The intentionality and inspiration behind Sea + Sparrow is what instantly drew me in. Little R and I sat on the cedar hardwoods of Caroline and Nathan’s renovated home in historic downtown. We listened to Caroline’s story while she hand-lettered soap labels and excitedly told me about lye and pH and trips to Tunica Hills to collect clay. There was a large wooden table lined with soaps they recently made, the doors were open allowing fresh air to keep up company, and the sounds of Gillian Welch lingered in the background. I could’ve spent the afternoon with her in that warm, inspiring workspace. Thankfully, she sent me away with a gift, and it is for one of YOU! You can find out more details below but before you do, here is a look into Caroline’s company, Sea + Sparrow…
WHEN DID YOU CREATE SEA + SPARROW, AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO SO?
I started Sea + Sparrow in August 2012. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility and I began doing a lot of research about toxins in my body and environment. I started making my own household cleaners, detergent, deodorant, lotion bars, sunscreen etc. I enjoyed making all those things so I started thinking about what else I could make which would also help reduce the toxins in my life. So I started making soaps and candles- I love my baths and I usually have a candle or two lit around the house. I wanted to make sure they were as toxin free as possible. I made several and posted them on Facebook. I received a huge response and family and friends encouraged me to open an Etsy store to begin selling them. My first month in business was amazing! My husband has been so supportive and has encouraged me to continue. He helps make many of the soaps and candles as well!
HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR INGREDIENTS AND DECIDE ON COMBINATIONS?
Lots of research! We want to make sure they are safe and toxin free- first and foremost. The combinations are the fun part! Some are combined because they create the best outcome for the purpose of the soap. For example, Mild Soap contains rose clay and rosehips because that clay combined with that essential oil is best for sensitive, dry skin and helps with wrinkles. Those skin types usually go hand-in-hand. Same with our Cleansing Soap. French green clay and tea tree oil are great for oily prone skin as well as acne prone skin. Some are just combinations you would expect from a soap. Our Shaving Soap for example should be a little more slick- thats why we add bentonite clay. It should also feel cooling and refreshing hence the peppermint, eucalptus and tea tree oils. Then some combinations while just for fun also create a great soap – The Exfoliating with sea clay + poppy seeds. The poppy seeds make for a fun looking soap but actually act as an amazing exfoliant. Its not too rough. This clay pulls toxins from your skin while replenishing with over 20 essential minerals found in the Dead Sea. Whole poppy seeds act as a strong, aggressive exfoliant, scrubbing away dirt and dead skin. Poppy seeds are an ancient natural sedative, rich in vitamins and unsaturated oils. High linoleic oil content ensures that poppy seeds soothe as you scrub, leaving skin soft and glowing.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?
I had a need and want to make a healthy life for my husband and me. I was struggling to find products that fit that need. I was lost in ingredient lists of paragraphs of words I could not even pronounce. So I just decided to make them myself. So I started with google. I was amazed to find so many people making their own cleaners, and products. Once I began making them, I really enjoyed it. My inspiration comes from knowing that we can create products that people love and that can actually make a difference in their lives. There is a teenager that has been using our Cleansing soap and for the first time in her teenage life is acne free. She went to her prom smiling and feeling great about herself and our product helped her do that in a healthy and natural way. I think I also just had a need to be creative. I needed an outlet. In my “real” job, there is not so much creativity.
ANY NEW PRODUCTS YOU’RE EXCITED TO SHARE WITH US?
Scrub Soap made with spanish moss + tunica clay. We picked up the clay while hiking Tunica Hills and we get our spanish moss from my grandmother’s house or while taking a walk or bike riding around downtown. Also, our Relax Soap made with lavender + aloe. The pH of this bar is really nice and well suited for the most sensitive of skin, including those sweet little baby bellies and toes. The lavender is actually left over from our wedding. We had soooo much of it. It came from a local florist. The aloe we extract ourselves from an aloe plant we purchased as the farmer’s market. We do include some aloe juice which we purchase at Whole Foods Market.
We’ll also have different “flavors” available of our new Lip Balm, which is so good and so natural! Although its not really a flavor in the typical sense as much as it is a scent (they are created using essential oil). And, lastly, we make a Detox Bath I really love! Made with epsom salt, baking soda, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil and lavender. A detox bath is thought to assist your body in eliminating toxins as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water. The skin is the largest detoxification organ thru which toxins can be drawn out. After a long soak, you will feel revived and rejuvenated! Its pretty amazing!
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY PRODUCTS?
All Sea + Sparrow soaps are made using the cold process; a 100% vegan friendly method composed of only vegetable oils. We make a point of not using GMO oils like canola, and stay away from solvent processed oils such as pomace. The palm oil we use is organic RSPO certified in the name of sustainability. Every effort has been made to remove unnatural or synthetic substances from our soap. We add only the highest quality earth clays, local honey and spices, and expeller pressed organic essential oils. Our candles are made with FDA approved, Kosher certified soy wax, pure cosmetic grade fragrance oils, and cotton wicks. In an effort to make our candles sustainable the containers are all repurposed. Our inventory comes from friends, family, goodwill, estate sales and thrift stores. All packaging is sourced from recycled material. Our wood is reclaimed from old houses and barns in south Louisiana. Whenever we see one being torn down, we make sure to grab a couple of beautiful pieces before it turns into trash. The tung oil we use to finish each handmade piece is 100% pure nut oil, contains no petroleum distillates whatsoever, and is FDA certified as food safe.
I’m thrilled that Caroline has paired with us to offer one of our readers this lovely giveaway! It includes two of her soaps, one reclaimed cypress soap dish, and the petite soy wax candle (the items displayed in the last image above).
HERE’S HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY…
1. Pin any of the images from this post and include info about the giveaway on your pin
2. Share on facebook or twitter about the giveaway
3. Blog about the giveaway on your blog or other form of social media
4. Comment below, and let us know if you completed any of the above!
THE GIVEAWAY ENDS THURSDAY MAY 2ND AT 12:00am (central time). I’LL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER WITH OUR FRIDAY FAVORITES!April 29, 2013