Tag Archives: soap hope

5 tips for your best bath ever

About a year ago, I moved into an apartment in a great location, with updated appliances and lovely neighbors.

The *only* outstanding issue is that there’s no bathtub. This was almost a deal breaker, but I’ve managed somehow over the last 10 months to go without.

However, any chance I get to use a bath when I’m staying at a hotel or friend’s house, you’d better believe I take the time to soak for awhile.

There really isn’t anything like a good bath, and we’re going to talk about a few ways to make your next soak in the tub something to sing about.

1. Mood Lighting

Please don’t just flip on the light switch and hop on in. Bath time means taking time to relax, so skip any kind of overhead light and light some candles.

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Indigo Wild’s Lavender Zum Glow candle

Aim for some aromatherapy and try scented candles: lavender aromas help soothe anxiety and promote relaxation. Indigo Wild’s Zum Glow candle has a fresh and floral aroma, perfect for a stress-free evening.

If you don’t have scented candles, low lighting or unscented candles from your grocery store work, too. The key here is no harsh lighting and a calm environment.

2. Music

Music can greatly impact your overall mood and energy, and it’s a great way to set the tone for a relaxing bath. I have a go-to playlist that I use, but music services like Pandora and Spotify offer playlists based on occasion/atmosphere.

The physiological effects of music have been researched extensively. “Dr. Frank Lipman, founder and director of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City and a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, recommends musical time-outs as a way to calm your body and brain with soothing rhythms and to slow down your heart rate and help you breathe easier.”

Check out the Cool, Calm, and Collected playlist on Spotify for a mix of mellow and modern tunes as your background music:

3. Recipe for Relaxation

There are a ton of choices out there for bath “additives.” From bath salts to oils to bath bombs and bubbles — these can take a bath from boring to totally blissful. Add to your water while you fill up the tub and soak with your favorite aroma surrounding you.

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Rose and Sandalwood Fizzy Bath Bomb from Hugo Naturals

The Rose and Sandalwood Bath Bomb from Hugo Naturals fizzes pleasantly when it’s in the water, and you’ll come out of your bath smelling fantastic.

Bath time is also ideal for an overall body scrub, to slough away dead skin and help moisturize it. Take an extra five minutes and apply the scrub after you’ve soaked for a bit — you’ll come out feeling like a whole new person.

4. Hair and Face Pampering

Since you’re taking the extra time, a long bath soak is a great opportunity for a weekly face mask or deep conditioning treatment.

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Pacifica’s Vital Immersion Deep Hydration Mask

The warm water helps to relax your skin and loosen any oils or dirt in your skin and pores — perfect for a deep (but not harsh) clean.

Pacifica’s Vital Immersion Deep Hydration Mask delivers lipids and antioxidants to your face, making this mask from Pacifica your secret weapon for damaged, dry skin.

5. A Fantastic Follow-up

Be sure to finish off your bath experience by toweling off lightly (no need to rub the skin vigorously – just pat yourself dry) and applying a nutrient-rich moisturizer.

bgr0041.t1Lotions are typically water-based, so your best best for super soft skin is a body butter.

Body butters and balms are perfect after a bath – they’ll help to retain all of the moisture after you’ve soaked for a while. Badger’s Cocoa Butter Body Balm is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, and I find that it has no trouble keeping my dry skin soft for hours afterward.

 

Do you have a go-to routine for bath time? Feel free to share below!

 

 

Brands We Love: Indigo Wild


“Any more natural and you’d be naked.” (Indigo Wild)

Irreverent, provocative, tongue-in-cheek. Call them what you’d like, but the folks at Indigo Wild have genuine personality.

“You can’t appeal to everyone,” explains Indigo Wild owner and president, Emily Voth, about their company’s “wild” culture.

Their Zum Bar soaps have been on Soap Hope shelves since we first started, and Indigo Wild’s collection of quality, natural skin care is still one of our top selling brands.

It’s a pleasure to work with individuals and companies that are so passionate about the work that they do, and if you’re familiar with Indigo Wild, you’ll know that the same passion extends to the products they create.

Indigo Wild: A Passion for Natural

Emily had been working in the corporate world for several years when she started to recognize how disenchanted she felt with her career.

