Local laundry items such as soap and phenyl are being produced under the Mountain Mist brand.
Mountain Mist produces three types of soap including lemongrass, apple and lavender soap. They also produce two types of phenyl: Tongfu and lemongrass phenyl.
Twenty-nine year old Chimi Lhamo, a mother of two, said that her husband introduced her to the idea of soap manufacturing.
She said her husband acquired the skill when he attended a soap making training, which was organized by His Majesty’s Secretariat in 2014 with support from experts from Thailand.
On completion, he demonstrated the techniques and made soap which she used on trail basis. After using the soap, she realized that her skin tone and texture had improved.
“My skin became clearer, more moist and supple. The soaps’ main ingredient was glycerin. Glycerin-based soaps are considered to be one of the most moisturizing types of soap,” said Chimi Lhamo.
The natural combination of glycerin, lemon grass oil and color pigment such as turmeric helps skin to become healthy and moisturized. Due to huge positive benefits, she asked her husband to teach her the skills so that she could produce some numbers for personal use.
Being a housewife, she made soaps during her free time not only for herself but to occasionally gift some to relatives and friends. The raw product became very popular and in much demand in her circle.
Many encouraged her to take up the skill professionally and manufacture on a commercial sale. “With this positive feedback and impetus, I decided to manufacture a small batch and sold through social media. My initial batch did very well at the market with very positive feedback,” she said.
Chimi Lhamo started her business in 2016 with a collateral-free loan of Nu 600,000 from Loden Foundation.
Mountain Mist manufactures hotel soap as well. “We are also bringing up a new liquid laundry soap but it’s not yet launched,” said Chimi Lhamo.
Ingredients in Mountain Mist products include lemongrass, apple, lavender and pine. They import some of the ingredients from Thailand and India while others are local products.
Most of the products are sold to hotels, medical suppliers, grocery shops, tourist hotels and to handicraft shops.
“Our products are very new to the market yet we are doing well so far. Our products have reached five dzongkhags as of now,” said Chimi Lhamo.
Chimi said the challenges she faces right now are the fact that her business is not yet fully set up, they are not stable financially and marketing is also difficult because people do not trust a new product easily.
A 25g Mountain Mist hotel soap costs Nu 10, a 60g body soap costs Nu 50 and a bottle of phenyl costs Nu 85.
As of now, Mountain Mist has employed two employees and is planning to recruit two more.
Chimi Lhamo added that currently they manufacture the product manually but in the future they are planning to expand the company and increase production.
Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu