Interview with Rachel Winard, founder of Soapwalla


Rachel Winard is the soap master ("Soap-Walla"), the woman behind the cult brand Soapwalla. Biomazing had the pleasure of talking to the power woman and conducting an exciting interview, which not only focuses on the cult brand but also on the woman behind the scenes, her motivation and exciting news.

Since 2009, Rachel has been producing natural, organic and, above all, effective cult care products for connoisseurs, gourmets and all those who are very sensitive. Production still takes place by hand and in her own studio, from where the many parcels are sent all over the world. Biomazing wanted to know what motivated the founding of Soapwalla and what has characterised Rachel and her meteoric rise the most.

Biomazing: Thank you for making time for us despite your hectic schedule, Rachel! And speaking of your busy day: Did you ever think you would be so successful and be the founder, owner and manager of your own business?

Rachel Winard: Definitely not! I never planned to start my own business and I originally developed my skincare range out of necessity. I have lupus, an autoimmune disease that can develop in different directions. Like others who have lupus, I get terrible rashes, hives and irritated patches of skin. The worst was when I couldn't even use plain water to clean myself without getting skin irritations!

The idea for Soapwalla came to me late one night in my flat after months of searching for products that could soothe my skin. I tried everything on the market and ended up creating my own products that were as healthy and healing as possible. From then on things progressed quickly and in December 2009 I launched the Soapwalla skincare range! Since then it's been like a dream come true for me!

Biomazing: What do you enjoy most about your work?

Rachel Winard: The interaction with my customers. It makes me really happy to hear when my products have been able to help them, that they no longer have pain, eczema is healed, inflammation heals and healthy skin develops. As I know myself how painful and lengthy it can be, these stories give me the greatest pleasure.

Biomazing: As the founder, owner and manager of your own company, you must have more than your hands full. Do you ever take time for yourself and switch off, or are you always thinking about what products you could develop next?

Rachel Winard: I really work a lot and rarely take time just for myself. Even when I go on holiday I answer emails and especially when I'm travelling (for example to Costa Rica, France or India) I try to learn as much as possible about the local herbs and spices. In that sense, I'm always learning, thinking and reading! I'm currently thinking about maybe taking a whole year off in 2015 to relax and recharge my batteries.

Biomazing: What motivates you in your work and what inspires you in your everyday life? 

Rachel Winard: I have a huge passion for my job! I can't imagine what it would be like if my work wasn't so close to my heart. I also enjoy my everyday life! It looks like this:
I always get up at 5 a.m. and then personally answer all my customers' and partners' emails. After that, I switch to yoga and meditation. That helps me a lot because it keeps me grounded and I can "revitalise" myself. Then I walk to my studio and get to work, because we still produce all our products by hand and in small batches! I am overjoyed that I can spend my days like this and it motivates me every day anew! A large part of my inspiration and creativity also comes from acquiring knowledge. I read and learn as much as I can about plants and oils, their active ingredients, possible uses and modes of action. This also makes me want to try out what I have learnt!

Biomazing: You spent 4 months in India and say that this time also changed you. Would you like to tell us about it? 

Rachel Winard: With pleasure! Before I travelled to India, I suffered a lot from my illness and its consequences. I had to take strong medication and I was also undergoing chemotherapy at the time, which sapped all my strength. To get back on my feet, I decided to spend four months in India and concentrate on my health instead of my illness. I went to an Ayurvedic doctor four times a week and practised yoga every day. Ayurveda is based on and relies on the effects of various herbs, spices, metals, stones and dietary combinations that contribute to healing. The rapid improvement in my well-being has strengthened my faith in the natural healing power and has greatly influenced my actions.

Biomazing: What's the best advice you've ever been given?

Rachel Winard: The best advice I've ever been given, which I still think about every day, is: listen to your instincts. My instinct has never let me down!

Biomazing: Soapwalla is primarily known for its phenomenally compatible and effective products, above all the deodorant cream, but there are also soaps, a face serum, oils and lip balms. Which is your personal favourite product and why?

Rachel Winard: That's a difficult question! One product I definitely couldn't live without is my Restorative Face Serum. My skin is so sensitive that I can only use this serum on my face. But I use all the products you mentioned every day, my toner, my soaps (my current favourite is the soap with Bamboo activated charcoal and bitter orange oil), luxurious body oils and my lip balms! I also alternate often and use different flavours.

Biomazing: For a long time, people thought that the best thing for the skin was to spend a lot of money on expensive but chemical-packed products. However, we are slowly realising that this is not the right way to go. What advice can you give to those who are unsure and have not yet found their happy medium? 

Rachel Winard: Less is more when it comes to our skin! The skin is incredibly intuitive and can breathe much better if we don't cover it in a thousand different products. It's not just the number of different products that matters, but also the number of ingredients! If we bombard our bodies with dozens of products every day, this creates an imbalance that the body cannot defend itself against. So if your skin suddenly starts to cause problems, the first step should be to cut down on products! Save on the products!

When my skin is very irritated, I use finely grated cereal flakes to cleanse it, my moisturising toner to revive it and my restorative facial serum to moisturise it again. That's it!

Biomazing: All your products are made by hand. What is your favourite thing about this process?

Rachel Winard: I see the different ways that natural products can work in different seasons! It's really exciting, shea butter for example has a completely different texture in summer than in winter. It also depends on what food the bees were eating when they were pollinating the trees, what was in the soil at the time and many other factors! This is incredibly exciting because it points to the big and important connections. I also love working with my hands, I'm a very hands-on person and enjoy working with the ingredients. The human aspect is also part of production, which I feel is missing in machine-made products.

Biomazing: Your deodorant cream is the best-known Soapwalla product and is considered the best natural deodorant in the world. Why do you think nobody has been able to imitate you so far? 

Rachel Winard: I think the deodorant has become so popular because it is a natural product that really works. I, like many others, have tried every natural deodorant on the market and just wasn't satisfied. Soapwalla's Deodorant Cream uses only natural ingredients (most are even edible!) and I think the simple fact that the deodorant does its job so reliably and effectively, while containing no dangerous chemicals, is the key to its success.

Biomazing: Our readers are naturally keen to know what exciting new projects you are working on at the moment?

Rachel Winard: Next month I will be introducing a travel toiletry bag that makes me very happy! In collaboration with Maptotes, a screen printing company, I have developed a reusable travel bag and I can't wait until we finally launch the product! I'm also working on a second flavour for the deodorant cream which will be out in November. Lots of exciting things are planned!

Biomazing: You've been featured in numerous magazines, had a career as a lawyer, you own your own company, write your own music... What do you personally consider your greatest success? 

Rachel Winard: That's a difficult question. To be honest, I think my greatest success still lies ahead of me!

Biomazing: Thank you for this exciting and honest conversation, Rachel! We are a fan of your products and now of you too! We are excited to see what Soapwalla will surprise us with in the future.


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