A Thai artist has developed a stone soap created from her family herbal soap business.

Inspired by nature, Wanna Unnafakung, Managing Director of Unnafakung, has added value and creativity to a simple herbal soap, produced by her father’s company, and transformed it into a stone soap, which looks just like a real stone.

“At first glance, many customers are curious what it is, then they come to ask, touch and smell the soap,” Unnafakung says of customers’ initial reaction to seeing her stone soap for the first time. “Foreign customers purchase our stone soaps because they love the design, but some of them have become regular customers because of its properties.”

As a graduate of the College of Fine Arts, Unnafakung knows how to create a product with a beautiful and attractive design, which can catch people’s eye. With their natural look, the stone soaps contain ingredients including turmeric, butterfly pea, grains and mangosteen skin, combined with an essential oil fragrance.

“My family has produced a herbal soap bar since 1969. Over three decades later or in 2003, I have developed it into a stone soap. Because they are handmade, each soap is slightly different from each other in detail,” she explains. “All colours are from natural ingredients, for example the yellow of turmeric, the blue of butterfly pea and the black of charcoal. We have procured raw materials from our farm and other trusted chemical-free farms.”

Her stone soap won UNESCO’s Award of Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts in 2008 while Unnafakung Company received Thailand’s Prime Minister’s Export Award, or PM Award, in 2012.

Since its launch, the stone soaps have been exported to a few countries, such as Norway and the US.

“Currently, our key market is Norway, where the stone soaps are available in around 200 shops. Our business partner plans to export the soaps to Sweden and Denmark in the foreseeable future,” Unnafakung adds.

Now, the product line includes stone soaps, leaf soaps, bath bombs and aroma balms, which is particularly popular with Chinese tourists.

Unnafakung and her Norwegian business partner will establish a joint venture in Thailand and plan to open a shop in ICONSIAM shopping mall. She is also looking for potential buyers from other countries, particularly in Europe.

“My company will focus more on online marketing, gifts and the premium market because of their promising growth,” she says of her future plans.

To catch up with other decorative items and lifestyle products, visit STYLE Bangkok, DITP’s trade fair from October 15-19, 2019 at BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok.

For more information about stone soap, email: [email protected] or LINE: wannaaunna.

Words by Somhatai Mosika