• Joanne Hsieh (MissyChiao)

瞧瞧藝術 ChiaoxArt|Art in Life: The RAW By Jess 紐西蘭純天然藝術手工皂 Made in New Zealand

Updated: Apr 19


採訪 Interview|謝蕎安 Joanne Hsieh

圖 Image Courtesy|Jessica Tsai

譯 Translated by Joanne Hsieh


THE RAW by Jess: Organic Artisan Soap



來自台灣、現居紐西蘭的手工皂達人 Jessica Tsai,在紐西蘭奧克蘭創立純天然保養品牌『The RAW』,除了產品講求原料天然精純,手工皂的精美度是『THE RAW』的最大賣點。每塊肥皂的造型就像是藝術品般令人驚艷。(在她的 IG上可見到每塊肥皂出品都像是可愛精巧的蛋糕,可能一不小心就會被當作真的蛋糕吃下口)。瞧瞧藝術邀請到 Jessica 和大家分享品牌識別以及在紐西蘭創辦品牌的經驗。

Originally from Taiwan, Jessica Tsai runs a independent shop "THE RAW" that makes 100% natural artisan soaps and wellness products. Aside from the apparent attractiveness of the products being organic, what's really eye catching is how the soaps are "designed" to look like real works of art. Read on for an exclusive interview with Jessica for ChiaoxArt.

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圖片/ THE RAW Instagram.

Q:Jessica 你好,可以聊聊身為台灣人在紐西蘭創業是否遇到過什麼困難,給大家的建議或經驗談?

Tell us about your experience as an designer/entrepreneur from Taiwan living in New Zealand.


THE RAW 出品造型精美的天然手工皂。

Jessica:「大家好!我目前居住在紐西蘭的奧克蘭 (Aukland)。在海外創業最容易遇到的問題應該是語言和文化吧!我不是土生土長的 Kiwi,加上亞洲人的形象,有時候會讓人覺得有隔閡,相較於外來者具有侵略性的身份,我喜歡把自己視爲客人,就像到對方家做客,尊重主人的文化,用試著理解、學習的心態,明白就算被拒絕也要能夠自行消化,有一些這樣的心理建設還是比較好的。幸好紐西蘭是個善良且有愛的國家,99% 的人都很和善有禮貌。他們就像魔戒中的哈比人,所以最好的相處模式就是把自己也變成哈比人,用哈比人的方式和他們相處,喜歡單純直接,不需要太多心機。」

Hi everyone, I'm originally from Taiwan and currently based in Aukland, New Zealand. The main challenge with a start-up business in a foreign country for me is language. As an Asian and Non-kiwi, sometimes I do struggle a bit due to language barrier and cultural differences, but I see myself as a guest in someone's home, be respectful and try to learn and understand the local culture. In truth 99% of the people from New Zealand are very friendly, kind and polite, they're like the Hobbits, really.



我希望提倡的是充滿趣味,方便携帶的天然產品


Q:『The RAW』是怎麼開始的?為何想要做手工皂?

How was “THE RAW" started? How did you get into soap making?


Jessica:「其實台灣在日治時期就是擔當日本的肥皂供應地,做肥皂這件事在台灣文化並不陌生,甚至今日流行的冷製皂中有一種技法就被稱作”台灣拉花“。很多時候事情總是開始的莫名其妙,我想我的手工皂事業也是這麽誤打誤撞出現的。

有一天,我接到我妹的電話,問我臺北的家中還有沒有之前做的手工皂,她和我媽都覺得很好用,可是現在只剩一塊了。爲了避免他們斷糧,我開始搜尋在紐西蘭做手工皂的可能性,開始接觸一些原料供應商,並且發掘紐西蘭當地獨有的草藥植物,融入到亞洲的手工皂技法中,也算是另類的中西結合了!原本只有自用和家人使用,接著有一些身邊的朋友會找我購買,他們覺得新鮮又好玩,然後開始參展,一切就這麽發展起來了。」


Taiwan was the supply center of soap to Japan during Japanese Occupation, (among many other services to the Japanese.) Soap making has a long history in Taiwan, it's not something novel. There is even a technique called "Taiwanese Drawloom" in the trendy cold process handmade soap culture today. my soap making business was more accidental than planned- my sister called me one day from Taiwan, saying that they ran out of the soap I made from before, they really liked it and asked if there was more. So I started searching for ingredients and suppliers- especially herbs that are locally sourced, to make soap using traditional Asian cold process techniques. At first I only made them for family, then friends started buying them from me, I started selling in markets and fairs, everything fell in place naturally.



