Happy 9 years in Whole Foods!!! Did you find us through Whole Foods?? Please leave us a comment and let us know which is “your store”. Did you know we first introduced our cruelty free, toxin free, hand crafted soaps back in Nov of 2009? We get a lot of folks that congratulate us on our “overnight success” 😂 I believe there is no such thing. There is hard work and passion and lots of luck and loving what you do and being insanely, obsessively persistent about it, oh — and exceptional ingredients for a fab product and hopefully people will love it! 🥰
Even though I have been crafting my own natural skincare since 2003 and have owned the name since right around that time, Strawberry Hedgehog didn’t legally become a biz until Jan 2007. Making everything out of my home in Maricopa, blogging and cooking and working like a crazy lady to finish up my Master’s in Geological Science. I had been teaching at South Mountain Community College and when the economy tanked I experienced my first semester with too few students to teach! My job was cancelled for a semester and I thought I had better get this soap thing going! I dropped off some soaps to someone in Whole Body at the Chandler Whole Foods, hoped for the best, but didn’t hear back. Unrelated, later that year sweet (fierce, no bs, down to earth) D’arcy reached out to me and we started the long process of seeing if we were a good fit for WF. Our first delivery was this month 9 years ago, you can see on the table Pumpkin Spice, Almond Oatmeal, Tea Tree Rosemary and Eucalyptus Lime. Chandler was our very first WF location and they’re still one of our biggest supporters!! 😻
Ours is not exactly an easy product to sell.. we drop off our huge bricks of soap and we help get them sliced and set up and then it is entirely up to the team there. The Whole Body team (on top of knowing everything about every supplement, ailment, makeup, clothing line, home care and skincare line) is responsible for slicing, merchandising and caring for our soap babies, not to mention knowing everything they can to help you find exactly what you need, placing orders and doing inventory and playing the “how fast can Tracy make this for us” game to try to keep their tables full and fabulous. I have met truly some of my best friends through Whole Foods and I am so very grateful to everyone who has helped get us to this point, 9 years strong! 💪 Hugest thanks to D’Arcy for believing in me and my product to bring us in in 2008, look what you’ve done, lady!! Katerina, Diana, Alicia, Tessa, Christy, Vivian, Ireyse, Mary, Ray, Reyna, Pat, Michale, David, Julie, Taryn, Kimberly, Melissa! There have been a lot of amazing helpers over the years and I am so very grateful to teams of years past and current super stars!! Thank you!!! 🌟
Things have come a loooooong way in 9 years! From starting with just one store while I personally make, package, invoice, deliver and display to every individual Whole Foods to now being in 16 Whole Foods across the Southwest we have ramped things up significantly over time. Gnomie Austin has been my right hand gal, second brain and BFF for years but it has been just over a year since she has taken on the position of Whole Foods Ambassador Gnomie! Because of her incredible attention to detail, beautiful eye for soap arranging, super charming, personable flare for the dramatic, patience with yours truly and her incredible relationship building we have had more deliveries this year than ever! She is the Queen of the Phoenix valley stores, personally weighing, invoicing, delivering, slicing and arranging to all 5 locations across the valley!!! She is now also in charge of making sure all out of town deliveries get put together with love and sent to where they need to be ASAP. One of those places she sends to is to Gnomie Steff in Tucson who has been helping us since February of this year and lovingly maintains the Oracle, Speedway, and River Road locations. One of the things we pride ourselves on is this personal attention and that wouldn’t be possible without these two! Thank you, ladies!!!
For every single Whole Foods order we have ever received in our 9 years of selling them our beloved bars, we plant a tree in our National Parks! Now.. that’s only about 940 orders so far in our 9 years but we know through this holiday season we will get to 1,000 so we rounded up and have now donated to plant 1,000 trees!!!! 🌲 🌳 🌲 We believe strongly in giving back and this is such a rewarding and impactful way to do so. Every tree acts to clean the air of carbon dioxide and acts as carbon storage for years to come, not to mention producing oxygen and their incredible beauty and medicine. Especially with the terrible fires on the rise, we are grateful to be able to support our forests this way. 🙏
Over the last 9 years of being in Whole Foods I am so very proud to have made 120,000 bars of soap, that’s almost 40,000lbs!!!! 🤯 That is so many people reached 😭 I never dreamt my little hobby of making soap for myself and friends so I wouldn’t feel sick and my loved ones would stay well could reach that quantity! 🙏 Thank you so very much for your support all these years, or if you are new here, welcome! I, Tracy, am really obsessively committed in the same way I was back in the day, to toxin free vegan products, I am still the sole soap maker but have a spectacular team of Soap Gnomes that help keep the factory buzzing and me at my most efficient by painstakingly unmolding soap, helping wash the soap pots, reassembling molds with precision and care, not to mention keeping our own Soap Shop & Vegan Boutique running!! 🌟🌟🌟 🥰 So grateful for 9 years with Whole Foods and hope to look forward to many years more! 💗