Who would have thought that a mere capital of P500 would help a Filipina chemical engineer start her own soap business that eventually grew into a multi-million venture?
Chemical Engineer Leonora “Nora” Salvane, owner of GT Cosmetics, now earns about P25 million a month from selling her own brand of papaya soap and other skin care products. In her interview with ABS-CBN’s My Puhunan, Nora disclosed how she got inspired to start such business venture at a time when her family was financially struggling.
Apparently, it was a visit from a skincare product agent that prompted her to explore the soap making business venture back in 1994.
“It was God’s answer to my prayer that he sent somebody to my office and asked kung interested ba ako sa mga skin care products. Being a chemical engineer by profession, ito na yung sagot sa prayer ko na makapag-practice ako ng profession ko,” Nora recounted.
Indeed, GT Cosmetics, which stands for God’s Talent, gave Nora the opportunity to provide a modest living for her family and practice her chemical engineering degree.
In her very own kitchen, Nora began concocting her formula for papaya soap using papaya extracts, coconut oil, and lye using her baking pan. Initially, she made a batch of 201 bars of papaya soap.
Since then, she would make around P1,800 a day from direct selling. From then on, GT would grow to produce other skincare products like sunblock lotions, moisturizers, clarifying toners and whitening creams, which have high demand among Filipinas. However, it was in 1996 that the Metro Gaisano Group of Cebu gave them their first big break.
Currently, GT Cosmetics now ships 500 to 1000 boxes of products on a daily basis making it a multi-million soap industry. Aside from supplying department stores all over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, they also supply markets in the US, Finland, Canada and Japan.