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Tatev Khachatryan

Syrian-Armenian Turned His Hobby of Soapmaking Into a Business After Moving to Armenia

Shant Khayalyan left Aleppo when the situation in Syria grew tense. First, he moved to Jordan, then, in 2013, to Armenia, which he claims to be his final destination. He reluctantly admits being 41-years-old, joking that he’s afraid girls won’t talk to him when they know he’s that old.

Despite being a programmer by profession, he decided to start a shampoo and soap making business in Armenia. It was a hobby of his back in Aleppo, where he learnt by watching his grandma.

Taking a loan to start a business, he named his production “Beauty Products”. At first, he was making only four kinds of soaps - carrot, oregano, parsley and chamomile - and he was delivering them to the shops by his own car. At present, his products can be found online as well as in different supermarkets and shops.

His range of soaps has grown to 20, and he makes 16 kinds of shampoos. Various oils, types of clay, wax, hair and skin creams are also in production.

Raw materials, with the exception of olive and coconut oil, are local and natural. For example carrot soaps are made from Aramus carrot. Despite this, the product is not considered organic, because in that case it must go through a special process for getting licenses, which, according to Shant, will increase the price. "In reality, it is organic, as we can use materials all these materials in food or daily household chores, too, but not having "organic" in the name permits having more affordable prices,”Shant explains.

Shant prepares everything by himself. He’s up from early morning until late at night to prepare about 120 soaps daily. "When they say, this is for the night, this is for day, this is to be used before shower, this one - after shower… it’s all for cheating people. When I’m asked how to use a shampoo, I simply advise people to go to the bathroom and apply it”, Shant adds with a smile.

The production now takes place in Ijevan, but Shant plans to expand his activities, and has rented a new place in Yerevan. He organizes free soap and shampoo preparation training for the disabled in Vanadzor and Ijevan. He plans to send 120 soaps monthly to Artsakh military units starting in May.

Shant plans to stay in Armenia. Moreover, he plans to help his two sisters and parents move here from Syria and Lebanon. The only obstacles he has are financial, but he manages to overcome those.

In his opinion, a hardworking person can always find work. "When you do your job properly, you don’t need to lie, and no one will stand in your way. It’s easy for people to blame the state for all their misfortunes, but one should do his own best to be able to work."

Willing to improve the product quality, Shant plans to continue his studies at the University of Ijevan, in order to study organic chemistry.

video by: Hovhannes Ishkhanyan and Tatev Khachatryan

Comments (8)

I live in the USA I would love to purchase his soaps.
Argo, the website is still up. Have you tried the email - [email protected].
Mahmouzian - there's a website you can go to - http://www.beautyproducts.am/
I gues it is a state secret to tell us where to buy it .......or maybe someone in the government want to steal these guy products.i wil not be surprise
It lists the website on the bottle in the picture. www.http://beautyproducts.am/ When I try emailing I get an error. Is he still in business? I'd like to buy his soap.
still no answer .it must be a real state secret.i am sure they expect us to look at every store in Yerevan to find them.hetq don't give us nice story with no answer .we don't live in the stone age thank you mihran
Me also, I read nice stories about Armenian products, even Armenian i-phones, but when I go to Yerevan, I see them nowhere. At least I was able to buy Armenian shoes, and they are of very good quality - they stand well even Scandinavian winters.
this is great .but why you don't tell us from abroad where to get it.the same with the clothe fasctory where do we get the products.i don't get you you talk about this guy doing and we from outside who are willing to buy it don't know where to go get it we don't live in Yerevan or gumry or ijevan.get thing together will you thank you

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