Shannon Combs is a local writer who recently met a craftswoman sharing her hand-crafted soaps and products, check out her story below!
“When I met 39-year-old Barbara Gheddari at the Fairfield City Community Arts Fair, I was struck by her warm, friendly smile and her appealing line of argan oil hand crafted soaps and products. I took home a lavender oatmeal soap and turned into a repeat customer. The soap not only was great for my skin, it was natural, smelled great, and didn’t leave a film where it sat.
What I didn’t know until after I interviewed Barbara was that her knowledge and inspiration for her business, Barbara’s Atlas Oils and Arganology Line, came from a Berber Women Cooperative in Morocco. Barbara, at age 33, was living in the country with her husband and son, and pregnant with her daughter. She began learning the ways of the traditional Berber woman . . . how to break down the argan nut, convert it into a usable oil, and the holistic and medicinal properties of the oil. Argan trees can be found on the border of the Sahara desert and Atlas Mountain Region in Morocco. The trees are important to the environment in that they help prevent desertification. They are also important economically to the area and help with social well-being.
Gheddari, a 2011 Miami graduate, has a degree in Integrative Sciences. Her background included study in environmental science, chemistry, and anthropology. When Barbara moved back to Liberty Township in August of 2010, she started Barbara’s Atlas Oils with start-up money from a cousin. She got her tax ID, incorporation, and started working out of her home.
You can find an assortment of her handmade soaps, skin care line, and novelties at local stores including Marketside Mercantile of Northside, Robot Inside in Sharonville, River Village Shop in New Richmond, and Old Guest House in Bellevue. Barbara also participates in many art shows and will be part of the new Farmer’s Market coming to Fairfield. For a detailed list of events check out her Facebook page under Barbara’s Atlas Oils or her website at www.atlastoils.com.”