Q:你的品牌管理和產品經營理念是?

What’s your brand philosophy?

Jessica:「我希望提倡充滿趣味,方便携帶的天然產品,除了季節限定的新口味,小批量生產還能保障大家都得到最新鮮的產品,目前所有產品都是設定為可隨身帶上飛機的大小與容量,不僅輕便又省去分裝的麻煩。在原料的選擇上,除了全部來自當地的供應商,未來也盡可能和更多小農合作,例如目前我們使用紐西蘭獨立養蜂人提供的蜂蠟,還有來自斐濟的有機椰子油。」

Our brand philosophy is to make products that are fun, convenient and portable. Aside from our limited seasonal flavors, the staple items are made in small batches to ensure the freshness and best quality for our customers. Every item is "carry-on" inflight friendly. In terms of the ingredients, we've been working with local suppliers, and planning on working with more independent farmers. For example we use beeswax from a local bee keeper, and organic coconut oil from Fiji.




Q:可以簡單介紹一下學經歷以及和現在的行業有無相關?

Can you tell us a bit about your educational background and art/design related experiences?


Jessica:「我從台灣的中國醫藥大學畢業后,來到紐西蘭讀了2年的電影專業,原本看似八竿子打不着的兩個專業,現在竟神奇的結合了。大學學的是醫務管理,接觸了管理的知識,也有中西醫概論的基本常識,加上父母都有藥劑師執照,在開發保養品的配方上會比較有信心,也會請教他們提供建議。電影專業則讓我對品牌和設計產生莫大的興趣,好處是省了不少攝影師的費用。」

After graduating from the China Medical University in Taiwan, I came to New Zealand to study film. I now am able to combine the two seemingly non-related professions. In college I studied management, as well as the basics of medicine, both of my parents are medical prescriptionists so that gives me confidence to R&D skincare formulas. I look to my parents for ideas and suggestions too. Studying film made me become immensely interested in design and branding, the good thing is I can shoot and film my own products and it saves me a lot of money.



每塊手工皂都要歷經6周的時間自然熟成,它其實有點像藝術創作

Q: 創業以來遇到哪些狀況?

What are the obstacles since launching your brand? Jessica:「每塊手工皂都要歷經6周的時間自然熟成,其實有點像藝術創作,每條手工皂切開都呈現各自不同的紋路與樣貌,可以説是這世界上沒有兩塊一模一樣的手工皂了。但是製作期間可能由於外部的氣溫,濕度變化而導致失敗,以前每遇到這樣的情況,只能把整條手工皂下架自己使用,所以有陣子家裏積了一堆手工皂,根本用不完。」

Every soap bar needs to cure for 6 weeks, it is like making art, when I cut the bar open, each piece will have different patterns- each is unique and there will never be two of the same in the world. Factors like humidity or air temperature could result in the failure of a product, so I used to have a lot of soap that didn't make the cut just laying around in my house.






Q:可以簡單形容工作室的狀況嗎?

What is your work / studio situation?


Jessica:「我的工作室目前存滿了各種瓶瓶罐罐,既像畫家的顔料收藏,又像藥劑師的化學實驗室,有裝精油的瓶罐,有裝乾燥花草的瓶罐,我用兩組手推式的儲藏抽屜將他們收納起來,避免日曬氧化變色。但每次做完手工皂都會變成一片凌亂,又要重新收拾。工作時,我會戴上手套、口罩,穿上圍裙,紥起頭髮,戴著浴帽,隨機播放歌單裏的音樂,我有一組工作時聽的歌單,通常是一些有點小衆但很輕鬆的音樂。」

My studio is full of bottles and jars, kind of like a painter's studio or a science lab. There are jars for essential oils, herbs and dried flowers, I store them in these carts that come with drawers to avoid oxidation from sunlight. But things always get messy again after I make a new batch. When I'm working, I put on gloves, a face mask and my apron and a shower cap, while listening to music.



