Meet the Artist: Wooly Beast
We recently collaborated with Wooly Beast, who specializes in home and body products. They not only make soap but also offer candles, beard oils, unisex fragrances, and apparel. All of their products are all natural and hand made right here in Portland, Oregon home studio. All of their products are eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan, and palm oil-free. They reuse materials as much as they can. They recently set up a recycling program at Made Here PDX where customers can drop off their jars and tins and they receive a discount code for helping Wooly Beast become more sustainable!
All of their scents are based on memories, journeys, food, and all the special things that they would want to bring into their home to make it a more cozy and inviting. Our collaboration with Wooly Beast was inspired by scents that remind us of Japan: Yuzu & Cypress. It's a perfect soap to use for your hands, body, and hair.
Read our interview with Trevor and Skylar from Wooly Beast to learn more about their process and how they create their products.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself.
We met while living in NYC. We were ready for a change so we decided to move to the west via CO and finally settled in the Pacific NW.
The wanderlust spirits that we are, we finally settled (probably) and made 3 magical little humans. In Skylar’s other life she works in the field of mental health while Trevor is a photo retoucher. We have one big, crazy, and full life. It is never boring, that’s for sure.
What got you interested in home and body products? How did you start Wooly Beast?
It started from our home kitchen in Portland. We are a bit of homesteader and we wanted to rid harmful chemicals from our home which led us to start making our own home and body products. We started on Etsy and soon after, Urban Outfitters contacted us to carry a few products in some of their stores and online. Once that happened we had to ramp up fairly quickly and take it seriously.
Was creating candles, soap and other products something you've always wanted to do?
We have both always been really creative and this was just an outlet of creativity that made sense since we needed these things for our home.
What makes your products different from others?
Since the inception of Wooly Beast Naturals, our goal was always to use products that we would use in our own home. Our products are all vegan, palm oil-free (which is a challenge to find in soap especially), and free of harmful chemicals. All of our scents are highly blended as well. You won’t find many “Vanilla and peppermint” type scents.
Who or what is your greatest influence?
(Trevor) I think my greatest influence has been my father. As a master carpenter, electrician, and plumber, he taught me how to work with my hands at a very young age, and showed me the value in quality craftsmanship. I was homeschooled for a number of years and would go to work with him a lot, and learned quite a bit during that time. He also built our home from what began as a 1 bedroom log cabin, which was an amazing way to grow up, watching our house constantly evolving around us. It was also a wild ride sometimes, having to walk across a bouncy 2x12 to get to the bathroom since the floor had been removed in the room between. Having young children myself now, I realize how much patience he had and how great of a teacher he was and continues to be. I still call him regularly even when I can find the answer online… it’s always better to talk with Dad about projects, gaining insight from his experiences. And it’s a nice bonding time.
(Skylar) My mother has always been my biggest supporter in everything artistic. She taught art classes in our home growing up, would take me around Miami shooting photography (even at the expense of me having to make up classes in summer school), and entering art classes. My father is inspiring and a hard worker. He is a very successful entrepreneur and has always pushed me to be business-minded and independent.
Being based in Portland, what about this city inspires you creatively?
Everywhere you look people are expressing themselves freely. Everything and anything is embraced and I love the openness about it.
The welcoming spirit and kindness from strangers have also been a huge one for us. It’s also what inspired our ‘Portland - where kindness lives’ apparel collection.
And nature. Just being outside in the woods and mountains nearby, breathing that fresh air and still being so close to home.
Besides your own brand, are there any other brands you go to for home and body items?
Definitely. Some of the brands we love are Schmidt's Deodorant, Olga’s Organics, Saint Olio, Missionary Chocolates.
Which product is the most fun for you to create? Do you have a favorite?
We are super into collaborating with other makers right now and doing more customized limited edition runs. Collaboration is really fun because it’s extremely creative, and since the work of bringing a new product to market is divvied up, both parties get exposed to a new crowd. We have the capability to laser etch our amber jars and to do all types of crazy creative things with our laser, so we are having a lot of fun with that at the moment. We are in a really fun period right now, where we are experimenting with a lot of different things to figure out which way to move forward, so we’re excited to see where that takes us. Most recently we collaborated with LR Design Co. on a metal candle vessel with a laser etched wooden lid, and we teamed up with the Nothing Much Matters podcaster to do a limited edition run of the Winters Walk candle, which was completely inspired by one of her sleepytime podcast stories. If you have trouble shutting your brain off at night to get to sleep, we highly recommend her podcast, it's awesome.
Are there any scents you've found that you cannot live without since starting your business?
(Trevor) I'm really drawn to warm and woodsy scents like Bearded Man and Lumberjack. For soap, I really love Blood Moon for its citrusy scent and Tipsy in Willamette for its fruitiness. I love all of the Supernatural Series soap-fresh, earthy, and a lot with activated charcoal.
Where are your top three places to go to in Portland?
Powell’s Books in the Pearl, The Rebuilding Center on Mississippi, and Lovely’s Fifty Fifty.