From broadcast journalist to ethical entrepreneur, mum of three, Sarwat Jaleel proves no ambition is out of reach.

Sarwat, from Clitheroe, launched Kushboo, a natural, hand-crafted soap brand 18 months ago after an unanticipated spell in hospital. 

She told us, “Two years ago, I was quite ill and had spent some time in hospital.

My husband had packed a small luxury soap in my toiletry bag and whilst using this bar in the hospital shower, I realised that the beautiful scent from this soap made me feel so much better than any of the medication I had been prescribed. 

"It was a reminder that the basic things can somehow make all the difference, even for just a short time. 

“That night I decided that as a form of therapy I would begin to make soap for charity. But I didn’t want to produce any old bar of soap. It had to be the very best ethical soap using natural ingredients and of course, it was to be made with love.”

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This concept very soon parlayed into a viable business with Kushboo now being stocked in over 70 outlets throughout the country and a flourishing website

Kushboo’s unique feature is that the soaps are 100% natural and do not contain SLS’s, parabens or other chemicals and are made using ethically sourced natural plant-based ingredients.

“Most soaps may claim that they’re natural but that doesn’t necessarily mean 100% natural. Whilst other manufacturers add artificial perfume, chemicals and colourants, I only ever use essential oils for fragrance and all colours are deprived from herbs and spices to maintain 100% natural ingredients. My soaps are vegan, halal and cruelty free. I don’t test on animals, only my three daughters!”

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Sarwat said her Indian heritage has significantly influenced her approach to health, beauty and wellbeing.

“As a child of Indian parents, I remember my mother consistently using only natural products for the whole family, reflecting centuries of eastern health and beauty care.

“There seemed to be no limits to finding a health, beauty or wellbeing solution from my parent’s Indian kitchen.

“Today, as a mother of three teenage daughters, I’ve continued with the tradition of passing down ancient beauty secrets from mothers to daughters. 

In our family we have a saying, ‘If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, why would you put it on your skin?’”

As well as having a practical function, soap is increasingly included in wedding favours, allowing the newlyweds to stamp their personality in a unique way.

“Personalised wedding favour soap bars can include the bride and groom’s names and the date of the wedding engraved onto each individual bar which creates a beautiful, natural gift for wedding guests. 

“This is popular as more and more people strive to have something unique on their wedding day.”

Sarwat said alongside running an ethical business, she is keen to ensure she contributes to local charities in a tangible way.

“I wanted to make soap for the young people who use the Blackburn based homeless charity Nightsafe.

"The charity is well supported with businesses donating food and clothing, but for me soap symbolises dignity and we should all have the right to a bar of soap. A wash can make all of us feel like a million dollars.

“Emmeline’s Pantry is another charity close to my heart, a women’s refuge run by women. Last year during a craft stall, a lady stopped by and told me she had used one of my soaps through Emmeline’s Pantry. She told me how soap was at the bottom of her list when choosing what to buy with the very little money she had. She said that washing her child with a Kushboo Peppermint and Coconut soap was a memorable moment in those difficult times.”

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Sarwat said running a business and looking after her family is hugely rewarding and presents its own set of advantages.

“I have always been a working mum. My three daughters are used to me working long hours.

“The girls help out with the business especially with my Instagram page @kushboosoaps and they help wrap the charity soap. “They and their friends are my chief testers whenever I create a new product. 

“They are brutally honest and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”