“I wanted to do something I cared about,” says Emily. “I’d been working in that environment for so long, but I looked up at one point and just thought, ‘Is this it?'”

She’d cultivated an interest for aromatherapy and herb gardening, and her yoga instructor suggested turning one of her passions into more of a business.

“So I started sneaking my lunch into the library, researching everything I could; I started testing and making soaps, and gave those to my friends to try out,” she said.

Her husband helped her out (he designed the Indigo Wild logo on a napkin) and they prepared to set up shop at her local farmers market. Her soap bars were a huge hit.

“We sold out of everything,” she said.

She gave herself six months to get the business going, and did freelance work to help generate an income. Not the easiest route to take, but Emily couldn’t give up the idea. “I had to start something where I felt more like myself.”

But that’s just where things began.

Building a Culture that Cares

This kind of tenacious, self-motivated spirit has carried through Indigo Wild’s overall company culture, as well.

tina-production“It takes a special kind of person to work here. You can’t teach passion or train people to be motivated,” says Emily.

 

And it’s the company’s authenticity and passion for creating such quality products that has brought them so much success.

Building a culture where the employees are not only allowed, but encouraged, to fly their freak flags has helped to establish Indigo Wild as a nationally recognized natural brand. They’ve been recognized in numerous publications, like InStyle and Rachael Ray’s Everyday.

A Recipe for Success

Indigo Wild natural goat's milk soap
The ever-popular Frankincense and Myrrh Bar by Indigo Wild

Indigo Wild’s bar soaps use goat’s milk — which is why they have the adorable goat on all of their bars and products.

Goat’s milk is naturally moisturizing, pH balanced for skin and hair, and full of vitamins that our skin craves.

Combining such wholesome ingredients with aromatherapeutic essential oils makes the Zum soap bar popular with our Soap Hope customers — and it’s now carried in stores all over the U.S. (and Canada!).

Indigo Wild is also dedicated to several worthy causes, including a local dog rescue group and programs that support breast cancer survivors.

It’s that sort of commitment to product and making an impact that makes us proud to carry Indigo Wild here at Soap Hope.

 

Here are a few of our favorite Indigo Wild products!

 

 

Image credit: Indigo Wild

The Soap Hope Team: Meet Rachel

Written by Craig Tiritilli, cofounder of Soap Hope. 

Startups aren’t easy.

Rachel Winstead knows. She’s seen more than her fair share of them.

Before Soap Hope, Rachel was editor of Launch DFW, an online publication that focuses on technology startups in the North Texas area. She discovered her love for writing and building communities through her involvement there.

Before Launch DFW, her early career took her through corporate America and other large organizations with posts in mortgage banking firms and educational institutions. Those less-than-fulfilling experiences helped her realize that she needed to be part of something with a focus on making a real and lasting difference in the world.

A chance meeting with Soap Hope cofounder, Salah Boukadoum, set in motion a career change that would land her in a spot where she could do just that.

Rachel is in charge of what Soap Hope says to the world. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, the Good Life Blog (you get the picture), Rachel is the one doing the talking.

Her natural love for communicating and bringing people together make her ideal for giving a voice to the company. Her formal education in English doesn’t hurt, either.

When asked why she decided to join Soap Hope, Rachel says that the diverse team was a big factor. “The variety of perspectives here is surprising and really positive. Everyone is very different, but somehow it works – it made it easy for me to fit in here at Soap Hope,” says Rachel.

In describing her impression of the company, Rachel says, “Soap Hope is an intense environment. I’ve never worked with a group of people that push harder to accomplish everything they do in a day. At the same time, my coworkers make this such a rewarding and fun place to work. And, of course, there’s our mission of alleviating poverty and empowering women — it’s always top of mind.”

Rachel (middle) with two of her siblings, before her Soap Hope days.
Rachel (middle) with two of her siblings, before her Soap Hope days.

Rachel’s dad was in the army,  and her family moved often when she was growing up — so often that she attended three different high schools. Moving around did help her to develop close bonds with her younger sister and two younger brothers. She thinks that the moving around and being the oldest influenced her to be a nurturing person and natural conflict resolver.

