An Interview with Rachel wolf
Tell us the story of Lüsa—where did it all begin?
Founder Rachel Wolf made her first batch of soap in 1996 in a dormitory at a nature center on the north shore of Lake Superior. An unpaid graduate student intern, Rachel was looking for affordable, homemade holiday gifts for family and friends. She convinced her friends that soapmaking was where it was at, and they made a batch together.
She was hooked.
In 2002, pregnant with her first child, Rachel quit her career in environmental education and began selling products as “Queen Bee Soaps & Baby Moon” throughout Wisconsin. Then four years later (when their second child was on her way) Rachel’s husband Pete quit his job to join Rachel in the body care realm. They rebranded Queen Bee Soaps and Baby Moon, and LüSa Organics was born!
(The name LüSa comes from the names of their two children, Lupine and Sage.)
What is your mission?
Vision Statement: LüSa Organics is creating a world of pleasure through pure products and positive principles.
Mission Statement: LüSa Organics is a natural body care company with a mission of enriching lives through the pleasure of our products and the positive impact of our business practices. That impact touches individuals, communities, and the world.
Our Intention: We strive to make soap so good that you have a better day just for having washed with it. Then your better day inspires another’s better day and the whole world spirals into happiness. Not bad for simply washing up!
Natural can be a confusing word in this industry—what does natural mean to you?
To us natural means this: is it recognizable? Could I make it in my kitchen with a few basic tools? If not I don’t call it natural.
Where are your operations located—from conception to production to shipping?
LüSa Organics is located in Viroqua, WI. Until recently we were a home-based business, operating out of a designated kitchen in our home, but for the past 1 1/2 years we have been located in a small business incubator in our small town know as the Food Enterprise Center. Here we make all of the LüSa products that you love, ship orders, and experiment with new formulas.
How many people does Lusa employ?
In addition to our two founders, Rachel and Pete Wolf, LüSa employs five team members.
How do you source your ingredients?
We source ingredients from around the world and from right here in our own community. Driftless Organics (our neighbors in the Driftless region) sunflower oil is in all of our soaps, and some certified organic Amish friends grow our organic calendula flowers for Booty Balm and Calendula Baby Soap. Other products are carefully handpicked from ethical companies around the world. (Our shea butter for example comes from a women’s worker owned cooperative in Togo, Africa.)
What is your favorite product?
Oh! You might ask me who my favorite child is! My favorite product of all is Booty Balm. I created it for my son when he was a sensitive baby with sensitive skin. There couldn’t have been a better baby to test it on! It is effective, gentle, and nothing short of magical. Now that our youngest is almost seven you would think out Booty Balm days would be over, yet we still use it constantly on cuts, scrapes, sunburn, and rashes.
What’s next? Anything on the horizon?
We’re so excited about the new products on our horizon. A few new soaps—Da Balm (for eczema), Booty Calm (for hemorrhoids), and Booby Balm (for nursing mothers)—are all coming out later this summer. So much goodness and healing is just around the bend.