Good evening, everyone! This blog has a lot of topics, but one of our main missions is to promote an eco-friendly, self-sustainable lifestyle. One way that we do this is by shouting out brands that we support by sampling their items, writing reviews, and even interviewing the brands themselves! We call this: Small Business Spotlight –
Today, we will be chatting with one of our favorite natural soap bar brands: THE MOONTREE! If you are unfamiliar with this brand, view our feature of them in a past post here.
Get to know @themoontree below –
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Escape to Vava’u: Tell us about the first time you felt inspired by natural soap/skincare, and how The Moontree began.
Honestly I tried many things before soap. During my internship with the Center for Justice and Reconciliation I decided to combine my skill and desire to create with a very present need for freedom in this world. I wanted to start a small business where customers could find comfort in knowing that their products are ethically sourced and made by hand. I first tried knitting scarves, beanies, weaving dream catchers but nothing really stuck. I prayed about it for a while and one day I just had a strong desire/curiosity to make my own soap. I fell in love with the chemistry and the artistry of it, not to mention it made my skin feel great! I was able to create all natural recipes to aid all sorts of stuff our bodies do like oily skin, acne, and dandruff; I even made a soap for my dog’s skin allergy. I realized that soap making was what I had been called to do as a passion and for my business and I’ve been doing it ever since.
ETV: On a scale of 0 to 10, how important do you think it is to use eco-packaging and to limit single-use plastic? Explain to us your views on this topic.
Eleven? Our planet is in such a state of desperation for replenishment and it is our responsibility to make that happen. Using recyclable or reusable products just in our day to day lives makes a huge difference in how much trash is produced. Especially for businesses, packaging and shipping materials can be more affordable and lighter but so harmful to our environment. It really is a battle between profit margin and ethical practice but there are so many more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging distributors now it’s really a no brainer. I used to wrap each individual bar of soap in vellum labels, had glossy business cards, and spent a considerable amount of money on all the extras like tissue, bags, and stickers. It was a headache and I felt like it was such a waste. I switched to minimal packaging and all paper products made from recycled paper (even the business cards!). It was such a great change, simple, easy, and happy. Paper is good. Recycled paper is better. Single-use plastic is really something worth avoiding. But plastic that can be reused is a better choice.
ETV: What makes The Moontree stand out from most/all other natural soap bars?
I think there are so many great natural soap companies out there, a community really, most of the time we’re crushing on each others creations on Instagram. But everyone has a different style, it’s all a matter of what fits yours. With The Moontree I like to keep everything simple in style but complex and rich in composition. What I mean by that is, layers of benefits from one product. Instead of using basic fixed oils such as olive and coconut oil just as they are, I think, “what herb can I infuse into this?” or “what other luxury oils can I add (even in small amounts) to make this bar perform even better?”. I make sure the quality of the ingredients are something I can be proud of and would want to be excited to use everyday.
By supporting The Moontree, people also support all the other great and sustainable businesses we purchase ingredients and materials from. Additionally we have a partnership with One Day’s Wages, a fabulous Seattle based non-profit in which we donate a percentage of proceeds to their human trafficking fund. So overall, it’s really a win-win for everyone involved.
ETV: What are your plans/goals for the future of The Moontree?
I’ve always been a dreamer which is both a blessing and a curse I’m sure, so I’m always thinking big! I don’t know how I’ll make it happen but this is my vision so far:
A humble brick and mortar shop nestled in the trees but not too far from the hustle and bustle. A place comprised of large windows so the plants inside can feed on the sunlight. Shelves and shelves of The Moontree products as well as featured local artisans of ceramics and textiles. Haven, my trusty shop dog, lounging about and welcoming all our guests. And of course weekly classes which you can sign up for to make your own soap, lotion bar, or whatever! Aside from the physical shop, I would also like The Moontree to continue its work on an international level. Last year I had the opportunity to teach university students the art of soap making. The money from the soap they made and sold was used as funding to build a well in the Democratic Republic of Congo (a country near and dear to my heart). I would like to continue this work in clean water projects, economic empowerment through entrepreneurship for women, and of course continue to fight modern-day slavery any way possible.
ETV: What is your favorite soap bar that you have made? Give us one piece of advice for when switching to natural soap!
That’s a tough one. It’s definitely a tie between the Market and the Rosalinda. The Market is made with pureed carrots, spearmint, and patchouli. It smells earthy yet fresh and has this beautiful golden orange color when poured into the molds. The Rosalinda is the newest addition to the spring line scented with geranium and orange essential oils. Its a beautiful blushing pink color and smells absolutely divine.
My advice when switching to natural soap is, it will take care of you if you take care of it. Because natural soap has no artificial preservatives in it, it won’t last very long sitting in a pool of water. Invest in a well draining soap dish to let your soap dry when it’s not in use. Other than that there’s really not much to it, just enjoy!
Enjoy this interview? You get 5% OFF your purchase at the Moontree Etsy shop! Use code VAVAU16 –
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At Escape to Vava’u, we take pride in partnering with brands whom care about the environment and reflect this through their business practices. The Moontree was one of the first brands that we had the pleasure of communicating with, and we are looking forward to the exciting things to come from this collaboration. For all of your natural soap needs, The Moontree is the place to go! #supportsmallbusiness #smallbusinessspotlight
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