Aleppo For Lives
HOW CAN CASTILE SOAP SAVE LIVES?
Last October, my daughter Else came home from school with some news she was super excited to share. "Guess what Mama," she said, "A new girl is joining our class next month and she's a Syrian refugee! I asked the teacher if I can be the one to show her around and help her get settled in our class and he said yes!" With that, she disappeared into her room, and an hour later she showed me a beautiful welcome card she was working on using Google Translate.
THE INSPIRATION FOR ALEPPO FOR LIVES
Later that night, the devastation of Aleppo, the city that was once the crowning jewel of Syria, was featured on the national news. This level of destruction hadn't been seen since World War II. Like most who saw this news story, I had a mixture of emotions from sadness to anger to disbelief that humans could do this to each other. But I also had a glimmer of inspiration and yes...hope.
CASTILE SOAP WAS JUST THE BEGINNING
You see, a distant memory came flooding back to me during that newscast. Six years ago while I was in the development stage of T•LANGHANS, I made the decision to build my brand around what I consider to be the most luxurious soap there is, authentic Castile soap. I emphasize the word authentic because the term Castile is loosely used here in North America. A soap base made with any combination of vegetable oil can be labelled a Castile soap. In Europe, more specifically, Spain, the birthplace of Castile soap; a true Castile soap base should only be called Castile if the base is created with 100% olive oil. It was clear that education was definitely going to be required in my marketing efforts.
ANCIENT SOAP FROM ALEPPO
While doing research online, I came across Aleppo soap, an ancient soap with a history that goes back 3,000 years. Secret family recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, with very little changing from the original. Like Castile soap, Aleppo soap is made using only olive oil. The differentiator is the addition of Laurel Leaf oil. The description of this soap and how it is made had me very intrigued at the time. I wanted to try making it! "No, establish your brand as the best in authentic Castile soap first," I told myself. Fast forward 6 years and T•L has a loyal Castile soap tribe.
Over the next few weeks my mind kept wandering back to this displaced family, the beautiful friendship growing between our daughters, and how adding one single ingredient to my soap could possibly make a significant difference in their lives.
I'm not going to lie, I had my misgivings. What if people saw this as just trying to promote my brand? I didn't want it to look like I was trying to profit off of others misfortune. But I also couldn't ignore that by adding an ingredient and making some labels, I could possibly help this family and the 13.5 million people still living with war on a daily basis.
ALEPPO FOR LIVES BEGINS
I eventually told Else about my idea and of course, she thought it was great! "We will need to come up with a name", I said. "How about Aleppo For Lives?", she suggested. They do say the next generation is even smarter than the last...
MEANT TO BE: ALEPPO FOR LIVES WELCOMES SYRIAN FAMILY TO THE COMMUNITY
To wrap up this story, the Salman's were very happy to receive the offer of help and the gesture of welcome to the Uxbridge community. Over a cup of tea and with the help of a translator I learned that Lakman, the patriarch of the family, comes from Afrin, a district of Aleppo which is famous for its soap. His family used to produce and sell olive oil acquired from their olive grove before the war.
And with that, I was 100% sure I had made the right decision.
OUR COMMITMENT - ALEPPO FOR LIVES
Aleppo For Lives is our way to help our new Syrian friends here and abroad. We have created a new soap inspired by the ancient Syrian recipe using Laurel Leaf oil as one of the ingredients. Half the proceeds from the sale of this soap will be donated to a family in our hometown of Uxbridge and the Red Cross Syrian Fund.
Aleppo soap images: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_soap