María del Mar González Rodríguez paid for her high school and master’s studies in social work with the money she generated by selling her handmade soaps, lotions, ointments, deodorants and natural oils.
Therefore, he went to every craft fair where he found space, while balancing his tight schedule between universities and the workshops he took to continue his preparation as an artisan.
Without knowing it, the young woman from Hatillo is laying the foundations for the development of her own business, the product of working with her hands, although she works in government agencies, such as the Department of the Family and the Mental Health and Anti-Drug Services Administration. Addiction (ASSMCA).
His efforts led him to obtain a certification in the abuse of marijuana and heroin in pregnant women, from the Atlanta School of Medicine, in the state of Georgia, which he also paid for with the income he received from his natural products.
“It started at a craft fair table, when I was 18 years old. With that I paid for my high school studies at the Inter of Arecibo and a master’s degree at the Catholic (University) of Arecibo and, later, the certification of marijuana and heroin abuse in pregnant women, from the Atlanta School of Medicine, ” he recalled. the 30-year-old woman.
“Later, I returned to the island to continue my profession, until I saw the opportunity to develop, with social work, a way to help people achieve well-being. Not going into the deeper issues of individual therapy, but a completely different experience than bath time,” she said.
In this way, the brand Olie Soaps was born, in 2022, after the “awakening from the work of aromatherapy with people. Therefore, we became educated and certified, and slowly grew and we got this line of products.
“The Olie brand offers skin care products such as handmade soaps, lotions, a complete line of facial care products including facial lotions, serums, sunscreens and hair product, no sulfates. All with 100% natural ingredients, we don’t use abrasive chemicals or dyes,” she said.
From her shop located in Plaza Artesanal Rafael Hernández Reyes in Camuy, María del Mar offers her clients about 52 products made from a workshop next to her house, on equipment with the capacity to produce 900 bars of soap a week.
Among its products, 18 handmade soaps are uniquely made with goat’s milk and almonds, oats, honey, collagen and yogurt with seaweed, among other ingredients.
“We use a lot of clay, clay, oils of vegetable origin, butter of vegetable origin and, in the same way, we use a lot of herbal infusions, such as rosemary, mint, lavender, chamomile, and other flowers and plants that have properties for our health.skin,” he explained.
“The favorite is the mint-eucalyptus and the one with collagen and almond with goat’s milk,” she said, emphasizing the collaboration of her husband, Gerardo Serrano.
According to the artisan – confirmed by the Industrial Development Company in 2011 – the process of making his soaps is based on the ancient process of saponification, which “consists of a mixture of oils of vegetable origin, such as almond, coconut, sunflower and olive, with lye, which is a solution that makes soap. It is in a period of four weeks of curing, on their respective shelves, where every two weeks they are returned.
“Then the pH is measured so that they can be sold, for all the people who visit us. In addition, we pack them in their individual boxes, adding herbal infusions, poppy seeds, apricots, cocoa butter, mint herbs , clay and natural ingredients to enhance the soap,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the mother of twins – a girl and a 7-year-old boy – explained that she has a line that specializes in curly hair and another in aromatherapy.
“I am certified as a curly hair specialist and we work with all aromatherapy, which includes ointments, mint-lavender scrubs and roll-on for nasal congestion, migraine, sinusitis, with herbal infusion oil from of mint, lavender and camphor,” he said.
“Here, two free workshops are offered to the community to learn how to define their curls, identify them, the level of porosity, what products the hair needs to define it. “This process includes accepting our hair and learning to understand and manage it,” she confesses.
On the other hand, he explained that the operation of his business will create two jobs, giving priority to women with social disadvantages.
“We have a line of products for children and pregnant women, children and adults. Our product does not pass the FDA, but its ingredients, and we always make sure that it is a safe product for every member of the family,” he said.
For more details, you can access oliesoaps.com, search social networks, or call 787-436-2278.