Talking charcoal, coconut and beauty traditions with Woodlot

Discovering charcoal for beauty products is kind of an epiphany. When first using Woodlot’s small-batch charcoal soap you’re distracted by the dark suds for a split second and then totally enveloped by this amazing scent and feel. Local Vancouverite Sonia Chhinji originally began making candles with her boyfriend as a fun side project and lucky for us, it snowballed into a full-blown career and natural beauty company with olive oil soaps and more. The couple (now engaged) draw from the beauty traditions of their heritages and make it their mission to keep everything toxin free. We’re excited to have them as part of our holiday collection of exclusives and we obviously had to quiz them on the whole story. Here, Sonia spills on their process and all her favorite things.

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NOT ONLY DO YOUR PRODUCTS SMELL AMAZING, THE INGREDIENTS ARE ACTUALLY GOOD FOR US. TELL US ABOUT THAT. I’ve been a candle lover my entire life. As a child, I would hand roll cotton wicks with my mom to make tea lights for Diwali and to light around our home. My partner Fouad has been making soap bars for years, a practice he learned back in Lebanon. We’re both pretty conscious of what we put into our body and were starting to apply this way of thinking in other aspects of our lives as well. I quickly discovered that a lot of the products I was purchasing in my home and in beauty were made up of toxic ingredients. We started to play around with a number of plant-based waxes and discovered coconut wax. It’s not the simplest wax to work with, but we loved how clean it burned and went for it.

Meet the Boutique: Bibelot & Token

Outfitting your home is just as important as outfitting your person, so we’ve recruited some amazing home goods boutiques to help you do just that. Toronto’s Bibelot & Token is one of them. Run by Bianca Goldman, a hilarious former copywriter who took a career right turn when she became a mother, the online boutique has all the minimalist accessories, apothecary finds and home goods of our dreams. We caught up with her to talk all things decor and find out about a few of her favorite things.

 

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TELL US HOW YOUR BOUTIQUE STARTED. I had been secretly creative and trying to find a way to bust out of an office-rut, in my own slow and quiet way, for years. I had been writing copy and sitting behind a computer for the brunt of my adult working life, so after I had my daughter, I wanted to figure out a way to re-jig and revamp my life in a way that would allow me to work, but not be bound by a 9-5. And I wanted to be around for the moppet. I had a good, long think on it, and decided to throw caution to the wind and combine my love of all things design — fashion (I’ve been writing my blog, A Wee Bit Skint, for roughly nine years now), textile, decor, jewelry, etc. — and open up a little online shop.