home bodies: liz wible of wild lather
welcome to maker + merchant's new interview series, home bodies. I am thrilled to kick off the series with maker + merchant friend and collaborator, liz wible. liz is the founder + maker behind wild lather, a california- based handmade cold processed soap studio using time-honored traditions to craft nourishing soaps.
We are thrilled to partner with Wild Lather for our new Tender Flower Gentle Cleansing Bar! Keep reading to learn more about Liz, where she gathers her inspiration, how she got started hand crafting soap, and where she feels most connected to nature.
We want to get into the roots of your story, but let’s start with your early years: where did you grow up?
In New Hampshire as the oldest of six children – Lots of playing in the woods, snow, and ocean!
What turned you on to natural bath rituals?
I was first introduced to the craft of cold process soap making through my childhood best friend’s mother. Whenever I would visit, she had bars of soap curing on the shelves in her home and it smelled incredible. From there I began to appreciate how these handmade objects could transform the bathing experience. From the scent to the lather – I became enamored.
How was the business born?
In 2014, I made my first batch following a step-by-step guide in Lena Corwin’s book, Made by Hand. The guide was actually created by my aforementioned friend’s mother, Liane Tyrrel! It quickly became a hobby that I would gift and occasionally sell to family and friends. In 2017, my partner and I decided to leave our jobs and lease to travel before settling down. During those eight months I became so inspired by the artisans we had the pleasure of meeting along the way. From knife makers in Stockholm to ceramists in Japan, I was in awe of the idea of honing in on one skill and learning every single facet of it. I decided to take the leap upon returning to New England and officially launched Wild Lather in December 2018.
Was skincare and healthy living an essential pillar in your home and growing up?
Honestly, no! While my parents were fairly strict about avoiding overly processed foods, no one ever thought twice about what we were putting on our bodies. Our home was filled with cucumber melon fragranced items and apricot face scrub.
What’s something you can’t live without right now?
Walks with my dog. My partner and I adopted him recently and he’s really given me a reminder to take a break, move my body, and breathe in some fresh air.
When do you feel most connected to nature?
When I’m in a cool, damp forest. My favorite place to take a deep breath.
What is a memory or moment that can bring you right back into connection with your skin + nature?
Bathing, truly! I’ve made a conscious effort to simplify my bathing space to include just a few plant-based products and tools. It’s really helped me create a deeper relationship with my skin and nature.
What are some of your favorite rituals and daily practices that incorporate self love?
I love oiling my body while it’s still slightly damp after a bath. It keeps me connected to my physical self and reminds me to appreciate all that It does for me.
Who’s someone you’re following or inspired by right now?
I just opened my Instagram and Sonoko Sakai (@sonokosakai) was the first to pop up! She’s an LA-based Japanese American home cooking teacher and author. Her recipes, imagery, and products are beautiful, slow, and delicious.
Where is one place you dream to visit next and bathe in nature?
I would love to visit Yosemite as I moved to California about a year ago and still haven’t been! A little cabin near a grove of sequoias with an outdoor bath sounds like an absolute dream.
The names of your individual products are quite dreamy, what’s in a name?
My core collection of triangles was inspired by the scent nostalgia associated with places my partner and I visited during our travels in 2018. The memory of a small yuzu we were gifted in Japan inspired the Kyoto soap and a lavender colored sunset off Australia’s Great Ocean Road influenced the 12 Apostles triangle.
Where do you draw inspiration from when creating a new scent or product?
Nature, plant properties, scent nostalgia, functionalism, and time-honored craft methods.
Maker + Merchant strives to create radically simple rituals. What does simplicity mean to you?
Simplicity to me feels like doing what feels most natural and minimal, hopefully to bring you closer to yourself and nature.
For someone who is curious about what goes into creating an all natural soap, where can we begin to learn?
We have some common questions answered on the FAQ page of our website, but if you’re interested in learning how to make your own, I recommend Lena Corwin’s Made by Hand.
Where can we find you on the internet?
Check out our new collaboration with Wild Lather here.