Treat your skin with olive oil-infused soaps made by Sabon Eden!

At Lev Haolam, we are proud to work with pioneers who dream about creating meaningful products and starting up small businesses that make a valuable contribution to the development of the Holy Land. Sabon Eden is one of them!
Did you know that soap-making can be an art? Thanks to Eden Aviely, the founder of Sabon Eden, you do now! While traveling, Eden visited a body care store and discovered various beautiful hand-made soaps. She knew at that moment that she had found her calling! Alongside studying for her academic degree, Eden began experimenting and studying soap-making with an Israeli twist! As an individual deeply connected to the Holy Land and nature, Eden infused her soaps with olive oil. At first, she would give them to friends, but when she saw the response to her soaps at a student fair, it was time for the next step!

Get to know Eden Aviely, the founder of Sabon Eden!

Part of the story of the Jewish people returning to Israel is the ability to get back in touch with ancient practices. Clearly, we have our modern twists, but the essence of soap making has not changed. People need to find ways to bind oil and water, two ingredients that usually don't go together. It's like the binding of the spiritual and the material worlds. Each one tries to go its own way but, for patient artisans, there are ways to combine them, bringing an inspiring range of experiences into our lives. Artisanal soap draws on this awe-inspiring process of bringing spiritual insights into the everyday activity of cleaning. This month's package features artisanal soap made by Eden Aviely, the founder of Sabon Eden. Further binding the connection of this hand-made soap to the Holy Land, it is made using all-natural and locally cultivated olive oil.

We were so excited about this unique mixture of practicality and art that we wanted to learn the story of the person behind the soap.

  • Hi Eden, thanks for taking the time to meet with us! Before we start talking about making soap, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure. I grew up in a traditional environment in and around Jerusalem. My family was religious, and they sent me to a Zionist religious school. So, I was only with women, and we studied Torah [the Bible] everyday. In highschool, my interest in that lifestyle changed, and since then I don't live such a traditional life.
After high school, I went to study economics and statistics in the Hebrew University, in Jerusalem. The degree lasted for 3 and a half years, and Covid hit in the middle, so it was complicated. But, that was also the time that I started making soaps.
  • Wow, economics and statistics. Your interests are clearly related to running a business, but the connection to soap making is a surprise. How did it start?
While I was studying, I was studying very hard and learning a lot. But I knew that something was missing — I wanted to make something. Then, during one of my vacations from school, I went to Rome. That's where I fell in love with soap.
In Rome, I happened upon a body care store. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. Everything was hand made. There was no industrial packaging. Every product had a note explaining who made it. I fell in love!
When I got back to Israel, I immediately started researching how to make my own soap. I would continue studying for my degree during the day and then, at night, I would stay up late learning about soaps. I started to build up a small stock and gave it to friends.
  • What a lovely passion story. So how did that hobby transform into a business?

One day, I noticed that there was going to be a fair at the university, so I decided to open my own booth and sell soap to people. After seeing people's reactions, I opened up my own website. It all started to become more serious, but I was still studying at the time, so I felt like it was a fun side project.

But don't get me wrong, this side project was becoming bigger. I was making all of the soap at my family's house at the time, and my mom was getting stressed about the amount of soap I was storing in the living room. At first, I asked for one shelf of a cabinet, but I quickly filled up the entire cabinet. My mom was not so happy to see soap bars taking over the house, but I know that everyone loved the smell!

For two and half years, I was making soap from that house and I was driving my family crazy. I was thinking of ways to make a change. I even planned on building a shed in the yard that would function as a soap studio. I was about to pour concrete for the foundation, but then I decided to take a different route. I followed another dream I had, which was to move to the north of Israel.

  • That is a big change, and at such a difficult time. This must have been during the peak of Covid, and you were getting your business off the ground. How did this move to the north happen?

