Over the last couple of years, a few amazing people and I have been on an adventurous and fulfilling journey to launch a luxe, clean and sustainable line of soaps and candles. How we set out on this path is almost as interesting as the journey itself. A few of you have asked to hear my story and I am delighted to share it with you today. I’m Steph, the founder of Maple & Lather.
Adventures in Soap
For the last two decades, my husband’s been travelling the world as a tech entrepreneur. To fill the void of not having our kids and I with him, he always returned home with a few well selected, simple pleasures from abroad. Our favorites were the soaps he’d hunt out from cobblestone-paved boutiques in Europe, Mediterranean markets and quaint shops from Main Street America. As his trips continued, our soap collection grew, and a family ritual became the big-reveal and lathering up of a new bar from some far-flung locale. At the breakfast table we’d give reviews from our in-shower experience, becoming a judging panel reminiscent of reality TV talent shows.
Our first revelation was how much more we enjoyed bar soaps over their liquid counterparts, which we used to use regularly. We also learned that bar soaps were better for the environment and used a cleaner list of ingredients. It’s no wonder that the use of bar soaps is a growing trend.
We also learned – most importantly – that not all bars are created equal. A “perfect ten” soap left our skin clean, soft and healthy. It retained its shape and texture over time, and it didn’t slime up or really even need a soap dish. And there was nothing more tragic than when a great bar in our bath met it last drops of water, as we didn’t know if my husband would ever stumble across it again on his future trips.
Perfection in Provence
Our idea for Maple & Lather was simple. Could we curate the world’s best bar of soap, and make it available to everyone? Could we set up a subscription service so that as one bar dissolved delicately in the bath, another would be on its way to your door? In the summer of 2019, we set out on a search, and found the perfect partner in a town called Valensole, France. Valensole is perched high atop an escarpment world-renowned for growing lavender. It’s out of this special harvest that a small but impressive industry of self-care products has grown. As far as we are concerned, they make the world’s finest soaps.
We worked closely with our friends in France, engineering a uniquely shaped, distinctly fragrant, clean and sustainably formulated line of soaps. Maple & Lather was born.
Sustainable from Plant to Package
Being a mom who’s keenly aware of the planet my children will inherit, our journey was made intentionally longer by knowing we’d have to ensure we were bringing a product that was minimizing its environmental footprint. Every step of our year’s-long project in getting Maple & Lather to market had an added step of environmental diligence. Today, I can proudly say that our vegetable oils are sustainably harvested, our packaging is made from post-consumer recycled paper, and our shipping formats are optimized to minimize packaging.
Pampered and nourished skin can indeed be enjoyed with a clean conscience (excuse the pun!).
Next Up, a New Flame…
As you well know, we didn’t stop at soap, as we’ve also brought some thoughtfully designed and carefully curated soy candles to the Maple & Lather experience. The story behind them is equally unique, and I’ll be sharing that with you soon. In the meantime, enjoy the suds of our labor and be sure to Lather Up!