我就像帶著做甜點的心態去完成他們,90%是事先規劃、10%是隨興發揮

Q:肥皂的造型靈感從何而來?

What inspire your aesthetic choices for the soap? They look awfully like desserts.


Jessica:「通常我會從顔色下手,天然的花草或礦泥的顔色,透過不同比例的調和可以創造出各種深淺不一的色彩,有點像水彩調色那樣。選定顔色接著就畫出造型,我會把造型和配方都記錄在專用的筆記本上,現在已經記錄到第二本了。

至於造型像甜點,可能因為大部分原料是食材—咖啡色是生可可粉、帶顆粒的是咖啡粉、綠色是有機菠菜粉,我就像帶著做甜點的心態去完成他們,大概90%是事先規劃好、10%是隨興發揮。」

I usually start with colors, you can create different hues with different combinations of ratio of natural herbs and minerals, kind of like mixing watercolors.

After choosing the color scheme, I make a sketch of the "looks" for each soap bar, I have a sketchbook full of recipes and designs, I'm now on my second sketchbook.

As to why they look like cake or dessert, it's probably because most of the ingredients are food- the brown is from cocoa powder, the sprinkles are coffee beans and the green from organic spinach powder. So I feel like I'm baking when I'm creating the soap. The whole process is probably 90% planning and 10% improvisation.





Q:孩提時代最喜歡做什麼? What were your favorite activities as a child?


Jessica:「我媽說我小時候很喜歡做實驗,還一直跟她吵著要在家設置一套實驗器材,她當時沒答應因爲怕我把家炸了,想不到現在我還是自己搞了一套。」

My mom said I really liked science projects when I was little, even begged her to build a lab for me at home. She didn't let me for the fear of blowing up our house. Guess I still ended up with a lab in my house now.



隨著年齡增長越來越明白很多事情盡力就好,不必在意他人眼光

Q:你有崇拜的偶像嗎?

Who inspire you?


Jessica:「我很喜歡黑柳徹子。窗邊的小豆豆是我童年最喜歡的一本書,很喜歡她善良且勇於做自己的態度。」

I'm really inspired by the Japanese actress and activist Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, her book "Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window" was one of my favorite as a child. I love how she is so kind and always so true to herself.





Q:最喜歡的電影、音樂、地方?

Favorite film, music and places?


Jessica:「最喜歡的電影是About Time。最喜歡的音樂是Coldplay 的Something Just Like This。最喜歡的地方是紐西蘭的 Lake Tekapo。那是一個美的像大型佈景的地方,地上鋪滿的松果,湖邊的松樹和魯冰花,Tiffany藍的湖水,遠方的雪山,佇立湖邊的小教堂,白天湛藍的天空,晚上滿天的星斗,每當我置身其中都有一種超現實的感覺,覺得這裏美的不像地球。」

My favorite film is About Time. Favorite song is Something Just Like This by Coldplay. My favorite place is Lake Tekapo, It is like a theater backdrop. The ground is covered with pinecones, the water is a TIffany blue with pine trees and frost flowers by the shore, The snowed tipped mountains in the background and the church by the lake, crystal clear sky during the day and thousands of stars at night. I feel like I'm in another dimension every time I visit.


Q:你會如何形容自己的風格?穿衣風格或是生活方式、人生態度。

How would you describe your style and life philosophy?


Jessica:「我喜歡隨性的風格,怎麽好玩怎麽來,隨著年齡增長越來越明白很多事情盡力就好,不必在意他人眼光,世界很大,別人的偏見真的太渺小了。」

I like going with the flow. As I get older I realize things are not always in our control, just do your best, and don't worry about what others say.



Q:2020年有什麼計畫?

What are some goals for 2020?


Jessica:「『The RAW』是一個開放的品牌,未來希望能展開各種不同的合作,我沒有太多的設限,也許是異業結合或是和商家的聯名系列,請大家拭目以待。也希望大家都能快樂的做著自己想做的事情,并且保持善良的初心。」

『The RAW』 is an open source brand, I'm open to collaborations with different brands. Whatever you're working towards, don't forget why you started it, just be kind and have fun!





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