Small Business Spotlight: Toya Stanitzek (Herb & Earth)
Updated: Feb 3
Today's "small business spotlight" features Toya Stanitzek, founder of Herb & Earth Soap Co! Toya and her husband, Mario, are in our small group and have been such a joy to get to know. I'm excited for you to get to know Toya, too, as she tells us about her amazing business that provides "Handmade Homegrown Healing." I've watched these products be made first hand and, after learning about their ingredients and watching them sell like crazy at a market I assisted her with, I can assure you that they're products you want to know about!
Toya, when it comes to soaps and lotions, your products are simply my favorite. Tell us what inspired you to start Herb & Earth and how long you've been in business.
I started my business over five and a half years ago. I was a stay at home mom of a 2 year old and an infant at the time. They both had eczema. I remember looking at their name brand baby bath products for eczema and wondering what on earth I was putting on my children. I could not pronounce half of the ingredients.
At the time I was already eating paleo and gardening my own herbs, fruits, and vegetables. I was valuing the importance of healthy choices for what I was putting into my body. So shouldn’t I make just as healthy of choices about what I put on to my body and my children’s bodies? Our skin absorbs every ingredient we put on our body and affects its state of health. I then went on a mission to create all natural products for my children and myself. I started with my first goat milk soap.
I realized I wanted everyone to have access to all natural skincare and to have the same opportunity to make healthy choices. As I researched other brands, I realized so many companies overpriced their organic skincare. How could a middle class individual or a college student afford a $25 bar of soap? I wanted to create a product that was affordable and more natural than even what certified organic companies claim to be. My goal is to eventually offer products for all bath and beauty needs.
Why are "all natural" ingredients so important for skincare?
As stated prior, we absorb every ingredient we put on our skin. An over the counter deodorant contains aluminum. Aluminum clogs pores and is linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Most of America is putting metal directly into their lymphatic system and don’t even realize it. Chemicals can disrupt our hormones affecting our thyroids, pregnancies, and more. Skin issues such as eczema and dermatitis can be agitated by chemicals and preservatives in products. The chemicals we wash down our drain are also affecting our environment. I can’t stress enough the importance of making healthy choices for your skincare that are all natural. The research is endless in support of avoiding harsh chemicals and preservatives, and I highly recommend people do the research themselves so they can make an educated decision.
What do you love most about being a small business owner?
I love having the freedom to be able to create products and come up with recipes that are most beneficial to my customers. I also love the flexibility it provides me to still be able to homeschool my children and work from home most days. Lastly, I enjoy being able to choose local ingredients for my products and supporting other local businesses. It’s not about choosing the cheapest ingredients to gain the most profit but about supporting our local community and having the best ingredients.
If people want to buy Christmas gifts from Herb & Earth, where can they find your products?
You can purchase our products on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/herbandearthsoapco. People can shop for our products at Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery in Greenville, That’s Karma in Easley, The Farmacy in Easley, and Goosefeathers in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. We will also be at some amazing events: Swamp Rabbit Holiday Flea December 7 from 11am-3pm, Five Point Church Christmas Market December 13 from 3-9pm, and the TD Holiday Market December 14 from 10am to 2pm.
We're thankful for Toya and her mission to provide affordable, all natural products! I recommend the lavender body lotion (pictured above), the puppy bar (a soap you can safely use on your furry friends), and the clear chapstick - but you can't go wrong with this product line. Stock up this holiday season and be sure to let us know what your favorite products are.