A MUM who has poured her heart into her handmade soap business is looking forward to her newest venture this month.

Olga Gerogianni, who owns Estia Soaps, hopes that her new East Port venue will be a hit and bring "something different" to Dunfermline.

The ground floor of the premises will offer a traditional retail store, while the first floor will host an open workshop customers can visit to watch as products are made.

The 44-year-old will run the shop alongside her husband, Spiros, but says that she has been left in limbo for the past six months waiting for a planning decision from Fife Council.

"We have had nothing in that time," she told the Press.

"We have been counting on online sales, everything was on hold.

"I am just glad it can go ahead before Christmas, it was really hard in August when I had the kids with me all the time."

Olga says there was a time where she wasn't sure the project would be allowed to go ahead, and that she felt the business had to push on.

"It was time for me to be surrounded by people, I was doing it all on my own," she explained.

"I felt I either had to stop everything, or take a step forward.

"Everyone here has been so good to us, this feels like the shop is giving something beautiful back to the community."

The Press reported in 2021 that Olga had taken a leap of faith when she set up Estia Soaps, having moved to the city from Greece due to dire economic circumstances.

The then family-of-three sold everything they had and started their new life in West Fife with just three suitcases and slept on the floor for a month in an empty apartment.

She had planned to work as a spa manager as she had in Corfu but when her youngest son, Aggelos, who is now four, was born with Down's Syndrome she decided to start her own soap-making business from home.

Quickly, the venture turned into a success, with Olga picking up four awards last year alone.

With two kids at home, Aggelos, who is non-verbal, and five-year-old Achilleas, the mum says that it has been a difficult journey, but one which is paying off as she sees the results of her hard work.

"It is really nice to see all of our hard work, it was very emotional for me seeing the sign, you realise what you have worked for.

"We haven't been back to Greece at all, we haven't had a holiday, to make a business from zero takes a lot of work, but it is one of those things where you do what you have to do."

The team behind the business has now grown too, with Olga and Spiros being joined by one full-time employee and a host of part-time staff, alongside practitioners who will be hosting services, including spiritual treatments, from the venue.

Even little Achilleas has been helping out, with his mum saying that he "loves seeing the process", though she is happy for him to "discover his own path".

The family will be holding an open day on September 10 at the new Estia Soaps store at 16 East Port, where Olga says there will be a "small party" to celebrate.

This will involve talks from practitioners and a look around the building, which has been refurbished completely from its previous use as office space.