Awesome Soaps is a super cute, quirky, and innovative small business founded by July Cortes Cardenas in Auckland, New Zealand. 

July is a super kind, funny, authentic, generous, and creative woman. She’s made in New Zealand from the finest Colombian ingredients. Same as coffee. July still has her day job as a Pastry Chef and transferred her skills into soap making. Her daily mantra: “Today, wherever I go, I will create a loving, peaceful, and happy world” 10

Eye Soaps are the best gift idea for Optics, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Eye Doctors, and all eye lovers out there. They perfectly fit in promotional and corporate events, marketing campaigns, advertising, souvenirs for patients/ customers, and staff helping companies to build brand awareness. They are also a great educational and promotional tool that helps to spread awareness about the importance of eye and vision health. 

On the other hand, we turn the artwork of artists and designers into Art Prints made from soap, and July also makes original art in soap using kitchen utensils like spoons, bowls, plates, blender jug, etc. She is one of the artists invited to Artweek Auckland 2021. 

We spoke with July about her journey to Awesome Soaps. 

How did you get started with making soap and putting your designs into it? I’m from Colombia, I had a small business of Fortune Cookies and Chocolates for almost 12 years, and I left everything to come to New Zealand in 2017. I’m a Pastry Chef and I saw a lot of compatibility between both industries. I thought it would be a great idea to transfer my skills and knowledge from my previous business from one area to another, and soap making also gave me the opportunity to start small. I founded Awesome Soaps as a part-time project in January of 2020. 

My first creations were Gemstone soaps, and I started selling them in Craft Markets and online. Each Craft Market was a complete failure, I was selling only $5 or $10 per market. In one of those markets, I came out with the idea (and maybe out of desperation) of turning artwork of artists and designers into soap. After practising for weeks, I created the first ‘Eye Soaps’ by adding images of eyes that disappeared when the soaps were used. Following the same technique, I started turning the artwork of friends and local artists into small soaps and once I became confident at making them, I jumped into making larger Art Prints for decoration only. Soon I found out that it was another world, due to the complexity of the process, 

the size, type of design, paper, and even the wrapping had to be done in a different way, same technique but using different materials and trying all types of variations and styles to make the image and wrapping or cover last longer. 

How have the designs been received and what is the inspiration for some of the creations? One of my biggest inspirations comes from eyes, I just find them amazing, beautiful, and enigmatic. Eyes speak for themselves and they never lie. Regarding my Art Prints and Original Art as well, the inspiration comes from the idea of turning something ordinary into something extraordinary and seeing how art makes everything better, cuter and happier. Taking an ordinary product like soap and making something awesome out of it, it’s priceless. In a personal way, it gives me a lot of hope, it makes me feel that I can become extraordinary too, we all can and that’s the feeling that I want to transmit to people. 

What is your most popular design? The Blue-Green Eye Soaps ^-^ 

What’s next for Awesome Soaps? As I mainly work with other people’s artwork, the next step is having my very own designs. I started creating original, unconventional Artwork made in soap. I make Self-portraits using different types of soaps like detergents, white soaps, antibacterial soaps, etc. My “oleos” are makeup, paprika, curry, soap colorants, etc. My “brushes” are piping bags and my “canvas” are kitchen utensils like spoons, bowls, plates, blender jugs, or even light bulbs or a pizza box. I’m already one of the artists invited to Artweek Auckland 2021 where I’m going to exhibit some of my creations. It adds a lot of authenticity to the brand, it contributes to the culture and art of New Zealand and makes people part of it, in the end, art is for the people