Every now and then a new business comes along that blows me away in terms of product quality, customer service, and the overall mission of the company. Recently, my local friend Peggy posted on her Facebook page about the launch of her friend’s new business, Prem Soaps. Being the product lover I am, I clicked right over.
I spent a good amount of time reading over the website, studying the ingredients, and talking to the lovely Juliet, one of the trio behind Prem Soaps. I received a package from the company on Saturday and have tried all of the goodies and knew right away I had to share this company with you.
Prem Soaps is based in Brooklyn and is the passion of three friends–Juliet, Michelle, and Rob.
Everything I have used is excellent. The quality is really top-notch and I love the attention this young company pays to being TRULY eco-friendly and all-natural. You will never find artificial ANYTHING in their products–no colorants, synthetic fragrances, etc. All products are Vegan, and in most cases, USDA organic ingredients are used.
Of everything I tried, I have 3 favorites (and I kid you not when I say every single product is truly delightful). My two favorite soaps are the Lime Cilantro and the Coffee bar.
My absolute most favorite product is really special. It’s the Coconut Lime Salt Scrub. It is made with pure coconut oil, sea salts, and lime essential oil. If you mixed a coconut cream pie with a key lime pie, that would be how this one smells. You know how much I love coconut oil and I think that’s why I adore this product so much.
It is the PERFECT scrub to use on arms and legs before applying a sunless tanner. It scrubs the skin without being harsh or too abrasive. It nourishes your skin enough so you can even skip lotion. I love everything about this.
I had the chance to speak with Prem Soaps about their new business and thought I’d share:
C & G: Tell me a little bit about your brand new company, Prem Soaps.
Prem Soaps: This company was Michelle’s brainchild. She dreamed it up and mentioned it to me when we were middle school teachers together. At first, I just wanted to make my own soap for fun – I love making things at home! We were both also really interested in having soap for ourselves that was free of animal products. When we realized what a great product we had created, we decided to start our own company. We’re committed to products that are 100% vegan, created only with as-organic-as-possible materials, and are gentle on the Earth, our home.
C & G: I have been writing about palm oil and why it should be avoided for years. Unfortunately, the bulk of soapers still create their products with this. Why was it important for you to formulate your products without palm oil?
Prem Soaps: We understand why a lot soap makers use palm oil in the products, especially those interested in vegan soaps. It has properties that are similar to beef tallow; it creates a hard and long-lasting soap and it gives a pretty, orange coloring. We used palm oil in the first few batches of soap that we made, when we were doing it for fun. When it came time for us to make our first big bulk purchase of oils, we did our research and discovered just how damage much the palm oil industry has caused. Its production ravages the environment, contributes to deforestation, destruction of habitat, and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, its producers have been accused of many human-rights violations, including poor conditions, very low pay, land theft, and even murder.
While some initiatives do intend to produce this oil sustainably, we think about this in the same way we think about being vegetarian: even though humanely and sustainably produced meat is available, we don’t want to participate in any part of that industry. And we’re ok with the fact that our soap is a little bit softer because we don’t use it.
C & G: Your soaps are lovely. I love that you use essential oils rather than fragrance oils to create the beautiful scents. I especially love the Lime with Cilantro. It’s my favorite (and I like them all!). Do you three have fun experimenting with different blends? It’s almost as if you have combined a love of culinary arts with aromatherapy because all of the creations are spot on in terms of how they work together.
Prem Soaps: Thank you! We have a great time creating our blends. I think you said it perfectly, it’s like combining a love of culinary arts with aromatherapy to get really great blends. We all love to cook and to make people feel good. It’s kind of like making a great dinner for your friends but making soap is something that most people don’t do. We get to use our creativity, passion and love to give people great home-made products that are not readily available. Additionally, because we make our products in small batches, we have the opportunity to experiment and try lots of new combinations – fun for us, and great-smelling for our customers!
We also believe that our essential oils have powerful healing properties that fragrance oils don’t. While those soaps may smell good, they lack a huge potential benefit. It’s really important to us to have everything be as natural as possible, sourced directly from the Earth. The skin is our largest body organ and absorbs what we put on it.
C & G: Your ingredients, when possible, are USDA certified organic. Why is this important?
Prem Soaps: We know people who run organic farms, and though the system is far from perfect it still shows a detailed level of commitment to producing things in a natural way. There’s a lot more to organic than just minimizing pesticides, and there’s a lot more beyond organic that we try to find when we can, but USDA certification gives us a good baseline to start from. We feel if we support businesses who try to do things the way that we do, we are participating in markets that support health for people, animals and the environment, instead of ones that harm.
C & G: I love the fact that you are truly a green company, right down to the packaging. Would you please tell my readers a bit about what steps you take to be as eco-friendly as possible?
Prem Soaps: Having a low-impact on the environment is very important to us. We have a deep respect for our planet and think it’s important to take every step possible to preserve what we have. The way we run our company is just an extension of how we live our lives – we use cloth rags instead of paper towels, we re-use tissue paper instead of buying new. So for Prem Soaps, we buy from companies that have sustainable and environmentally-conscious policies and procedures, we buy recycled paper products and use almost-forever-lasting rubber stamps on our packaging, and we ship our products with the packing materials we get from our distributors. That’s also why we only ship by ground (air-shipment uses tons of fuel!) and most days, we walk our shipments to the post office. Another great thing is that we use re-usable mason jars for our products, which are great for the home! We’ll also gladly accept them back and give customers $1 off of their next purchase for sending them.
C & G: Why the name Prem Soaps? What is the PREM for? Does it have a special meaning?
Prem Soaps: Prem means “love” in Sanskrit. Michelle and I, Juliet, are both dedicated yoga practictioners. Michelle is a Kundalini yoga instructor, and I practice Ashtanga yoga six days a week (Ok, sometimes less! They are lenient with me because of the pregnancy). We want the name of our company to tell our customers about who we are – people who are out to create love in the world, through our lives and our business. The word prem embodies that spirit, and pays tribute to a practice that has led us to our beliefs. It’s also part of a spiritual name that Michelle was given by her teachers.
C & G: Working as a team in business can be tough. Do you all get along?
Prem Soaps: When we started our business, we agreed that our friendship was the most important thing, and none of us were willing to sacrifice that. Our business is founded on friendship and love, so we treat each other thoughtfully and with respect. Of course, we have different ideas from time to time, but we communicate very well, which we think is a key to any relationship.
Lastly, Prem Soaps says:
We’re really excited about our business and about our products! We’re always looking for ways to improve what we offer, and we welcome feedback from our customers. We’re available for questions, comments and suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also learn more about Prem Soaps on their great new blog and on Facebook. Stop over and check out this fabulous new company offering safe and natural (and green!) products.