Shiuan Butler, founder of SAVO Soap, a natural handmade soap company based in Brooklyn, New York, grew up following a green Chinese American household. She eats a whole foods-based diet and composts her trash. But when she moved to New York City eight years ago from Hawaii, little did she know that her lifestyle would soon become her business.
In New York, she landed a job at Soapbox, Inc., one of the largest feminist speakers agencies in the country, where she led daily business operations. After two years at Soapbox, she worked for Gloria Steinem as her personal assistant.
“At Soapbox, I got to see firsthand a woman running a family household, as well as a full-time business. It was all a wonderful learning experience and great to find a home amongst strong female role models,” Butler says.
Butler was inspired by the achievements and goals of the women she worked with every day, and this allowed her to take a new turn in her career path. As she was contemplating launching her own business, Butler discovered natural beauty products and learned how much better they are for your skin.
“In my initial research, I found many small artisans and family businesses making and selling natural handmade soap in bulk. I thought this would be a great way to support local artisans. I also learned how harmful regular store-bought soap and body wash is,” Butler says.
SAVO’s soaps are made with high-quality natural ingredients. Butler currently has a winter collection of soaps for the cold season, which includes Winter Spirits & Ale, a wheat ale beer soap from a North Carolina brewery. It is infused with orange peel and orange essential oil for a zesty scent and refreshing lather. But oats take the spotlight in this soap, lending a natural form of exfoliation. If you’re looking for a sweeter scent, the organic Chocolate & Cinnamon soap includes moisturizing organic cocoa butter and chocolate and soothing coconut and olive oils. Just be careful not to confuse it for dark chocolate bark!
“The ingredients in SAVO soaps have been carefully thought out. They are environmental and sustainable. I do due diligence to make sure my soaps do not contain any parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, or genetically modified oils. Most of my soaps are vegan and gluten-free,” Butler says.
Through her experience of working with Soapbox and Gloria Steinem, Butler also wanted to include an empowering message for women in her products, so each soap includes an inspiring message or story, using symbolism in the ingredients.
“These messages go in line with SAVO’s mission to celebrate amazing things women are doing. Send a gift box to a girlfriend or loved one to show your appreciation of her. SAVO also encourages women to take a well-deserved break for themselves. Stop and take the time to enjoy a soothing bath for yourself. Women are always taking care of everyone around them. Don’t you think you deserve a break?”
Photo courtesy of SAVO Soap