“Nostalgia Life: The simple, natural pleasures. Taking time to laugh with our children, nurture friendships and watch a butterfly’s erratic flight. Enjoy a warm cup of honey tea and give thanks to all the beautiful things around us.”
Elea Lutz is the founder of one very cool soap company, Nostalgia (yes, that’s her adorable baby picture below). There are so many things that I absolutely LOVE about her company. Elea takes pride in using natural ingredients, a portion of her profits are donated and her designs are off the charts cute! So sit back, relax, and let’s get to know Elea…
Anne-Marie: I always have to know… how did you get started making soap and balms?
Elea: I started experimenting with handmade soaps and balms about 9 years ago – purely out of curiosity. I enjoyed mixing and testing ingredients and learning how they all worked together. I had a particular interest in natural essential oils and herbs and the benefits they provided so I also started taking classes and reading a lot of books on the subject. I worked full time in the corporate world until a few years ago when my son was born. So my ‘experiments’ were just a fun way to feed my creativity and interests. However, during my pregnancy, I started creating my own products, such as belly balm and aromatherapy spray for morning sickness, because I couldn’t find similar products or 100% natural versions in stores. Developing those products, paired with my love of design, really planted the seed for my future business.
Anne-Marie: Is Nostalgia Organics a full time or part time job?
Elea: Full time.
Anne-Marie: What’s your favorite product to make?
Elea:If I had to choose – hmm…I’d say the aromatherapy balms. I get to bring out some of my favorite essential oils, like ylang-ylang and neroli, to blend. The studio smells heavenly!
Anne-Marie: Do you have any other outlets (farmer’s market, retail shop)?
Elea: I have an online retail shop at www.nostalgiaorganics.com. I also recently started offering my collection at wholesale to other retailers and am excited to now have products in several boutiques and spas. I’ll also be participating in some upcoming local holiday shows.
Anne-Marie: What’s the best thing about running your own business?
Elea: Freedom and creativity are the first words that come to mind. I love the freedom to set my own schedule and work around time with my son and husband. It’s not unusual to find me checking emails or tweeting something (grin) at 3am when the house is quiet. I’m also very creative and enjoy developing a business that is design focused – from the fabrics and prints down to every tiny detail – I design everything and love the creative outlet.
Anne-Marie: You’re very philanthropic; how did you get get started with the Beautiful Survivor program?
Elea: The Beautiful Survivor is a grass-roots effort I began developing alongside Nostalgia Organics. Beautiful Survivor was inspired by my own loss of a grandmother to ovarian cancer and dear friend to leukemia. I volunteer and partner with non-profit programs and contribute a portion of my profits towards nurturing women and girls with cancer. For the past several years, I’ve participated with our local Light the Night Walk (lightthenight.org) to help raise funds towards battling blood cancers. This year I also began contributing to Face in the Mirror (faceinthemirror.org), a Phoenix-based outreach program that provides chemical-free skin care products, hand massages and wigs or scarves to women in local hospitals. The Beautiful Survivor program has always been paired with my vision for Nostalgia Organics. I wanted to create a business that gave back to its community when and where it could through some type of outreach – and this cause was a natural choice for me.
Anne-Marie:Giving back is so important and admirable! On that positive note, let’s take a little intermission. Same place, same time. See you tomorrow!
Vinca Leaf Quilts says
So beautiful it *hurts*!!!
Under the Willow gifts... says
Clearly a standout talent!
Rose Carbajal says
The packaging is so lovely! Such a completely package and very appealing to the eye…
Katwoman – I would highly recommend just talking to a local print shop. Here in Bellingham, we have many locally owned copy and print shops that can print short run full color laser prints as well as offset printing for larger quantities. And the great thing about a local place is that you can see real examples of their work and more easily show them what you are trying to achieve. Of course, I'm sure there are also many online services as well.
Teresa & Soapylove – I agree! Her design and packaging is amazing. Just wait until the second part of the interview, her packaging is even cooler than you think!
What a gorgeous line, and Elea sounds so down to earth! Her packaging is breath taking!
I'm amazed and awed that she designs everything down to the littlest details! I'd love to be able to do that, but my brain can't handle more than one project at a time, and tends to forget everything while I'm searching for a notepad to jot my ideas down. :}
Thanks for finding all these cool and brilliant artisans to interview, Anne-Marie!
On that note, I am still designing and re-designing and re-re-redesigning my own labels. The good thing is I am learning photoshop! Yippee
Perfectionistic to the nth degree.
OCD and all the rest.
I finally came up with an idea. How about a really plain label with my name on it. And then use a paper that has my design on it.
You stick the label on top of the paper that wraps the product, and voila; there is your branding.
Is there anywhere out there a company who will print papers custom for you? It is just so terribly important (to me).
I see nostalgia has beautiful wrappings that display her cuteness and beauty and joy, but standardized labels. Kind of like that. Only the same design over and over in different colors.
How completely adorable!
I love her design and her heart.
I love the message in her packaging.
It is obvious she works with joy in her heart.
A simply delightful interview.
Adorable packaging and great message! Good luck to Nostalgia Soaps!