AN UNEMPLOYED Solihull man has turned his soap-making hobby into a full-time career.
Uche-chi Zabde-el, from Warwick Road, set up Black Star Soap Company to sell his unique black tinted, star shaped soap, which is handmade from natural ingredients using traditional methods.
“Unlike most soaps, which have detergents and things added to make them last longer, it is all natural,” said the 26-year-old.
“Each bar is rich in vitamin E, anti-wrinkle properties, natural oils, allergen free ingredients and is suitable for all skin types.”
Uche-chi, who learnt to make soaps during arts and crafts at school, opened Black Star Soap Co six months ago and now sells around 130 soaps door-to-door, online and through local health and beauty stores a month, but he said he had never dreamt of turning his hobby into a business if he hadn’t have been made redundant.
“I was unemployed for about eight months,” he said. “There was nothing out there. It felt like ten thousand guys were going for every job.
“I was at the end of my tether so I went done my local CAB (Citizen’s Advice Bureau). I mentioned that one of my hobbies was soap making. He said, why not turn it into a business? So the next day, I put the soaps in a bag, got a suit and tie, bought some business cards printed and hit the streets,
“It won’t make me a billionaire but it keeps me and busy and hopefully, it can develop so I can help other unemployed youngsters.
“Everyone has a talent, sometimes it just takes someone else to notice it.”
Black Star Soaps cost between £3-4 each and are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting http://blackstarsoapco.wordpress.com or search for them on Facebook.