The natural handmade soaps of Tinos with the incredible designs
The “Ena Karo” is the place where one can buy the perfect gift for themselves or their loved ones. Georgia Zilos, with her love of nature and crafts, creates useful products, especially well cared for and local in Tinos. Tinitian herbs are combined with unique ingredients such as olive oil, almond oil, cara butter and cocoa butter, apricot oil to give the wonderful handmade soaps, 100% herbal, flavored only with essential oils, without preservatives or synthetic fragrances, only with natural pigments.
The company also offers a range of body care products, like body oils, lip balms, scrubs, soap (ceramic or marble), toiletries (sponges, towels, body sponges, shaving brushes, etc.), all packaged in recyclable, elegant packaging, matching the style and philosophy of “Ena Karo” (meaning “a bunch of”).
Still, people behind “Ena Karo” are opposed to experimenting with animals, they love bees and try to find ways to minimize the use of plastic. Their base is in Tinos.
Georgia was born and raised in Athens by parents who were born and raised there but loved the sea and nature. After graduating from school, and after studying Interior Design, she worked in furniture companies, designing and selling their products. With the economic crisis, she decided that her job was no longer paid as it should, while life in Athens had become harder for her.
She always had a special love for handmade soaps long before she made her own, so when she wanted to learn more about the process, she found it interesting and took classes, read books, spent hours on the internet, and experimented with the materials. Since the beginning, she knew she did not want to use anything artificial, such as synthetic paints and perfumes, and this made the process more demanding and much more interesting. It was around that time when she moved to Tinos and the small circle of people there helped “Ena Karo” make its first steps.
When Georgia Zilos decided to name the handmade soap she made, her mind immediately remembered an expression her mother used. “Ena Karo” is a phrase that my mother used very often when she had a lot to manage. In her agitation, this phrase seemed always so entertaining to me because it seemed it lightened the situation.
When I needed to find a name for soaps, among other things, “A bunch of (Ena Karo) handmade soaps” seemed entertaining to me, standing on a different place to the bucolic side of the handmade, had nothing to do with the fanciness that toiletries have, and so it was patented. The names of the soaps are also chosen by the same logic, it is a little pun on their ingredients. It’s a great pleasure seeing how much fun the customers have by reading the name “Mpee” on the soap label with goat’s milk or “Bob” on the soap with the loofah sponge.”
The business’ favourite is handmade soaps and, there, one can find a great variety. Soaps are made from olive oil and other vegetable oils, flavored only with essential oils and stained exclusively with natural materials, while their raw materials are always of high quality. Their preparation is done by the so-called cold method, which allows the raw materials to maintain as much as possible the beneficial properties of the oils and favors the production of glycerin, a component usually removed from commercial soaps, for-profit purposes. In addition, she cares for the appearance of soaps being attractive, so she also takes care of their impressive designs.
“For soap recipes, I use herbs, vegetable oils and butter in appropriate proportions so as not to dry the skin and produce a nice, rich foam. For their flavor, I always choose from a wide variety of essential oils, those that match the properties that every soap is designed to have and I try to combine to offer, in addition to the useful benefits, a pleasant, olfactory effect. The same, with minor variations, applies to the other “Ena Karo” products. It is also my choice that the packaging materials I use are recyclable and that the use of plastic is avoided. This very often means twice the cost, but it is a non-negotiable value for “Ena Karo””.
In addition to soaps in “Ena Karo”, one can find peanut butter and exfoliating products as well as an ever-expanding range of hand-made soap-like accessories such as ceramic and marble soaps, natural cotton sponges grown by them, cotton towel sponges, shaving brushes. Too much emphasis is also given to attend to gift packages.
In the question about what differences does “Ena Karo” soap has compared to the other soaps, she says that the soaps of trade have chaotic differences. The raw materials, the way of manufacturing and packaging, their philosophy are in completely opposite directions. In relation to similar projects, the differences are mainly in the choice of raw materials and in the joy that exists to make it except very beneficial for the skin, and very attractive to the eye but also very entertaining for the soul. “It is, in addition to excellent quality soaps, very beautiful and I am proud that this is achieved only by the use of natural materials and not by artists of colors and perfumes”.
The products of “Ena Karo” apart from the workshop in Tinos can be found in Athens and Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Evia and Crete, while during the tourist season one can find them in shops of Tinos but also on many islands of the Cyclades.