A Passion for the Arts: Franco Laurel

 Last month, we launched the Mindful Makers campaign as part of our mission to advocate creativity, mindful crafting, and entrepreneurship.

We continue this series with another inspiring maker: award-winning celebrity, lifestyle blogger, and proud father Franco Laurel, who also happens to be one of our favourite customers.

We hope his story inspires you to keep on creating!

Franco Laurel is a born artist.

It is, of course, his top priority to be the best husband to wife Ayen, and hands-on father to their lovely children. However, after love for family, his passion for the arts naturally comes out and cannot be denied.

Franco is a versatile artist who began as a TV host, actor, and singer. His first foray into theatre arts came when he starred in the famous '90s musical Rama at Sita.

He expanded his creative pursuits to include writing, resulting in creating his own blog, and another career as a lifestyle magazine editor.

Devoted husband, hands-on father, award-winning actor, writer, editor... the unstoppable Franco now adds crafter to his list of undertakings.

Today, he shares with us his latest endeavor creating artisanal soaps and sprays. 

When and how did you start making soaps?

I began making soap March of 2021 and a few months after, ventured into making disinfectant sprays.

I enrolled in So True Naturals' Workshops On Demand online classes so I can do it at my own pace. I also spent hours and hours watching different videos on YouTube on how to make soap, where I discovered different crafting techniques.

I then combined everything I learned and created my own process of making soaps.

While I had always wanted to get into soap making and enroll in Mia Lauchengco's classes, I never had the time. So when the pandemic hit and Mia created her on-demand videos, I said this time there's no excuse not to participate!

So I did, and boy was I immersed in it!

What do you like most about creating your own products?

I find it very therapeutic. Making soap allows me to go to a place where I can just relax and de-stress.

It also allows me to tap my creative juices and think of designs, color combinations, patterns, and all the fun stuff I can do while making soap."

Franco's Soaps & Sprays: Handmade with Love

"What I love about the products I make is that they are very personal for me, because I made them myself.

I pour my heart and soul in creating them so there is a sentimental value to it.

I just hope that whoever uses them will appreciate the effort I put into creating them."

How has the pandemic affected your wellbeing and crafting life?

In so many ways, the pandemic has affected us all. My life needs an outlet where I can channel all my energy into creating something in the comforts of my own home and have fun doing it.

Making soap and disinfectant room and linen sprays have helped me cope with stress and anxiety. It has been very therapeutic for me.

What are your key learnings so far from this creative journey?

Making products is all about trial and error, and I still make mistakes. I charge it to gain experience and do a better job next time.

Believe me when I say that there were many frustrating moments, but the important thing is to learn from them, grow along the way, and have fun.

What are your favorite Islas raw materials?
Essential Oils, Fragrance Oils, Sodium Hydroxide Powder (Lye), Sugarcane Ethyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Micas

Enjoy everything you can find on Islas! All their products are top-notch and meet my standards.

What crafting tip can you share with newbies?
I love making swirls in my cold-processed soap, so play around with colors and see what works best for you!

Do you see yourself transitioning this hobby into a business?
Having made all this soap, the answer would be YES.

I'm seriously considering turning this into a business! It's just a matter of figuring out how to market it and create products associated with me. My signature look and scent are critical to me.

What advice can you give to aspiring makers and newbies?
Go for it! Try everything you want to try and see which ones you enjoy doing the most.

Always remain open to learning new things and new concepts because it will benefit you so much in the long run.

Follow Franco Laurel’s creative journey and know more about his passion for the arts on his blog, YouTube channel, and IG @fjlaurel.

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