I was still a student at the time, but all of my classes moved online. Then, one day, I traveled to the north to visit a friend and I just fell in love with the area — the nature up there is amazing and the people are so special. Now, when I walk through my village, I see wildflowers, Mount Hermon, which is covered in snow throughout the winter, and so many other amazing sights.

Also, since moving to the north, I reconnected with certain aspects of my traditional upbringing. I started learning about the Jewish mystical tradition, and stopped working on Shabbat [the Sabbath]. I have a new growing appreciation for the spiritual side of Judaism that opened up to me since moving to the north.
  • That sounds lovely. The nature and the deep connections must be inspiring. What about your business? How has that evolved since moving to the north?

After finishing my degree, I decided to focus all of my energy on the business. I already loved making the soap, and then the next step was figuring out how to sell it. I had some customers through my website and started to make connections to some boutique stores in Israel, but the real game changer for me was connecting to Lev Haolam subscribers. Really, that first big order changed my business and my whole life.

That first order felt like fate was telling me that I had found the work I need to do. Just to complete the order, I had to restructure the whole business. I bought machines to help make the soap in larger quantities. I also needed to start hiring people. Up in the north, there aren't that many jobs for people. So, once I announced that I was looking for help, I was overwhelmed with responses. All in all, Lev Haolam forced Sabon Eden to scale up, which transformed my hobby into an official business.

  • That is so nice to hear. At Lev Haolam, we love encouraging entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, and it's so encouraging to hear another success story! As you know, people loved receiving that first batch of soap, which is why we connected with you to make another order. Can you tell us what people will be receiving this month?

Sure. It's my favorite soap. I use it myself everyday! I make sure to source really high quality ingredients, such as lavender, lemon grass, and geranium. I also added rose petals, which give the soap an interesting texture and aroma. The oils are also really great. I used shea butter, cocoa butter, and, most importantly, olive oil. It was very important for us to make this soap with olive oil because of the special relationship of the olive tree to Israel. I hope people realize that every bar has oil made from olive trees that were grown in Israel!

It is amazing for me to think that people around the world will be using my soap. These little hand-crafted bars are great for your skin, but they are also packed with meaning. They represent my desire to get in touch with the land of Israel, to live a more natural life, and to be a young entrepreneur — following my dream and bringing more jobs to Israel. Things are looking good right now, and I really couldn't have done it without the help of Lev Haolam supporters!

It's always so inspirational to see young entrepreneurs such as Eden succeed in turning a dream into a reality, especially when they have so much love and passion for their products!

It is truly special that we can work with hundreds of pioneers like Eden, who have an unbreakable faith, a deep connection to the land, and are committed to making products beneficial for body, mind, and soul! With Sabon Eden's soaps, you are giving your hands the ultimate spa experience! They will be left feeling soft, smooth, and revitalized and the smell, coming from ingredients derived from Israel's nature plus the purest Israeli olive oil, is incredible! We were so glad to have the opportunity to provide Eden with a platform to make her biggest order on behalf of the thousands of subscribers to Lev Haolam's monthly surprise packages. Based on the feedback we received, we know they are hoping for some more very soon!

Every time a subscriber receives one of our monthly surprise packages, hundreds of people in Israel benefit!

Behind every product in our surprise packages is a small business owner and their family. And behind them are their employees and their families! So with the 7-9 products included in every Lev Haolam package, it means that hundreds of people are directly benefiting every month! Every time we order a pioneer’s product, it helps them provide for their families, offer meaningful employment opportunities, and significantly contribute to their small communities across the Biblical Heartlands of Judea and Samaria!
Our close relationships with Israel's pioneers and small business owners give us access to a huge variety of products. There are so many in fact, that a subscription is the only way to enjoy the wonderful abundance of the Holy Land! In any one month, you could find an award-winning wine, a superior bottle of olive oil, delicious Israeli snacks and spice mixes, Judaica, Jewish jewelry, exclusive artworks and so much more!
The pioneers are making a significant contribution to the development of the Biblical heartlands of Israel, and the subscribers make it possible!