “maitre savoneur” in Tripoli, Lebanon, were developed to reflect the lifestyle of London and the urban dweller.
The result is a range of products from soaps, body and bath oils and creams that are kind and suitable to all skin types and designed to enhance overall wellbeing.
Zahira, who is the creative brain of the business, emphasized on the importance of the look of all the products, and the quality of essential oils. “People get attracted first to the product and we design it so every single bit has its luxury essential oils. In our indulge range, rose oil is one of the most expensive oils you can have as an essential oil. That is reflected in the smell but also in the crushed roses we use as part of that indulging experience. Then you have the lavender that is soothing and use its oil, and Ylang Ylang, and also Bergamot. For the product itself, we look into the botanic reflecting that smell, so you have bergamot flower, the lavender that covers the product, mainly in our truffles.”
With the fast expansion, the sisters insist on keeping the ethics of making 100% soap brand by hand in London with a vision to supply more department stores around the UK and to keep the business in the family.
Despite the downturn in the economy, the sisters managed to turn their hobby and passion into a successful soap making business in the UK, and they are now thinking of expanding beyond the shores of Britain. The start will be from their home country, Lebanon.