You know we love our local creators and doers and dreamers. Throw in these nitty gritty details - smart women with big brains and hearts on a mission to change the world and WE'RE IN. ( Also, in full disclosure, creams and soaps and serums made organically and sustainably and smelling scrumptious? They get me EVERY DAMN TIME.)
At a recent Artists and Fleas market on Abbot Kinney, I wandered into the SudSource booth with a friend (and my Jack Russell, Fred). Owners/founders Kathleen O'Clock and Julianne Reynolds were lovely and helpful and I instantly adored their philosophy - curb waste and protect the environment while choosing and using non-toxic, totally sustainable body, hair, and skin care products. Refill and reuse and repeat. They'll also deliver TO YOUR DOOR. Could Sephora ever make that claim?
So, while this SHAPERS feature isn't about photography, furniture, timeless design or bitchin' textiles, it is about honoring our creative do-gooder neighbors, the future of our precious environment, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Kathleen has a short-legged adorable Bassett Hound muttlet named Fiona (see pics below), adopted through Los Angeles' Much Love Animal Rescue in 2005. Yep, we're big fans! Thanks for tackling this SHAPERS Q+A solo, Kathleen, (while Julianne is on summer vacay).
xx - Rebecca
Could you tell us a bit about your shared vision for Sudsource? How long have you known each other/how did you meet?
We’re both passionate about Nature, and we’re concerned about the health of our environment and eco-systems given their importance for our collective wellbeing. As a society we’re finally waking up to the fact that our convenience model for consumer goods isn’t sustainable. Sudsource was created to offer an alternative to the “single-use packaging” model in the body care market. Our vision is to grow the business so it’s available in as many communities as possible across the country, and continue to spread the word about the budding Zero Waste movement we see as the New Way (which is really the Old Way) of buying products.
We met 18 years ago in an acting class in NYC. We became friends and remained in touch over the years. We reconnected in the 2004 when we found ourselves both living in Los Angeles. For the following 10 years Julianne was busy travelling and building her career as a filmmaker through her company Romanski Films, while I worked in the Entertainment industry in Post Production. In 2010 after having my first child I was ready for a career change. During the first weeks home with my newborn, I had an epiphany about packaging waste looking at all the plastic bottles in our bathroom. After 4 years of R+D and a surprise second child, I founded Sudsource Fall of 2014. When Julianne returned from her travels she was excited about Sudsource and its mission to reduce waste, so we combined our strengths and launched sales April 2015.
What was the hardest part of your first year of business and what did it teach you about your vision and/or longevity as a company?
The first year was about connecting with our community and finding out what’s important to them. The hardest part has been making adjustments and absorbing the inevitable losses and hard lessons of starting a business. What I’ve learned through this process is that there’s a lot of support for the Refill model; the primary issue for customers is convenience. We’re working on getting our pumps and bulk jars into stores so customers can get refills at their convenience. In the meantime, we offer local delivery within 30 miles of Los Angeles as an option.
What's your favorite LA/Westside activity to help you to relax or rejuvenate?
I get a massage whenever I can; I love going to Exhale in Santa Monica. I also train with ComplEATFitness in Marina Del Rey once a week.
Bestselling Sudsource product or scent?
Our best seller is the Face Cleansing Oil. It’s the only product we have with essential oils in the formula (geranium, lavender, and pink grapefruit). It smells wonderful and the feedback we’ve had is that it’s done wonders for people’s skin.
Favorite summer reading book?
I’m loving “But What If We’re Wrong?” by Chuck Klosterman right now.
Your 3 top tips on staying healthy and living well.
1. Exercise as often as possible, even if it’s just a short walk.
2. Make time to connect with friends and family.
3. Gratitude, the benefits are immeasurable.
Do you live by any particular motto or philosophy? Please share the details.
I’m in the “We’re all in this together” camp. No matter what our backgrounds or where we come from, we all want and need the same things; this includes all living things and the natural world. The more we extend ourselves to each other, and help when/where needed, the better we all are. We’re all one, just love.
If you could have lunch with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And where would you dine?
The living Dalai Lama at Crossroads here in Los Angeles.
*Lily Spindle's SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series.