Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sponsor in the Spotlight #1: Pleasant River Soap Co.

I believe strongly that advertising at it's purest form is to help the end consumer become more informed about the products and services they purchase. I am happy to introduce the first VCL Sponsor in the Spotlight post by the Pleasant River Soap Co.


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Insight provided by Mary Phipps, Owner and Soapstress

Click Here to view the full product line.  

1. What was your inspiration for starting the Pleasant River Soap Co.?
For as long as I can remember, and especially after my kids were born, I have been interested in living as naturally and preservative- free as possible. With a background in biology and chemistry, it occurred to me that I could unleash my “inner mad-scientist” and combine it with my love of natural and nourishing ingredients, and make body care products that I would be proud of, products that are entirely free. Free, that is, of artificial colors, fragrances, and preservatives!

2. What is your most popular soap?
Unequivocally, Maine Woods!

3. Are all of your products Vegan friendly?
Yes, all my soaps are vegan friendly. They all have the same veggie base of primarily olive and coconut oil, and each have an extra-nourishing oil added at the end of the process, such as sweet almond oil, kukui-nut oil, hemp seed oil, or avocado oil. They are colored with the natural beauty found in herbs and spices, and scented with 100% essential oils. Pure Nature LIPS, however, my line of all-natural lip balm, contains beeswax, and is not therefore considered by most vegans to be vegan friendly.

4. Where can I buy Pleasant River Soap Co. products?
It depends where you are in Maine! In the Portland area, you can buy PRSC products at Whole Foods, Lalo Boutique, and Lovely Things. In Falmouth, you can find us at Allen, Sterling, & Lothrop Garden Center and Coastal Naturopathic Center. In Raymond, the Good Life Market, Kennebec River Artisans in Hallowell, and the giftshop at the Winterport Winery proudly carry our stuff. Finally, if you’re cruising the islands, Pleasant River Soap is available at The Niblic on Chebeague Island.

All products can be purchased on the Pleasant River Soap Co. Online Store.

5. What is the most interesting fact about Pleasant River Soap Co.?
Perhaps this can best be answered with two facts that I am proudest of. First of all, I have recently introduced a program called Spares to Share, in which endcuts and leftover bars are donated to local food pantries and shelters. I believe that everyone should be able to cleanse their life, starting with their skin. Also, I am proud of my commitment to “green” packaging…all soaps are wearing recycled materials, which are printed with soy-based inks, and produced with wind-driven power.

6. What other products do you see adding to your collection?
Perhaps the most exciting product currently in research and development is soft soap. It is an entirely different process from that which produces bar soap, so it’s really fun and exciting! I’ve been asked so many times whether I carried it, that I finally decided I better start!

7. How many people help create the actual soap? Can you describe the process or give any details on ingredients?
I’m currently the sole “soapstress.” Things are growing so quickly, however, that that will be changing very soon. My soap is produced by “cold- process,” meaning no heat, and therefore energy, is used in its production, other than to melt the oils which are solid at room temperature. It is not cooked for hours over a hot stove like the soap of yesteryear. So, my loyal soap supporters feel good knowing that not only are spares/extras donated, the packaging is produced with recycled materials, wind-driven energy, and printed with soy-based ink, but the soap itself is also produced with minimal energy!


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