Thank you for finding time from your busy schedule to engage with us and visit our site. My name is Yuhina. My husband Madhusudan and I own this small business and here is our Story.
The Journey of ‘Handmadness’ Started out as a hobby. The hobby itself started when I accidentally stumbled upon a soap making video on Youtube. I had an artistic disposition since childhood and when I saw the beautiful colours creating mesmerising swirls I was immediately drawn to watching more videos. At the time I was working as a Wildlife Professional in the Forests of Chhattisgarh state in India. Whatever free time I got, I would immerse myself in the world of colours and swirls on Youtube.
Meanwhile my Mum was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Soon after my Dad had to undergo triple bypass surgery for heart blockages. Our family was devastated. So, after I finished my contract with my organisation, I moved to my parents’ house to look after them. My sister and I took turns in being at the hospital. It was during this time that I started my little experiments at soap making in our kitchen, whenever I found little time. I did not have all the equipments, so I made little experimental soaps with make-do moulds. And believe me it was not as easy as it looked on the videos. The first time was so disappointing. I made some ‘gloop in glycerine’. Hence began my journey of researching and studying about ‘Soaps’, something that is so common place and routine that we hardly ever pause to give it a though. As I read more and more about soaps I found out about so many harmful ingredients that go into making of our own personal soaps. From hardening to lathering to durability to Fragrance, every step involved addition of some chemical that could lead to a plethora of diseases including cancer. I felt like I was sitting in a vat of fragrant chemical cocktail all my life.
Its human nature never to expect the worst to happen to us or our loved ones. But reality is much different and not at all predictable. It does not discriminate on the basis of class, colour, gender, religion, caste, background or any such criteria which us humans use, to distinguish ourselves from others. My Mum was a devoted doctor who helped many patients. Not in our wildest dream did we ever imagine she would get cancer, but she did and we lost her to the disease.
It is impossible to recover from this loss we can only learn to live with this void. Never before I had ever paid attention to how many people in our locality were suffering from cancer. When my mum got it only then did I found out the shocking extent of this dreaded disease. According to reports from World Health Organisation 9.6 million people died of various cancers worldwide in 2018. I witnessed at least seven deaths in our closely acquainted families due to cancer before my Mum’s passing. Reality hits when someone you have known succumbs to something like this and it hits harder when it is your own loved ones.
I decided to rid my family of all the possible carcinogens that creep into our routine life so innocently. I got rid of all aluminium and teflon coated utensils and replaced them with Cast iron, steel and anodised ones, we stopped reusing plastic water bottles (we prefer carrying our water in steel thermoses while stepping out), we stopped using aluminium foils and plastic containers for hot food and now was the turn of my Soap. I started making soaps for my family and gradually I started venturing into experimenting with new soaping techniques. Then I though why should I be using any artificial colourants in my soap and so I have made this my mission to make soaps only and only out of stuff that is so safe, you can eat it.
After much trial and error, I began figuring out what works and what does not. Each batch that we make is a result of careful deliberation and research. learning is a process that never ceases to happen and hence each batch teaches us something new.
After using my own handmade soaps for a some months, and getting positive review from relatives and some friends I shared my soaps with, I felt this could be something I could do for a living. When I shared this with Madhusudan, he too felt why not should we get out into the world and share this gift that has come to us. And thus began ‘Handmadness’.
We are growing each day and we are trying to make a positive change in the way we live. We are trying to make our lives more in accordance with nature. We try to built a clean environment for ourselves in one of the worst polluted city by doing small changes like growing plants in our balcony, composting our kitchen waste, growing little vegetables, avoiding plastic bags. We try to inculcate this principle of clean living in our soaps as well. We know we might not have a lot of takers and we have long way to go but with the support of patrons like yourself, I am sure we will be able to make a change!