Ironically, Rachel is a bit of an introvert. After spending her day writing, posting, blogging, and talking with lots of Soap Hope supporters, she prefers quiet time. Away from the office she can be found hanging with close friends, attempting to run, or reading.

“After a day of total outward focus, I need to recharge with more personal activities,” says Rachel.

In addition to her regular social media and communication activities, Rachel has a lot on her plate. She’s the go-to person whenever an opinion on a customer facing event or item is needed (which, by the way, happens several times a day).

Rachel is also in charge of the company’s Ambassador Program. In that role she recruits, trains and motivates the people that help spread the word about Soap Hope.

It takes a special kind of person to thrive in a startup filled with people building a business and changing the world — which is why Rachel is a perfect fit.

 

FUN FACTS ABOUT RACHEL:

Favorite color: Green
Earliest memory: Living through a tornado
Favorite food: Ice cream, always.
Favorite book: Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor

Here are a few of Rachel’s favorite products at Soap Hope!

 

 

Header image credit: Emmanuel Lopez (edited for size by us)

Milaap: Connecting People Through the Giving Experience

While the issues of poverty and lack of education around the world are still daunting, we’re grateful here at Soap Hope to partner with organizations like Milaap, who are addressing these problems with innovative new platforms and technology.

Milaap: Creating Connection through Technology

Milaap means “connecting people” in Hindi, and was founded by three entrepreneurs in 2010 — friends with a single vision “to change people’s concept of giving and make it a personal, transparent, and sustainable process.”

The Milaap microlending program is unique in its implementation of a technology platform that allows for people to lend money to a number of people in need.

Lenders are able to choose from a list of borrowers, based on their needs and loan requirements. The eligible borrowers are selected by Milaap’s field partners, who are “established organizations that have a strong presence at the grassroots [level], a deep understanding of their communities and challenges, and a commitment to serve their needs.”

The borrowers receive 100% of the funds, and lenders are able to track the process of the loan through the Milaap platform, where the stories and progress of the borrowers can be shared with a larger audience.

Usha’s Story

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Usha is one of the borrowers who has benefited from Milaap’s giving platform and your Soap Hope purchases.

Usha is 28 years old and leads Samanvaya SHG, a company that produces natural home décor products. Samanvaya has been up and running for the last 8 years, and regular production activities have helped its members to support themselves and save for the future. Usha was able to purchase a small facility in her hometown from her savings.

There are other women who want to join Samanvaya SHG, but Usha needed adequate machinery and infrastructure to accommodate more women, which is why she applied for a loan from the Milaap program.

Supporting Usha will allow her to grow Samanvaya and empower more women in her community to support their families and save for brighter futures.

Creating a Wider Impact

By partnering with innovative organizations like Milaap, Soap Hope is able to create a wider impact with our profits. We believe that businesses everywhere can create this kind of change in the world, but only through the hard work and creativity of companies like Milaap that share this vision.

 

//Photography credit: Milaap

Brands We Love: Pangea Organics

Any brand or product we carry at Soap Hope is one that we’ve tested and believe in. The people behind those brands are just as passionate as we are about their products, and it’s always a pleasure to work with individuals and companies that are so conscientious and committed.

Joshua Scott Onysko founded Pangea Organics in 2000. He started the company with a dedication to creating organic skin care products that are nourishing and effective.

Pangea Organic’s message is clear — everything the company makes is natural and ethically sourced, out of a reverence for our planet and commitment to living mindfully.

“Every decision we make affects the greater good,” says Joshua. “When we live with that in mind, life is more fulfilling, more authentic.”

From the ingredients that are hand-picked for Pangea’s products to the company’s mission of creating a more sustainable future, Pangea is dedicated to creating inspiring experiences for its customers.

A Born Explorer

Joshua grew up in the Northeast, and was certainly not your typical teen.

“I didn’t fit in at school, didn’t do very well in my classes, except for art. At 16, I talked to my parents, and left in a VW bus to travel and explore the world. I wanted to experience different cultures,” he explains.

Joshua spent several years traveling, discovering new traditions and exploring other countries. Those experiences and the people that he encountered during his travels inspired the launch of Pangea Organics.

