Tanya Zurock believes that taking care of your skin shouldn’t be complicated. Over 21 years ago, she was a school teacher with her own young children at home who suffered with a variety of skin conditions including dryness, irritation, redness and eczema. At that time, Tanya was surprised to learn you could make your own soap, so she got to work and created soap bars with natural ingredients that helped resolve her kid’s skin issues. This was the beginning of Wild Prairie Soap Company, and a few years later, Tanya quit her teaching job to go full-time as a self-taught, natural soap maker with a simple mission: To create simple, natural skincare that is both affordable and effective.
As a part of our local vendor spotlight series, we chatted with Tanya recently to learn more about her amazing product line that includes a delectable variety of soaps, moisturizing lotion bars, lip balms, bath bombs, men’s shave kits (and a Signature Beer Soap Six Pack – perfect for Father’s Day!) that are all brand new to SPUD.ca.
In a world that is saturated with options, what makes your soap unique?
We are committed to good formulation techniques and using our depth of ingredient knowledge to truly make the most effective natural soap. We value sticking to the science of good soap and staying away from “green washing.” Another distinguishing feature is all our bars are oval shaped, instead of a square chunk, and fit ergonomically in your hand!
We use locally sourced ingredients as much as possible including our oats, milk, beeswax, lavender, Canadian glacial clay, local beers, and Canadian harvested natural essential oils. We even collaborated with six local breweries and created soaps based on the beer flavour categories, which landed us a runner-up spot in the Made in Alberta Awards put on by Avenue Magazine.
The quality of oils used in soap determines the final quality of the soap, which can be measured by three factors: stability of lather, moisturizing ability, and hardness (which is key for determining the number of uses and making it long-lasting). Our bars are all comprised of 50% quality olive oil which makes the soap harder than most and gives it better longevity.
What is your most popular product?
By category, our soap bars are the favourite as our keystone product. The top scents are Prairie Sunflower, Lavender Bloom, Oatmeal Milk & Honey, and Charcoal Rosa. Our stone soap dishes are functional, look great in every bathroom and last well. We are also excited to launch our new, all-natural shampoo and conditioner bars this summer!
How has the global pandemic impacted your business?
As much as we don’t love the pandemic, we do love that soap has taken a spotlight. More than ever, this crisis has made us aware of the necessity of soap as an essential product! There are signs everywhere to wash your hands with SOAP, so there is more of a public cry about this now.
Another thing we realized during this time is that not everyone has access to soap. In response, we started an initiative called Accessible Soap for All, and committed to donating 1 kg of soap to a community agency for every order on our website. We’ve partnered with Boyle Street and WIN House in Edmonton and Woods Homes in Calgary. We have now donated thousands of bars of soap, which has been really rewarding and felt like the right thing to do. Not having soap in a pandemic is like not having food in a famine, so we are grateful for the opportunity to provide great, natural soap to our community in need.
What you do value about the partnership with SPUD.ca?
We love what SPUD.ca stands for – great service and quality products with a focus on local. The service is easy to get and enjoy, and our customer base is very aligned value-wise. It’s exciting that SPUD.ca customers can now add our soap and other products to their grocery delivery order!
About the author: Heather @livefullynutrition is our in-house Holistic Nutritional Consultant and the Community Engagement Lead for SPUD.ca and Blush Lane Organic Market in Edmonton, Alberta. She loves to make connections between people and healthy options, is an enthusiastic wellness educator, and enjoys teaching cooking classes. You can find her whipping up new recipes, cycling in the river valley or sipping on a soy latte.