Rakhi gifts are becoming more innovative nowadays. So, as a unique gifting idea, how about a personalised handmade soap bar with the special person’s name engraved on it? Dr Shakuntala Mahanta, a consulting gynaecologist at a Guwahati-based private hospital, has come up with homemade personalised soaps as Rakhi gifts, which are selling like hotcakes. With customers seeming tired of chocolates and other common gifts, they want to try something different that could be more cherished this Rakshabandhan.
“I have been making these soaps for a year or so. The idea of making personalised soaps for Rakhi crossed my mind when someone came up with a demand. The soap has the name of the person engraved on it and the colour of the soap is also customised. I am selling these soaps as a gift pack of four and two. The soaps come at a reasonable price, and people either ask for them or I try to deliver them within the city,” said Dr Mahanta.
Dr Mahanta tried her hand at making soaps during the initial days of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As most hospitals had restricted patients, it gave the otherwise busy doctor ample time to rekindle her creative streak.
“One of my patients posted her handmade soaps on Facebook and I was curious about them and more so about the art. It was during the initial days of lockdown. I tutored myself with help from Facebook. Initially, the soaps were crude but eventually I rectified my mistakes and refined them. Today, it’s more of an addiction, I devote whatever time I squeeze out from my hospital schedule to my passion,” Dr Mahanta said.
She said the soaps had several benefits and did not only act as a cleaning agent for the body but also ensured that skin was moisturised. This soap-making technique allows the use of natural ingredients and essential oils, making the product gentle even for those with sensitive skin, she added.
“I have made a good number of soaps since October last year to August this year. I have not kept a count but people who have used them, my patients, colleagues and acquaintances have appreciated the products. My soaps don’t leave a dry feeling after use. Basically, it has glycerine and most users expressed that they have now stopped using facewash. I feel gratified when young users call to thank me. I have even made customised soaps featuring superheroes and football players,” she said.
Though it started as a hobby, making soaps has now shaped into a business for the gynaecologist, who has also engaged her two children and doctor husband in the art of soap making. With a rise in demand, however, she said she needed to engage more people to make it a better commercial proposition.