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Behind The Brand: Plenty + Spare

by Jessika Noda |

We are so excited to feature Kate from Plenty + Spare in today's #behindthebrand. We had a chance to visit the Plenty + Spare shop in Vancouver and fell in love with its quaint and homey feel. her store features not only Plenty + Spare products but also other local products ranging from beauty to home accessories to one of a kind greeting cards for every occasion. We love how involved and passionate Kate is about supporting other and local businesses! Now let's get started: 

What inspired the creation of Plenty + Spare?

I’ve always loved learning about what goes into skin and bodycare products. When I was growing up, I’d have my collection of lotions and potions, and I loved holding them, and reading the labels over and over. It’s fantastic to know what’s in things and how they work, and I hope I can share that.

What values do you have that you believe you carried into your brand and company?

I really value simplicity. From where I started as a teenager with so many products in my stockpile, I’ve found that I really love a simpler routine. Fewer products, fewer ingredients, and less packaging.

What’s your favorite part of creating Plenty + Spare’s products?

I love product development. Depending on the product, it can be a long process with some unique challenges, but it’s also a time of pure possibility. You can start with a small concept, and let the rest of the product take shape around it.

What has been your most exciting moment with Plenty + Spare so far?

When Plenty + Spare first started it was a home based business, which quickly became overwhelming because curing soap takes up a lot of space, and it lets out a lot of scent! Eventually being able to carve out my own workspace outside of home was really exciting. It happened little by little, in shared studios at first, and now I have my own little shop / studio space.

Why did you choose to create a plant based product line?

Most of the products I make are plant based, but it’s actually not a 100% vegan line, which can sometimes surprise people. I care a lot about considering what really makes sense for a particular product from different angles, and sometimes that may take me in a different direction. Our original classic soaps are actually tallow based, because this allows us to use up a local surplus ingredient provided by another local business. This way, the footprint of these soaps is cut way down because we’re using way fewer new materials, plus we’re not having to ship those materials from across the globe. It also happens to make great soap!

What was your biggest hurdle in getting Plenty + Spare off the ground?

There were many, and I still often feel like Plenty + Spare is in its infancy. When it first got started, the product line was bigger, and that created a bit of chaos in terms of inventory, packaging and labels, and for me it felt a bit unfocused. Later I pared things way down, and over time I’ve gotten a stronger feel for what the business is all about, and what types of products I find joy in making. I can also be quite shy and usually prefer to stay behind the scenes, which can make sales and marketing quite a challenge!

What is your favorite beauty ritual that leaves you looking and feeling natural beautiful? 

I love just a simple head to toe shower, because afterwards I feel completely clean and weightless and uninhibited.

We’re featuring Plenty + Spare’s When Skies are Grey Soap in the Fall box, what prompted the creation of this product?

When Skies are Grey is actually our most popular soap! The lemongrass and lavender essential oils create a really bright and unique scent, it’s just so happy. That’s how the name came about, from that old song, because when you’re in need of a little lift, a little sunshine, I hope this soap can do just that.

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