When life was falling apart, a helping hand pulled her up and encouraged her to keep on fighting and walking into the future on her own. Today, a woman named “Sompak Chaichan” or nicknamed “Lek” has not stopped just being receiver but has passed on giving to those in need to help them have better opportunity as herself.
“I have sponsored 10 children for 2,000 baht each. I took the money from making shampoo,” Lek started the conversation with a smile and lively voice while her hands were stirring the herbal butterfly pea shampoo which is the OTOP 5 star product in Kanchanadit district, Surat Thani province. Then Lek told the story back to the path of yesterday. (Remark: OTOP stands for “One Tambon (meaning sub-district) One Product”. It is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program which aims to support the unique locally made and marketed products of each Thai tambon all over Thailand.)
“At that time, I was very poor. I needed to raise 3 children who were studying. The youngest daughter was sponsored by WVFT, but the other two were studying at the university and I wanted my children to graduate,” Lek had a low voice when she recalled that difficult time.
Lek said that she was very disheartened and almost surrendered to the problems that ruined her life. But with the heart of mother, she had to keep on fighting for her children.
“I have attended every training organized by WVFT to develop professional skills for parents of children. I have learnt many career supports,” Lek said and pulled up the spatula to let the dark purple shampoo flowed from the spatula into the bucket, “Finally, I decided to make shampoo. I have attended the career training for 6 centers and visited twice for some centers to study the strengths and weaknesses of each.”
But a lot of knowledge that Lek had learnt did not work as she thought when it came to practice. The shampoo had unattractive color and was like clear water. Even though Lek followed the formula every step, the shampoo was not sticky.
“Every time of making shampoo, the result came to failure. I gave out the shampoo for free but no one wanted it because this shampoo caused sticky hair. I had severe stress and were unable to eat or sleep,” she paused for a moment, then continued, “As I am a Christian, I prayed for God then I got the answer that I had to switch formulas. For example, the trainer at Nakhon Si Thammarat province recommended that Soap Pod was good, and the trainer at Phatthalung province suggested that Heart Leaved Moonseed was good then, I switched these two formulas. I had to try out making shampoo several times and got a success eventually.”
This is the origin of herbal shampoo with a combination of Butterfly Pea, Heart Leaved Moonseed, Soap Pod and Bergamot, which features nourishing hair with black shine without dandruff, as well as treatment of hair loss. The production is currently under the brand “Alinda” and produces 20,000 bottles a year.
The more of shampoo production, the more villagers have higher income from the plantation of Butterfly Pea and dry out. Then sell the dried flowers to Lek in the price of 300 baht per kilogram.
Lek said with a smile, “I am very proud and every time I close my eyes, I thank WVFT for giving me the opportunity to learn logical thinking. When I have received the opportunity, I would like to pass on the chance to others.”