Organic is the buzzword these days, what with stores and cosmetics companies switching over to vegan and chemical-free products. A lot of entrepreneurs are also getting great returns on their investment by making such products at home. Ramya Kadiyala may not have started her Aara skincare products with a full-fledged business in mind, but she is certainly on the way to becoming a successful businesswoman.
Her speciality is cold-pressed soaps, lip balms and shampoo bars that are organic and vegan, and they smell so good that you feel like biting off a chunk (we wouldn’t recommend that, no matter how tempting they are). “I learnt soap making as a hobby while I was working in Mumbai. It was after I visited the Lush store and fell in love with their products that I decided to make skincare products like that myself.
My grandmother who was a doctor was very specific about what kind of things we put on our skin and would always give us homemade besan powders and shower powders. Before I make a formula, I make at least 4 to 5 batches of variants and give it to people to get their feedback. My mother also helps me in getting the ingredients together. Like the oils are extracted at a Ganuga, lemon peel, rose petal powders are made at home,” says Ramya Kadiyala, who holds an MBA in marketing and branding.
What you get in her range of Aara soaps are French calamine, coconut milk and honey, cinnamon coffee, activated charcoal, summer orange, intense chocolate and lemon and honey flavours. Her formula is simple and rooted in tradition. Instead of the conventional melt and pour method of soap making, she mixes oils, butters and lye and leaves them in moulds for 20 to 28 days. “I don’t use any external heat, chemicals, surfactants or hardeners. The soap is naturally formed from the reaction of the ingredients.
I ship the monthly supplies and also keep stock for Instagram orders,” adds Ramya who also ships her soaps to the US, Australia and Canada and does custom orders for gifting. “A current order I’m working on is for a bride and groom who wanted to gift their guests lavender soaps with their names stamped on them. I can make a soap using any ingredient you eat and which is good for your skin,” quips Ramya. With plans afoot to come out with shampoo bars, Ramya’s Aara products are available at The Chalet in Jubilee Hills and on her Instagram handle – aara_skin.