For Deanna Wallin, Naples Soap Company’s founder and CEO, beauty is more than skin deep. It’s in the carefully curated organic ingredients, the essential oils used to create signature scents and the packaging. Or, even more stunning, the lack of packaging.
Founded 11 years ago in Fort Myers, the company now has 13 retail stores (the first was in Naples) and whenever possible, the jewel-toned soaps, shampoo bars, and bath bombs are “open-stock,” displayed naked without a shred of plastic or paper. “It’s not only a feast for the eyes, but we leave very little impact on our carbon footprint,” says Deanna. “We use a plastic seal only when absolutely needed, very little exterior plastics and very little preservatives in our products.”
Deanna believes her skin problems were impacted by the pollutants in the air, in the water and in the foods we consume. “Those pollutants seem to come from everywhere and the waste out there is a big part of it. I didn’t want that for my family and I sure don’t want it for others out there.”
That desire has fueled the growth of the company.
Naples Soap’s retail and e-commerce operations are exploding (up 40 percent last year) and wholesale operations continue to rapidly expand across the US as the headquarters here grows to around 65 employees including a dedicated Wellness Director. Debra Orringer is responsible for helping to improve the overall well-being of employees through motivational training, stress management tactics, exercise incentives, and healthy eating education. Externally, Orringer will provide wellness education through company blog posts, newsletters, social media channels, and speaking opportunities.
“I consider myself more of a pioneer than an entrepreneur in the natural beauty space,” says Deanna, whose struggles with eczema and psoriasis powered her diligent search for products to relieve her symptoms. “Having been a nurse, I understood the effects harsh commercial chemicals can have on the body. Reading labels of products and researching common ingredients in cosmetic and beauty products was a real eye-opener. I learned about propylene glycol, parabens, hardening agents, sulfates, and much more. I began using natural and organic products on myself and my daughter. Before long, we were seeing amazing results. The combination of these ingredients made a tremendous difference in our skin.”
Last fall, Naples Soap introduced a full line of products made with Hemp oil in two unisex scents: Original and Eucalyptus. Deanna describes a “unisex scent” as gender-neutral - woodsy, earthy, green, citrus-forward, sometimes spicy. “Also, men are loving lavender for its happy, feel-good effects. And, we encourage layering different scents too,” says Deanna.
Continuing to explore new natural beauty products, Naples Soap recently introduced a bath line made with sake, the sweet Japanese alcoholic drink made from fermented rice. Deanna explains that the fermentation process produces loads of amino acids and enzymes that are very beneficial for your skin. A sake soak can help hydrate, brighten, soothe and detoxify and some say sake will clear evil spirits and give way to new beginnings.
Continuing a commitment to sustainability far beyond packaging, ingredients are carefully chosen for their minimal impact on the environment. You won’t find sodium lauryl sulfate SLS in any of their products. An ingredient added to provide a great lather, the chemical can cause irritation to sensitive scalps. In addition, Deanna says this nasty lathering agent is a carcinogen and hormone adjuster.
While she is continually studying trends and exploring the science of environmental impact, what really drives the company’s progress and new product development are the customers. “We are inspired by our customers who constantly give us feedback in our stores and online and we listen,” Deanna says.
Not only are these soaps beautiful, but they are also the natural alternative to conventional soaps and plastic poufs that produce plastic waste. Made with vegetable glycerin and natural loofah, these soaps are gentle yet effective at exfoliating and moisturizing the skin.
Take a moment to destress and relax with a luxurious hot bath and therapeutic bath bomb. Made with Epsom salts, these bath bombs help to reduce swelling and relieve soreness while cocoa butter works to hydrate the skin.
Create a spa-like experience from your shower with a shower bomb. Aromatic essential oils are released into the steamy air to help relax the spirit and calm the mind. Available in three scents including Menthol, Eucalyptus Mint, and Lavender.
Ditch the bottle and switch to the bar… a hair bar that is. These SLS-free, compact, travel-friendly shampoo bars last between 50 and 75 washes. They leave hair feeling clean, soft and nourished without stripping away natural oils or hair color.
The light-weight, no waste way to moisturize your hair and scalp. These conditioner bars are made with cocoa butter and coconut oil to leave hair silky and hydrated without weighing down your hair or stripping your color.
Natural Soaps and Sea Salt Soaps
These gentle soaps are made with premium, natural ingredients to help cleanse and hydrate the face and body. They are great for people with skin sensitives including eczema, psoriasis, and acne due to their anti-oxidant enriched ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil.
All of these products are handmade in the USA and sold without plastic packaging.