The Pangea Vision

Joshua had been committed to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle before the idea for Pangea came about, and has adhered to his original vision for the company: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial.

Pangea Organics prides itself on using only organic and nutrient-rich foods in their skin care products.

joshuacranberries

“We spend months discovering the world’s most effective, nourishing ingredients to create the best skincare products available,” says Joshua.

The Pangea Skin Care Line

We’re thrilled to be able to offer Pangea Organics here at Soap Hope. Joshua’s commitment to finding the most effective and sustainably-sourced ingredients and creating a premium skin care line means we’re able to offer our Soap Hope customers some the best products out there.

With a focus on improving and maintaining healthy skin, Pangea Organics’ products help to defend our largest organ against free radicals, support collagen retention and hydration, and nourish aging skin with nutrients found around the world.

It’s that kind of dedication and commitment to sustainable practices and natural skin care that makes us proud to carry Pangea Organics. Check out some of our favorite products below!

 

The Soap Hope Team: Meet Kyle

About three months ago, I started working at Soap Hope. And that’s where I met Kyle Lukianuk.

Kyle falls into the category of what market researchers are calling “Millennials.” The specifics of what age group makes up this demographic has been debated, but it’s suggested that anyone born between 1980 and 1995 might possess Millennial-type traits. Especially when it comes to work habits and career choices.

Millennials are often determined to be driven and passionate — as long as they actually care about the end goal and reason behind what they’re doing.

Meeting Kyle and working with him has been nothing short of wonderful. He’s passionate and charming, and we joke that he’s the most photogenic of the Soap Hope team.

And I think you should meet him.

————–

Kyle was born in Michigan, and grew up in a tight knit family. He moved around a bit as a kid, after his dad ended his career as an international lawyer and went into a career in Christian school administration.

“I was in highschool when he made the change, and it made an impression on me – he started pursuing something he was passionate about,” says Kyle.

Kyle also made a shift, of sorts. He became more outgoing, and got more involved in school and sports (especially basketball). His dad was principal (for a period of time) at the highschool he attended before he moved to Chicago after his sophomore year, and they grew surprisingly closer.

When it came time to pick colleges, Kyle decided on Southern Methodist University here in Dallas. He had family here, fell in love with SMU’s campus, and he was accepted into the Business Scholar program.

Kyle studied Finance and was able to land an internship with a private trading firm on the Chicago Board of Trade.

“That’s what I thought I’d end up doing, working as a trader on the Board of Trade. It was challenging, and there was plenty of opportunity to reap financial rewards,” he says.

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Kyle, on his recent travels in Iceland

He enjoyed the competitive atmosphere – the work was intense and the lifestyles of his coworkers matched that intensity.

Then Kyle got the opportunity to live abroad during his junior year, and it was this opportunity that would influence a pretty drastic change in course for his career path.

“I witnessed first-hand the issues that exist in communities around the world: poverty, human trafficking – the kinds of issues that force people into cycles they get stuck in,” he explain.

That’s when he realized he didn’t want turn the internship with the Board of Trade into a full-time job.

“I didn’t want to turn into the kind of person that I saw in that work environment,” Kyle explains.

After turning down the position, he started to go through what he calls his “quarter life crisis.”

He accepted a position with Bank of America after graduation, but continued to feel that same discontent.

“I really wanted to start something that would make a difference, that actually mattered to me, and that might impact other people,” he explains.

Kyle started volunteering with different programs locally, and through that involvement he met Salah Boukadoum (cofounder of Soap Hope).

“I brought an idea to him about microfinancing, and after talking with him for a bit, he sort of tore the idea apart,” Kyle laughs.

But they kept talking, and started to discuss the Good Returns model. Yes, that’s the same model Soap Hope uses to send all of our profits to make an impact on women around the world.

Kyle spent a year and a half volunteering with Salah – they wrote an academic paper on the Good Returns model – when eventually Salah brought Kyle on full time to further develop the model and build partnerships.

Kyle manages Operations here at Soap Hope, ensuring that our day-to-day processes run smoothly and keeping our customers happy.

