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Soapmaker bubbles with enthusiasm for his trade

Making soap was once upon a time a domestic chore carried out by the housewife as an addition to the usual housekeeping tasks.

By Latrobe Shire - 13th March 2003 - Back to News

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These days, soap is mass produced, usually by multinational companies who go to great lengths to have the products well displayed in supermarkets so the customerís attention is caught and held.


But some soaps are still handmade and presented in varying shapes with a range of fragrances that entice buyers away from animal fats and preservatives of the mass produced lines.


These are the boutique soaps and Vlad Samson is a perfectionist when it comes to making a wide range of interesting, coloured soaps, which many customers are finding difficult to resist. 


More surprising, Vlad actually produces his soap locally according to his own personal recipes using organic ingredients, vegetable and essential oils and fragrances.


Manufacturing soap represents a seachange for Vlad who worked for 30 years as an electrician in the Latrobe City area.


Vlad is one of the many small businesses in Latrobe City forging ahead with their ambition and passion to diversify the local economy.  Located at the Latrobe Business Centre, in Newborough, VladĎs range of soaps are presented in a wide variety of tasteful packages.


"My mother made soap back home in Russia, just as her mother did when times were hard," Mr Samson said.  "I remember all this and my interest and subsequent recipes were encouraged, even while I was an electrician."


"I believe I am a pretty good cook, and I have perfected some quite innovative soap recipes using pretty much the same set of skills."


Vladís career change has resulted in the transfer of some skills necessary to make soap.


"I still need to be mindful of exact quantities, thorough preparation and the precision necessary for my final product which is colourful, appealing, fragrant and safe to use," Mr Samson said.


Vlad is not in the least concerned that he is a soap maker, which is actually the point of difference for his business.  He is able to describe the soap and its ingredients in a way that makes fragrant, organic soap hard to resist.


According to Latrobe City Councilís Invest Latrobe Investment Manager, Leo Billington, Vladís soap making venture is one of many unique home based businesses that are growing in stature as people seek new directions in their working lives. 


"Vlad knew it was not too late for a change; there are exciting opportunities around every corner," Mr Billington said.  For those already in business, and anyone planning to begin, it is worthwhile being aware of market trends which will always give rise to new business ideas," Mr Billington added.


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