Business Spotlight: Perennial Soaps

Perennial Soaps started in 2011 in the kitchen of the owner, Erin Manders because she was frustrated with the lack of natural, vegan bath and body products in her home town.

Combing through long ingredient lists and searching for vegan options in a sea of chemical and preservative heavy soaps was tiresome. Manders realized that it’s possible to make great soap using just the essentials, like beneficial olive and coconut oils, shea butter, and high quality fragrances to produce unexpected scent combinations. She also added fresh botanicals such as locally grown lavender and calendula.

Then she cut the soap into 5-ounce bars and labeled them with the ingredients. Free of parabens, detergents and unnecessary chemicals, most of the products have less than nine ingredients.

Certified cruelty free by PETA and Leaping Bunny, Perennial Soap products are tested on friends – not animals.

What is the primary focus of your business?

Plant based soap, bath and body products and handmade gifts from around the Midwest.

Why did you start your business?

I taught myself basic soap recipes from a combination of soap making books from the 70s and DIY websites. After some trial and error, I started selling at indie craft fairs and markets. When the business outgrew my home, I moved my studio to the 16th Street Studios inside the Racine Business Center. My studio is now located in the rear section of my new store, Perennial Handmade Studio, which sells my full line of products, plant based bath and body products and handmade gifts by makers I’ve met doing shows around the Midwest.

What makes it special?

Perennial Soaps product line. The other bath and body products you’ll find here are all vegan and due to rainforest destruction, they are 100 percent palm oil free.

Why did you choose your location?

The building is gorgeous and full of history. It’s a great fit for my business. I love Sixth Street and the accessibility for shoppers.

What can your clients/customers expect when they come to your business?

We currently have over 24 bar soap scents along with foaming liquid soap, roll on perfume, body/room mist, lip balm, tattoo balm, bath bombs and more. Look for exclusive in-store only scents and new handmade vendors soon!

If YOU go to Perennial Handmade Studio

Where: 316 6th Street Racine, WI 53403

When: Sunday through Wednesday: Closed; Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How to contact: [email protected]