Earlier this month I attended the TNNA trade show for the first time as an affiliate designer! While there I had a chance to meet yarn companies, project bag makers and more. I came across Love & Leche's booth and couldn't resist getting some of their handmade all natural balms and lotion bars! I have never liked thick lotions with harsh smells and ingredients for moisturizing so these products really called out to me. They are creamy, moisturizing, and smell wonderful- the perfect way to treat your hard working knitting hands! Read on to hear more about this sweet company and for your chance to enter a giveaway to try it out for yourself!
Can you tell us a little about your background and how Love and Leche was born?
In 2005, as Milk+Honey, we debuted at the renowned Santa Fe Farmers Market, selling handmade goat milk soaps and beeswax lotion bars. My business was inspired by living a very modest, but satisfying Farm Life out in Glorieta, 20 minutes outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since moving from Glorieta and into the “urban” environment of Santa Fe, I no longer keep my own bees, and my goats have gone to live with a lovely, country-singin’ cowboy, Archie West. But the focus and heart of my business remains unchanged: making beautiful, natural products with the bounty of rich goat milk and warm golden honey and beeswax–and satisfying customers who are astonished by the purity and efficacy of these products. And you can still find us every Saturday at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, all year ’round. When you receive one of my soaps or lotion bars, they may have been hand-poured by my son Simon, and packaged by my daughter Roan. The packaging was designed by a local designer, and strives to be as green as possible for the size of my business: recyclable, reusable, re-giftable, or keepable-foreverable!
Can you tell us about the ingredients used in your products?
The following is a list of our ingredients in order of proportion—most to least:
Soap: Coconut oil, Certified Organic extra virgin olive oil, our goat milk, sodium hydroxide (lye), essential oils (in the scented soaps), Certified Organic calendula flowers and beeswax.
Lotion Bar: Beeswax, Almond Oil, Coconut oil, Certified Organic calendula flowers, essential oils (in the scented lotion bars).
What you won’t find in any of our products
Palm Oil–We never use palm oil, for the health of our planet and the care of your skin: palm oil actually has a drying effect on the skin, and the unregulated harvest of palm oil has been depleting rainforest environments adversely effecting such fragile endangered species as orangutans.
Perfumes or Fragrance Oils These are manufactured scents; artificially created fragrances that contain artificial substances designed to mimic the scent of a natural product. These perfumes can be environmental hazard and can cause reactions in chemically sensitive people.
Animal Testing Well, actually, we have tested our soaps on animals, and they come out clean and beautiful, and our lotion bars are great for paw-care–and safe for licking off as well.
Can you share with us something new you have been working on?
My Sweet Sheep Lotion Bar! After over a year of dreaming, designing, and working with a local Santa Fe sculptor, we debuted our gorgeous new Lotion Bar design created just for knitters and fiberartists at TNNA in January. They have been so well received—folks love them! We also really adore our new custom canvas gift bags, which were made for us by Work+Shelter, an ethical factory that employs impoverished women in New Delhi. We’re using these for all kinds of little gift packages on our website and have great plans for more for the holidays.
Do you have any advice for creative women wanting to start their own business?
I recommend that creative women wanting to start a business do their “business homework”—namely, find out if you can be profitable doing what you love, and if becoming profitable will still allow you to love what you do! But also remember, profit comes in other forms in addition to money: flexible work hours, availability to growing children, financial leverage, and more. I actually talk about this in the second video on this page on my website: https://loveandleche.com/our-story/.
(In entering the giveaway you agree to be added to the Boho Chic Fiber Co. and Love & Leche Email lists)