Engr. Leonora Salvane, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of GT Cosmetics Manufacturing Inc., had never imagined that her homemade soap products would someday be a sought-after skin-care commodity. She never even dreamed of making it big in her native Cebu, considering the very cut-throat competition.
Before the business started Engr. Salvane and her husband were selling pneumatic parts and industrial chemicals. The business was slow and they were not earning enough. She prayed hard for a business where she can practice her profession and provide for her family. In 1994 Engr. Salvane decided to put her dormant craftsmanship – as a Chemical Engineer to good use.
She soon started to make homemade soaps with a capital of Php 500. Being a wife and mother, she would use what’s left of her time to make her soaps in the kitchen using baking pans and cut them into rectangular shapes. Soon enough, what started as a soap-making pastime became a family activity as her children joined her in the wrapping of the finished products.
Salvane started marketing her brandless product by just giving out a sample to neighbors and friends, who then became her first customers and later dealers of her line of soaps. The soaps remained brandless for a couple of years until Salvane decided to go full blast with the business and put a label to her product.
Shaping the future
From production in the kitchen, she expanded their family’s house so that part of it is now the Cebu Plant & Office and in May 2012, she opened another plant in Marilao, Bulacan to cater to the growing demand in the Luzon island group with a 3rd manufacturing plant being constructed to prepare for ASEAN Integration. The company is currently ISO 9001:2008 Certified, FDA Certified, Halal Certified, and ISO 22716 Certified.
As a way of giving back, she and her husband built a school named GT Northeast Academy, for Cebu’s north communities.
Engr. Salvane never forgets to thank the Lord for providing them with a means to not only earn but to help other people as well, which is why GT stands for “God’s Talent”, a fitting tribute to where all the success originated from.