Fellow Dabawenya Joanne and I when she had her little boy, Diwa.  Joanne became active in breastfeeding activities and participated reconnected when LATCH was looking for moms to participate in the 2010 campaign of LATCH entitled Mommy, Mama, Inay and Me.

Joanne & Diwa.
Exhibit photo taken by Stan.
Mom/Baby photo take by Paolo. 

Before having a baby, Joanne is a trained yoga teacher and set up a yoga studio – Diwa Yoga Shala and an online store – Yoga Baby Bliss.

 With her foray into the natural body care products business, Joanne’s love for soap-making was revisited.  Back in 2000, Joanne had the opportunity to work as a intern at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland.  During one of her  weekend trips with fellow interns, she had the chance to visit a soap museum in southern France – the Musée du Savon de Marseille (Marseille Soap Museum).

Lotus Bloom soap variants

Joanne was entranced with the cubes, blocks and loaves of soaps elegantly stacked on shelves and buckets.  Before her visit, Joanne never really gave much thought about the soaps she used.  However, learning about the Marseille Soap and experiencing its marvelous almost-a-thousand-of-years of making one of the the world’s finest soaps, its luxurious bathing and botanical wellness made her realize how she took for granted the largest organ in her body – the skin – which was the most visible indicator of health and age.

Her visit to the Marseille Soap Museum left an imprint in Joanne’s mind.  More than a decade later, Joanne found herself revisiting that experience and started experimenting with handmade soaps. She embarked on extensive research on how to make soap, learned from experts the art and science of making soap, read tons of books.  Her first batches of soaps were concocted in her kitchen.

Happily, her husband Paolo was inspired by her love for soap-making and together, they decided to launch Lotus Bloom handcrafted soaps.  Lotus Bloom Handcrafted Soaps™ are lovingly made, carefully cut by hand, packaged individually and uniquely with only biodegradable materials. All are made from pure vegetable oils, organic high-quality plant extracts, rich butters and handpicked flowers and herbs and premium aromatherapy oils.

Shoptalk appearance.
Replays on 16 March 2013 (9pm)
and 17 March 2013 (4am)

From its humble beginnings, Lotus Bloom has slowly gained a following.  The family has been joining bazaars and their soaps have reached our hometown of Davao!  Recently, they have been featured in Shoptalk, where they shared their love and passion for soapmaking.

I remember receiving the first few samples of Lotus Bloom soaps, when they were still wrapped in wax paper!  Lotus Bloom has now evolved and are beautifully wrapped in all-biodegradable packaging.   I love the kraft boxes and for Christmas 2012, I gave out Lotus Bloom soaps to several friends.

What I love about Lotus Bloom soaps are its generous sizes and wide variety of ingredients and scents.  I have actually requested Joanne to make soap out of my breastmilk!  In case you didn’t know, breastmilk is the perfect cure for skin blemishes.  I found several bags of really old milk at the back of my mother-in-law’s freezer, I asked Joanne if she could make them into soap because I really didn’t want to throw them away.  Happily, she obliged and I will be getting my breastmilk soap over the summer!

Christmas 2012 presents

With prices ranging from 150-180 pesos per bar (depending on the variant), Lotus Bloom soaps can be purchased from their website or bazaars or their partner-retailers.

Joanne is constantly trying new soap combinations and has offered a special set as a giveaway to COANM readers!  One winner will win a set of 3 Lotus Bloom soaps, namely: Amihan (sampaguita and moringa), Sulis (french lavender) and their special limited edition Easter soap (egg and oatmeal).

Giveaway runs from today, 16 March 2013 until 29 March 2013.  Winner will be announced on Easter Sunday – 31 March 2013.  Contest is open to all Philippine residents (must have a Philippine shipping address). Join via Rafflecopter below.

About the prizes:

Amihan

Such a charming soap this is! Inspired by Amihan, the blithe goddess of the North Wind in pre-hispanic Philippine mythology, this bar evokes comforting tranquil scents to every Filipino who ventured away from motherland. Sampaguita’s light, airy, uplifting fragrance is embraced by plant extracts of locally-grown healing Moringa oleifera.  Made from distilled rainwater, saponified oils of olive, rice bran, avocado, coconut, palm with Moringa oleifera (malunggay) and sampaguita essential oil. 

Sulis

This classic French soap contains skin loving ingredients that nourishes, soften and soothes skin. Named after Sulis, the Celtic Goddess of the healing waters of Bath in England, this Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”) leaves you with silky nourishing lather with therapeutic scent of French lavender. Speckled with crushed lavender blossoms infused in natural base oils to replenish and harmonize body and mind. Made from distilled rainwater, saponified oils of olive, coconut, rice bran and palm with finely grounded organic lavender blossoms, essential oil blend of lavender and peppermint.

The Easter soap will be a surprise!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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