Photo Credit Nancy
Since my last posting, I heard from Martin Sabater, one of the siblings mentioned in my previous post. He was so kind and provided me with additional information about their soap business. They have another cute soap shop in Barcelona, Spain. The pic above is the storefront in Barcelona.
First, there is another sibling, Milagros who is 11, so together there are 4 siblings to carry on the business. They have an additional 15 employees working both in Argentina and Spain to help them with their booming business. All the brothers have gone through an apprenticeship with their father to learn the soap trade.
The history started in 1937 when Grandfather Sebastian Sabater served in the Spanish Army at Palma de Mallorca. It was at this time where he got interested in the distillation of almond oil from Mallorca and creating aromatic compositions. He then decided to open a store at Obispo Maura street, where he commercialized his own compositions. He met his wife there and returned in to Buenos Aires in 1943. He went on to school to study chemistry, mechanics and perfumery. Soon after, he started his first company I.T.A.S.A. (Industrias de tocador y afines sociedad anonima) and was responsible for the creation of all the fragrances for Fulton Products, Argentina. He also designed, constructed and chaired for Watteau, a perfume and cosmetics factory. Meanwhile, one of his other interests, mechanics, led him to design prototype machines capable of producing soap and produced and sold to many large firms such as Unilever, Reckitt & Colman, Procter & Gamble, Haarmann & Reimer, Bayer, IFF, Givaudan, Firmenich, Helena Rubinstein, etc.
During that period he had a son (Martin's Father) who traveled to Grasse (France) and trained at perfumeries, such as Roure Bertrand-Dupont and Manne. He later went on to Holzminden (Germany) for a training in soap making at Dragocco and Haarmann & Reimer. When he returned with all this vast knowledge he and his father devoted time to aromatic composition. Their business created fragrances for different companies until the Grandfather passed away in 1976. After his father's passing, he and his brother created a premium cosmetic line called Vierge that was sold at Harrods and other exclusive shops. International trading issues and illness caused the brothers to dissolve their business.
It wasn't long before the grandchildren decided to follow in their father and grandfather's footsteps. The first grandson, Sebastian, took the semi-abandon machinery and created new soap petals in 1993 and Martin and his Eliana got involved with in the development and marketing of products and produced products for third parties. It was in early 2002 when the grandchildren decided to open their first cute shop at Palermo and work on products solely for their brand as well as products for spas, hotels, museum, airlines throughout the world.
Eliana, decided to move to Spain to introduce their products to that market. During the first year she established a wholesale business at Vidre 1 street (Plaza Real de Barcelona) with very small machinery sent by air cargo. The following year they opened a small plant to handle large business in Spain, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw and Istanbul. Then 2006, they opened their first store in Spain at the Gothic district in Barcelona. So there you have it! The fabulous entrepreneurial story of Sabater Hnos! A story of passion, design, skill and the love of family tradition.