Back in 2002 Karin Hulathanom had his first experience with an artisanal bar of handmade soap. He smelled the bar of soap, felt the lather in-between his fingers and was immediately hooked. Karin knew he had to learn how to make soap for himself.
Beginning by looking online and devoting books upon books on the subject. He got to work learning how soap was made and how he could use ingredients he had easy access to in Krabi. Soon after his love with the topic of soap making he began toying with the idea of starting a company and being the first commercial soap maker in Krabi.
Undertaking a new endeavour is no small feat, no matter what the endeavour. Change is something humans love but most of us are all innately resistant to it. The fear of the unknown (the dark if you will). The fear of failing, the fear of uncertainly has kept most of on the path well trodden. This is whats most hard about taking a plunge like what Karin took, to take your destiny in your hands, sink or swim; and at the end of the day you have nobody to blame or congratulate expect whose looking at you in mirror.
Khun Karin made the decision, he would take up his destiny into his own hands, he would try his luck at the idea of becoming an artisanal soap maker based in Krabi. With dreams of selling his soap internationally and throughout Thailand he had his work cut out for him.
Before he could fully commit to this new decision, he needed to get to acknowledgement and hopefully support from his beloved Sandy. So coming home he talked with her about his new idea. At first she was hesitant as starting a soap making business, as it meant changing their whole lives around, to go into the unknown and with no guarantee. It meant they had to completely change their lives. Leaving the relative comfort of the companies they were working for and starting their own business.
Over a glass of wine the proposal was made and Sandy agreed to this wild and crazy idea, so they were off.
First they needed a name for their product and company, they settled on ‘The Rich Products’. As they both have high standards and expectations for their products they needed a great understand of the process of making soap. How ingredients are used in the process and how they react with one another to create the soap Karin and Sandra wanted. They needed to make sure the soap also reflected the local ingredients and flavours of Krabi. This required a lot of testing, but before they could start testing, they need to make their factory and area where they would make the soap and test different batches.
Luckily they had some extra space in their home, so they converted this extra 40 Sq. Meters space into a small laboratory and factory. After the small factory was constructed they got to work testing the various types of fatty oils, lye and essential oils together to find the perfect ratio to create the type of soap they were after.
Testing can take a long time especially if you’re in the process of making a high quality and durable product. So Karin and Sandy testing hundreds of combinations until they found their perfect ratio of ingredients.
Soon after they came up with an ideal product they began marketing their soap to the public, taking out space in local markets, talking with hotels and resorts as well as making an online store. The orders began to come in and they were working around the clock marketing their products while also producing batches to keep up with demand.
Karin knew though that they needed certain certifications to make their product more credible and worthy of the global brand he desired. Karin therefore applied and received the coveted ISO certification in December 2017. At the same time Karin also received the CODEC GMP Certification as well as the Premium Product certification awarded by the department of traditional and alternative medicine which is a branch under the ministry of public health.
Now with their new found government and internationally recognised certifications the Rich Products are off to the races. They are taking in international orders from around the globe, shipping their soap globally yet still have not forgotten about their local roots. The couple has taken a permanent spot at the newly opened Green Market just outside Big C in Krabi town and also frequents various other markets throughout Krabi.
Karin and Sandy’s story is one of inspiration, they knew nothing about soap making only that they wanted to try it and make a new life for themselves. They have done this and more in a short period of time.
If you are interested in getting in touch with Karin and Sandy please visit Rich Products website: