With A Name Like "Tree Hugging Soap", It's No Wonder Why They Make The Most Moisturizing Soaps Made With Unrefined Shea Butter From Ghana
Often times, using the language "Tree Hugging" has a negative connotation in the fashion, beauty and wellness world.
It's usually associated with uncool hippies who don't have any style sensibility and lack evidence of beautification while smelling like tree manure. That can be so far from the truth. In fact, we like to embrace the term tree hugger - finding authentic brands and showing the importance caring for the illustrious mother earth (and our health). So we interviewed Drew, the founder of Tree Hugging Soap - a handmade natural soap brand with scents just as heavenly as its ingredients.
When and why did you start Tree Hugging Soap? Where did the name come from?
We started Tree Hugging Soap five years ago in our home kitchen. My wife and I were researching the ingredients in most of the products we were using, and discovering how many of them were carcinogens, hormone disruptors, linked to breast cancer, etc. It was upsetting when we saw companies were using words like "natural" and "healing" to mislead consumers. We decided to start making soap and creme for our family and friends using all natural ingredients and essential oils, then began selling our product at local farmers markets. The farmers markets have been such an important platform for us to educate our customers on the importance of using natural products, and in getting our product out there. We've enjoyed "spreading the love" and helping people make more conscious choices. About one year ago we opened the "Tree House" which is our first retail location, located at 5911 NW 173 Drive, Suite: 20, Hialeah, FL 33015. We continue participating in the local farmers markets on the weekends, and are at the store Monday - Friday.
What are your core ingredients and where are they sourced?
Almost all of our skincare products contain unrefined shea butter which is from Ghana, Africa. We use various clays and essential oils which are purchased from reputable brands online such as NOW, and Certified Wholesale Union who harvest from organic farms. All of our products containing moringa are sourced from our backyard :)
Where do you see the future of the natural skin care industry?
Things have shifted, and people are now awakening to the movement. We hope this industry continues to grow and be represented by the people. There are so many amazing natural ingredients and ways to combine them to treat different conditions. The possibilities are endless!
Does being a person of color (or a man of color) influence your brand? If so how?
What I've noticed is I have been able to influence men to try the products, and not feel embarrassed. I pull them in for a sugar scrub, or to sample the body balm. There are a lot of black people who will approach me and say "I'm happy to see a black owned business". I am glad African Americans are taking an interest in wellness, and are supportive of the movement.
What is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my wife. She's always pushing me to pay attention to my health, including the food we eat / products we use. We are always bouncing ideas for new products off of each other, and experimenting with different ingredients.