“Kind to the body + easy on the mind.”
- Amour Mineral Bath Soak description
Nature offers us so many beautiful places, colours, and scents. It is up to us to respect them and for some people, to harness them. Turning the essence of a pine tree or orange peel into something that will fill your home with fragrance and feeling is a skill that few people can claim as their own, and we found two hand makers who can.
Woodlot is a Vancouver based home and body product company run by Sonia Chhinji and Fouad Farraj. Both Sonia and Fouad connected to creating with their hands at a young age, learning skills passed on from experienced generations of family. Sonia graciously agreed to give us a little perspective into her creative process and some of the inner workings of Woodlot.
As far as she can remember, Sonia has been pursuing a path of creativity. The work she does at Woodlot makes her feel like she has found what she loves to do most.
“I love mixing scents, marrying ingredients and creating experiences around the products we create....I love sharing toxin free products and alternatives with my community.”
Thoughts of future generations and communities are always in mind at Woodlot, which is why they use as many sustainable ingredients and packaging options as possible.
They hand produce a number of candles, soaps, bath salts, and other home enhancing products. Their Original Candle is what got everything rolling, and is still a top seller, making what was originally an inspired gift for friends and family into something so much beyond a token of affection. Their candles are made with a base of organic coconut wax and non-gmo soy wax, a sustainable option over petroleum that burns cleanly. Combinations of essential oils create memory evoking scents that take you away to Christmas morning, or your favourite forest.
Their soaps mix lye with natural oils like olive, coconut, and avocado, and include shea butter for a moisturizing finish on your skin. Bath salts start with a base of Dead Sea salts and Himalayan pink salt and are infused with calming essential oils like black pepper oil, rose, and lavender.
Every Woodlot product has a quality finish while still maintaining a sense of care and intention that can only come from hand made items. Thrive emulates the same conscientious creation in our own work and values the thought that goes into the Woodlot production process, as it supports our mission to offer items that encourage a sustainable lifestyle. Knowing that your candle was hand poured makes it seem like it burns brighter and smells richer.
Even though their reach has extended as far as Europe, Woodlot is very connected to their Vancouver community. Much like Salt Spring, Vancouver offers a boisterous network of artisans and small business owners that bond over the struggles of running start-ups and share in the excitement of new success.
“Vancouver is a great city to get your work off the ground. People are very open to locally made products, and get really excited when something from their city has global potential.”
However, no community could be supportive enough to take all the pressure off of an entrepreneur who wears so many hats, and sometimes a recharge is in serious order. When Sonia feels like she needs a jump-start, she has a solution:
“I have a day or two a month when I need a boost, so I have this ritual that really gets me back in the groove: I jump on my bike to sweat it out while listening to Dear Sugar and then head home to soak in my bath and make a home-cooked comfort meal, typically an East Indian or Lebanese dish.”
For Sonia, Thriving in life means always learning and keeping herself healthy. She recommends that anyone who is living a busy life find a physical activity that they enjoy and stick with it. She also tries to abide by some of her favourite advice: Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Come into Thrive today to sniff the aromas Sonia and Fouad have concocted and arm yourself with an arsenal of soothing products to make your body and home at peace.