By Megan Barber, Co-op Owner, Wellness Buyer
You might have seen the beautifully crafted, handmade, vegan, local bars of soap from Sapling & Sprout on the shelves of GreenTree this past summer. These hand cut bars are made in Farmington Hills, MI, with essential oils and fragrances that are paraben and phthalate free, and they’re vegan too! Dawn Sandahl, a former Wellness Buyer for GreenTree, has been crafting bar soaps, mists, lip balms, and salves for over four years.
In high school, Dawn’s science teacher brought in a soap maker to help explain organic chemistry to the class through saponification, or the process of making soap. Although, it wasn’t until after graduating college in 2011 and moving into a roommate-free apartment that Dawn had the time and space to really explore the process. She began crafting her own soaps to get away from the detergents, petro-chemicals, and animal products often found in conventional bars of soap. When making the soaps by hand, Dawn was able to formulate vegan, natural, and organic products. She is also able to create unique scent mixtures like Anise-Vanilla and the very popular Lime-Orange-Patchouli, turning the whole crafting process into a creative outlet!
Starting out, Dawn was selling just enough product through Etsy to make her new found hobby self-sustaining while she learned the finer points of soap making. Then, Sapling & Sprout grew from online sales to having a booth at the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market in 2013. After moving out of the Mount Pleasant area, Dawn is back to selling an extensive line of handmade products online, and now here at GreenTree Cooperative Grocery! The name Sapling & Sprout came about as a way to incorporate her love of nature into her business. (And it might just have something to do with the likeness of her very tall partner and her slightly shorter stature!)
From the beginning, Dawn wanted to make products that were affordable, as close to nature, and with as natural ingredients as she possibly could. She believes in being an environmental steward by choosing organic ingredients, plant based oils, essential oils, and certified sustainable palm oil. There is no better way to support local small business than to try a handmade bar of soap, an organic mist, or a vegan lip balm from Sapling & Sprout on Small Business Saturday, November 29th!
Learn more about Dawn’s products on her facebook page.