He wears a lot of hats here at Soap Hope, and working with him keeps me on my toes. Always insightful and generous, Kyle doesn’t hesitate to extend help where he can.

Before he left for college, Kyle’s dad told him two things: always invest in people, and that he hoped Kyle would find his calling and passion in life before he did.

“You only get one chance to live your life, and I’m swinging for the fences,” says Kyle.

I’m sure Kyle’s dad is very proud.

——-

Fun Kyle Facts:

soap hope favoritesFavorite place he’s traveled: “Iceland, China, Cinqueterra, and Prague were all amazing.”
Favorite beer: Peticolas Velvet Hammer
Favorite animal: dog
Favorite concert: Ben Howard
Favorite Soap Hope product: A Wild Soap Bar’s Timber and Coal

Better Life: Safe AND Effective Natural Cleaning Products

For the last several months, Soap Hope has been on the lookout for cleaning products that we feel safe using and selling to our customers.

We heard about Better Life (and you probably have, too) because they were featured on Shark Tank last year and made quite the splash on national television.

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You can watch Better Life on Shark Tank by clicking here.

Better Life pitched their line of natural cleaning products to the investors (they got offers from all of the Sharks), and impressed them with their safer, effective cleaning solution.

Since then the company has grown in size and in the number of products they offer.

They’ve installed solar panels on the roof of their manufacturing facility, and were named the 503rd fastest growing company in the US by Inc. Magazine last year.

Tim Barklage, cofounder of Better Life, took the time to chat with us about the company and why they’re in the business of clean.

The Beginning of Better

He and high school buddy, Kevin Tibbs, started Better Life in 2008.

Before they launched the brand, there weren’t many options on the market. The available cleaning products claiming to be “safe” were really just less dangerous than the other alternatives.

“When my wife and I started having kids,” says Tim, “finding a solution for cleaning products became more crucial. And I wanted to find something that was safe from the ground up — not just ‘less dangerous’ than other options out there.”

Any product that they created had to meet their requirements: it needed to be safe enough for kids to use, safe on household surfaces, and needed to perform at the same level or better than other products out there.

“Once we realized we could do all of those things, we knew we had something to sell,” says Tim.

Building on Better

Creating quality natural cleaning products and maintaining control over the integrity of the brand has not come easily. The company was bootstrapped for the first several years.

Any entrepreneur will tell you how intense building a company like this can be, but Tim explains that bootstrapping “allowed us to stay in control of our business and focus on the products.”

Since the company has grown, they’ve found more stability and added more products, built out their team further, and are expanding their international presence.

Better Life was recognized by REAL SIMPLE for their Simply Floored cleaner as their top pick for all-surface cleaners, and the company was featured on the Today Show for their quality products.

“We’re really excited about the growth, and the fact that we’re creating jobs and opportunities for more people has been amazing,” says Tim.

On his favorite Better Life Products: “I use the No Regrets Liquid Hand and Body Soap everyday,” says Tim. “And I do the laundry in the house, so I’m a big fan of the Spin-Credible Laundry Detergent.”

On the future of Better Life products: “We can’t wait to share more products with our customers — we have some great things in store for everyone this year!”

You can shop for Better Life items at Soap Hope. Here are some of our favorites!

The Soap Hope Team: Meet Craig

Building a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a person with a certain kind of gumption to navigate the risks that come with owning and operating a business.

Starting Soap Hope

Craig Tiritilli is no stranger to the world of startups. He met Soap Hope cofounder, Salah Boukadoum, in their previous business that together they managed, grew and later sold. After that experience, they realized that they wanted to start another company together.

Craig Tiritilli“We spent a lot of time coming up with business ideas. The idea of Soap Hope and Good Returns evolved over time – the original pillars of our mission remain, but the implementation has been refined over time,” explains Craig.

He’d always been concerned with healthful living, and liked the idea of natural products, but starting a business like Soap Hope was a new experience.

Soap Hope is a Good Returns company, meaning every dollar of profit is used in programs that support women. Those dollars spend a year doing good for women (both abroad and right here in the U.S.), and are then returned to Soap Hope.

