A Little Something For Everything

Running Wild Spirit, Maltby

As much as I love eating out at local restaurants and shopping at local storefronts, my favorite thing local has to be bath, body, and beauty products. I’m someone who has skin that is as sensitive as my other health issues, so knowing what is in what I put on my body is as important as knowing what I put in it. I don’t do products that have ingredients that I can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they are. You know what I’m talking about.

Discovering local soap has been by far the best thing I have gotten out of this job. Once I started using it, I’ve never gone back, and before meeting Charlene, the owner of Running Wild Spirit, I hadn’t stopped to think about just how much it, and other local products I’ve begun to use, have really made my skin better.

Three years ago, my Irish skin would literally turn a shade of lobster after thirty minutes in the sun without sunscreen. Even with it, I’d still burn after awhile. After using local products on my skin, I no longer have that problem, EVER. I still use sunscreen for hiking, camping, and long time periods outdoors, but I use it lightly and have started to build a year round tan.

Here’s my interview with Charlene:

How did you get into making bath & body products?

My son had really bad acne, and by the time he was in 6th grade we had spent two years going to the dermatologist. By that point, they wanted to put him on Accutane, and we had chosen not to do that. It wasn’t just about not liking what was in it, I was dealing with a boy who I was lucky to get in the shower let alone put medicine on regularly.

I decided, you know what, I’m going to make a soap, do it with natural things that could help clear up his skin, and I did. That is how (all of this) got started. I made the soap, he started using it, and within a week there was a definite difference From there, neighbor kids were asking for what he was using and the school was getting calls from other parents wanting to know too. Everyone wanted to get a hold of some.

Where did your business get its start?

I probably sold out of my house for the first year, then someone turned me on to the Snohomish Farmers Market. So, I went up there with my little card table and four different soaps I had been making. It grew from there, and I spent nine years at that market.

You have far more than four products now. How did they all come about?

My product line grew because of customers, friends, and family. People were always asking me, do you have something for this or that, and I would make it. I’d find things that would work, ones that were natural. Things that were practical and had a purpose instead of just being pretty or smelling like flowers.

(From the start), we have been continually willing to evolve and find new solutions. We started out with soaps that helped with acne, then started making ones for sensitive and dry skin. As we grew, we started making more products, scrubs, facial products, lotions, shampoo, foot products and more.

Now we make (not only bath & body products), but cleaning and laundry products, pet products, bug repellents, and more. All of it is all natural and tested by ourselves, and friends and family before its sold.

You have far more than four products now. How did they all come about?

My product line grew because of customers, friends, and family. People were always asking me, do you have something for this or that, and I would make it. I’d find things that would work, ones that were natural. Things that were practical and had a purpose instead of just being pretty or smelling like flowers.

(From the start), we have been continually willing to evolve and find new solutions. We started out with soaps that helped with acne, then started making ones for sensitive and dry skin. As we grew, we started making more products, scrubs, facial products, lotions, shampoo, foot products and more.

Now we make (not only bath & body products), but cleaning and laundry products, pet products, bug repellents, and more. All of it is all natural and tested by ourselves, and friends and family before its sold.

What makes your products different, better than, what can be found on store shelves?

What you will find in stores are things that have lots of detergents, alcohol, and other harsh ingredients that are drying for the skin. So many people have dry skin issues, and I think that a lot of that stems from the detergents that are used. People will come in to the store and talk about themselves or their kids having all sorts of rashes, dry skin, or eczema and wanting to figure it out. The first thing I ask is, what are you washing your clothes in, that is the first place to start.

People think they have to use all of these detergents to wash their clothes because the lather gets the dirt out, that is how soap cleans. But, if you use good oils, good heavy oils like coconut or castor oil, you are going to get a much more natural and skin friendly lather. They are expensive though. That is why you don’t see big brands making products using them.

You also have to realize that the stuff you are buying at the store was probably produced years earlier, in large batches. They have so much unnecessary stuff in them so that they can sit on a shelf for to or three years, stuff your skin doesn’t need, that actually can harm it. A lot of (bath & body products) are mineral oil based, a petroleum product. It can’t be absorbed into the skin. It does nothing to feed or penetrate the skin. Hours later it will still be sitting on your skin.

All of our products are all natural, made in small batches. From the start, I wanted them to be vegetable based, not animal fat. Other than the few products we have that use fragrance oils (Gardenia/Lilac for those that want that), everything else uses pure, cold pressed, essential oils. With the exception of a few products that have honey in them, and one that has buttermilk, all of our products are vegan as well.

The testing all of our products go through helps us not only make sure that they work, but get feedback and make adjustments. We want them to solve the problem we are trying to address. Our deodorant was like that. When we first made it, it had too much baking soda for those with sensitive skin, so we adjusted the amount and now we have lots of people who are able to use deodorant now that couldn’t before because of skin problems. Our products can be used by anyone.

What is your favorite customer story?

There is literally a story and a person behind every product.

I had a customer who had the worst case of Rosacea. She looked like she had this bright, really bad, sunburn all of the time. When she first started buying from me back when I was at the Snohomish Farmers Market, she wanted the Gardenia Naked Body Oil. She kept buying it, but eventually I gave her a small bottle of the Lavender Naked Body Oil to try. She wouldn’t use it because she didn’t like lavender, but when she finally did, she started noticing the difference.

To this day, she is still a customer of mine. It has been twenty years or so now, She still uses the Lavender Naked Body Oil and you can look at her and you would never know that her skin used to red all of the time.

I love that I have the opportunity to bring customers products that are actually going to help them with their skin, help make them look and feel better.

You can find out more about Running Wild Spirit, as well as buy their products, on their website at:

www.arunningwildspirit.com

You can also browse and purchase their amazing products by stopping by their Malbty location. They are located directly across from the famous Malbty Cafe at.

8731 Maltby Rd Suite 7

Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!).

Monthly and annual subscriptions can be bought HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique,  Artisans Mercantile, and Tried & True Boutique in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Ladders Clothing & Company in Stanwood Island, Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls, and Vintage & Rust in Monroe each month.

Let us know what you think! Share your comments and experiences below and don’t forget to spread the love on social media at the bottom of the page.

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