Raise Vegan Chats With Liz Wible From Wild Lather
New England-based cold process soap company Wild Lather produces beautiful triangular soaps, several with place-based names such as, “Hong Kong,” “Byron Bay” and “Osaka.” The soap names are wound into the senses with carefully crafted scent profiles. For example, “Milford Sound” includes Peppermint, Silver Fir and Wild Lavender, while “Tokyo Roast” includes a warming mix of freshly ground coffee beans, Cedarwood Atlas and Smoky Vetiver (to name a few ingredients). We here at Raise Vegan are fans of beautifully produced soaps and so we’re honored and intrigued to have a chat with Liz Wible to learn more about Wild Lather.
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Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Liz. Your soaps are beautiful & we love the scent profiles. Where does inspiration for the soap scents come from?
Liz: Prior to launching Wild Lather, my partner and I left our Boston-based jobs to travel indefinitely. Starting this business never even crossed my mind until I stepped back onto the plane to return to New England eight months later. We had been so in the moment and I suddenly found myself grasping at memories. A lot of them came in the form of scent. Tokyo’s quiet winter streets reminded me of the delicious, toasty scent of roasting coffee beans being churned out by micro roasters, and the air in Milford Sound, New Zealand was so fresh and woodsy that I just had to capture it in the form of an essential oil blend. Each of our blends is inspired by a specific memory we had.
We love the names for your soaps. Were these also inspired by your travels?
Liz: Yes! I’ve had a soap making hobby for several years now, but was never connected to what I had named them when selling to friends or co-workers. For example, “Sweet Orange and Lavender” was one of them. Something clicked after coming back from our travels and it felt therapeutic to express our experiences and memories through each triangle. It was like something came over me and was my way of processing the trip.
Where do you source many of the ingredients?
Liz: Sourcing ingredients was the most time-consuming aspect of getting Wild Lather off the ground. They are everything. I’m really thrilled to be working with suppliers we’ve been able to build relationships with and who value quality and transparency. Our five unrefined base oils are certified organic. The majority of our essential oils are either certified organic or wild harvested. The essential oils industry can be pretty shady which is why I’m so thrilled to work with a supplier who shares exactly where and how those specific plants were cultivated, Certificates of Analysis, Safety Data Sheets and information on the grower/harvester. We also source various botanicals from a certified organic farm in Vermont. I’d love to grow my own one day.
Say you are going to travel the world for several months (just as you have done!) with the express purpose of exploring ingredients and sourcing for your soaps. Where do you go and why?
Liz: What a dream! First, I’d like to spend a bit of time exploring the botanicals that grow in the States. I haven’t traveled to many parts of this country but did recently visit California for the first time to road trip along the coast. Stunning! We ended up taking a last-minute day trip to Joshua Tree which felt like a different planet in the best way possible. I was so inspired by a Pinyon Pine and California Juniper we came across. I want to take a trip back just to inhale those scents once more and explore what else is out there. I am also really interested in the fair trade production of Shea Butter and would love to visit West Africa to meet the women who make it.
What is on the horizon for Wild Lather? Any interesting plans?
Liz: As we approach six months since launching and the summer market season, we are really looking forward to connecting with our customers in person. We also have some fun collaborations with fellow makers in the works. Ceramic soap dishes anyone?! As well as more scents on the horizon.
The brand’s Instagram account is beautifully curated, with a sublime focus on your product, as well. What is your approach and what are your thoughts on the use of social media for mindful brands, such as your own?
Liz: It means so much that you think this! I think there is something so special about a maker photographing her own work and love following emerging creators that do so. It’s like viewing it through their eyes and I feel it can sometimes get lost once that task is handed over to someone else – not always though. I am really inspired by ceramists and sort of approach my soap photography the way I would if they were clay vessels I created. Like little pieces of art for your bath. I also love the fact that most people are probably naked when using my product and I wanted to celebrate that imagery in my feed as well. The cool blues and neutrals throughout definitely reflect water and the beach.