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.

Shop Woodlot >

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.

Holiday Pop-In: Maggie Boyd + Woodlot



Each week we’ll be featuring two designers from our exclusive pop-in from the Pacific Northwest. This week: Ceramic artist Maggie Boyd + Woodlot founder Sonia Chhinji.

MAGGIE BOYD CERAMICS Clay and drawings are Vancouver-based Maggie Boyd’s jam and the combination of the two is nothing short of amazing (check out her Instagram feed to find out what we mean). She completed her BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax and teaches ceramics from her studio in Chinatown. Maggie’s quirky cool earthenware collection includes stackable mugs, tumblers and hanging planters.

WOODLOT Sonia Chhinji is one part of the adorable couple that founded Woodlot. She and her boyfriend Fouad specialize in handmade, coconut wax candles and soap. The candles are specially made to be clean-burning and petroleum free, while the soap is made in small batches with local ingredients from their favorite places in Vancouver. It’s a personal endeavor for both of them. Sonia remembers hand-rolling cotton wicks with her mother for tea lights and Fouad grew up on the Mediterranean coast, helping with the olive press alongside his father and uncle.

We quizzed Maggie and Sonia on their favorite things for the holidays. Check out what they said below.