This weeks ‘Interview Fridays’ is with the phenomenal talent of Salt Roots Soap Company (www.saltrootssoapcompany.com) located in Santa Cruz (Stephanie Wise) + Big Sur (Shani Fridich) + soon to be San Diego (Leona Snyder)! I am so thrilled to have their amazing Monterey bar in the Monterey Box! It’s to die for!

Here is what these lovely + sweet ladies had to say:
Q: How long have you been honing your craft?
A: Shani & Stephanie & Leona:
Well, Shani started creating soap over a decade ago when she worked in her mothers lavender farm. She began with lavender soap and soon she had a full blown soap making addiction which led to selling at farmers markets and honing her craft. About 10 years ago, I met Shani and we hit it off in so many ways! Dear friends and artisans at heart! As a designer, I always love learning new things. Shani began teaching me the art of making soap and I fell in love! I moved to Santa Cruz, Shani moved to Big Sur, and our dream of owning our own soap company came alive when we put roots here on our beautiful Central Coast! About a year after the company formed, we took on another partner Leona. She is a lifelong friend, creative soul and has now been making soap professionally going on four years! It’s truly something we all love. We are lucky ladies!

Q. What is your favorite product you produce?
A: Shani:
Such a difficult question! I seem to fall in love with every new soap we create. Mostly it depends on the season and on my mood. If iam feeling the sand and the sea I am loving sea cliff with its uplifting Eucalyptus spearmint and lavender. This week iam really loving our meyer lemon sea salt bar which is like liquid sunshine, great for those foggy days.
Stephanie:
I agree. Difficult question! I love our Coffee Cocoa Sea Salt Bar! I’m actually addicted to it. I don’t think I want to wake up and shower another morning without it! smile emoticon Another favorite is our Point Sur Signature Soap bar & Oatmeal Stout Beer Soap. Just love the rich creamy lather!
Leona:
I’d have to say the two skin care soaps: Pure Olive Oil Almond and the Activated charcoal Tea Tree Soap because my skin is dry. They work great!

Q. What inspires you?
A: Stephanie:
I am inspired by many things. There comes a point in your life where you realize what really matters so you change your path towards cultivating your dreams. Im inspired by nature and the beauty that surrounds us here in Santa Cruz and beyond. I’m also inspired by the needs of my daughter who is sensitive to everything synthetic and unnatural. It pushes me to discover how to care for our bodies naturally and holistically.
Shani:
I get inspired by the many possibilities and endless combinations of essential oils, herbs, flowers and colors. It’s fun to create new soaps
Leona:
I am creative, I like the ability to come up with new soaps and other products in my own way. You will always need soap and its nice to create your own formulas to bring the out the best scents and properties.

Q. What is one of your favorite parts of being an artisan?
A: Shani:
I love the freedom to create what I imagine. I love working for myself and with my friends and working my own schedule
Stephanie:
I thrive on creative freedom and flexibility and the lifestyle of the artisan is just that! It’s hard work, but it’s such a great feeling seeing people enjoy and love the very thing you put so much time and effort into!
Leona:
Creating and developing things I truly am passionate about with the flexibility to still have time for my family.
Q. What is on the horizon for you this year?
A: We plan on expanding our adorable & customizable “Mini Bar” collection for events as well as spas and hotels. So be on the lookout!