“Cash is a major consideration in any startup, but in one that carries inventory, the issue is significantly magnified. We had to balance the financing requirements with the desire to use our profits to serve our social mission,” says Craig.

“As we got started, there were things we didn’t anticipate. We had to refine the Good Returns program to enable us to grow our business and make resources available for our mission. Eventually the program reached a point that would work not only for Soap Hope, but for a lot of companies of varying sizes.”

Behind the Scenes

Working on Soap Hope and growing it has bled into other areas of his life. He’s a big fan of the products that we carry here at Soap Hope, and uses them in his own household regularly.

“I love the Seaweed Bath Company products and A Wild Soap Bar soaps. And I’m looking forward to using the Better Life cleaning line at the house, too,” says Craig.

When he has spare time (which can be hard to come by when growing a small business), Craig likes spending time with his family and friends. Health and fitness have always been important to him, as well, so he enjoys exercising and staying active.

The Future of Soap Hope

“It’s exciting to see how much we’ve grown and accomplished in this past year,” says Craig, “especially in these last few months. Our team is growing, and the industry is really hitting its stride.”

And it’s important to everyone here at Soap Hope that we continue to fulfill the mission that the company was founded on.

Responsible Business

“I believe it’s really is up to businesses to be an example when it comes to sustainability and social responsibility,” says Craig.

“Governments and traditional aid organizations can only handle a portion of the burden of addressing the world’s most challenging problems, and the number of individuals with the resources to make a significant impact is relatively small. That leaves businesses,” says Craig. “So being a part of a company that is designed from the ground up to impact communities and larger issues like poverty has been extremely fulfilling.”

“Being attached to that bigger purpose, with people that care deeply about what we are working to achieve, has been really important to me,” says Craig.

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You can learn more about the Good Returns business model here.

And check out some of these “Craig-approved” products in our store!

You Must Mist!

Since this week at Soap Hope we’re featuring free mists, we thought you might like to know how other Soap Hopers tell us they use their mists. Do try this at home!

  • Spray in your shoes. Mint, Sea Salt, and Tea Tree are especially good – they keep your shoes fresh inside.
  • Put your favorite mist it in your suitcase when you travel. Makes your hotel room smell great.
  • Spray lavender mist on your bedsheets and pillows. Lavender is calming and will help you rest.
  • Spray in your closet to keep it fresh and wonderful. Worried about moths? Spray tea tree in the closet to help keep  moths away.
  • Use essential oil mists as a substitute for perfume. Spray on freely – it’s all natural.
  • Spray some mist in your dryer – your clothes will pick up the aroma.
  • Keep a mist in your drawer at work, to freshen up if you feel hot.
  • Spray on the treadmill, workout bench, and exercise or yoga mat.
  • And a mist in every bathroom, of course.

Share your favorite mist uses in the comments below. And pick some up for yourself and for gifts, at Soap Hope. One mist empowers a woman in her business for four days!

We Vote

America is an amazing place for entrepreneurs.

In America you can start a business to do just about anything, anytime, and usually without anyone’s permission. We wanted to sell soap bars to change the world. It took a two-page form, twenty minutes, and $300 to incorporate a company in Texas. We filed the paperwork online from the kitchen table.

In America you can freely compete with other businesses. It might be hard, and the big guys might have an advantage, but any person can decide at any time to be an entrepreneur. Here, an entrepreneur’s only limitation is herself.

In America you can freely state your opinions about the rules we live by together, and you can work to change them if they are wrong. If you don’t like the rules, you can get your voice heard, organize a movement, nominate a candidate, and create change.

Do you agree or disagree with the notion that companies should label foods that are genetically modified? Do you agree or disagree that there should not be new taxes on Internet sales? Do you agree or disagree that plastic microbeads should be prohibited in products that reach our water supply? You can elect representatives who share your values.

If you want your voice to be heard you can get to know your representatives, learn about the issues by researching online and talking with others, and vote. Election day is November 4.

As entrepreneurs we value everyone’s right to vote. That’s why Soap Hope has a policy in support of employee voting. Every team member gets paid time off to vote in local, state and national elections. If you are a business owner, we encourage you to consider a similar policy. You can find ours here: Soap Hope Policy in Support of Employee Voting.