A Sun Prairie bath and body product company is making a name for itself with Amazon selling its line of lotions, soaps and scrubs.
Restoration Soaps & Body Care products are locally made but the exotic ingredients are sourced from natural plants and fruits from the Caribbean, South and Central America and Africa.
Owner Ruth Collins uses sustainably-sourced ingredients like red Brazilian clay, jojoba, mango butter and exotic oils extracted from trees in the Amazon rainforest.
After dealing with her own sensitivity to mass-produced body care products, Collins delved into creating an all-natural soap and body care line free of chemicals and pesticides for people with allergies and other aversions to synthetic ingredients. The company also has vegan products and a line of goat milk and honey-based soaps.
She tried out her handmade products on her friends and family and then started to sell them to earn money for her church. After getting rave reviews, she started Restoration Soap & Body Care in 2017, with her first professional venture was at a Madison farmer’s market.
“It just took off after that,” says Collins who retired from her banking career to run Restoration Soap & Body Care full-time.
When Collins and her family moved to Sun Prairie, she started selling her products at the city’s Tuesday and Saturday farmers markets.
The Rainforest Soap and Revive Bio Scrubs are some of customer’s favorites. The Maximum Body Butter, packed with 13 natural oils from more than four continents, also gets rave reviews for restoring moisture and silkiness to the skin.
Collins came to the body care profession intent on discovering how women around the world take care of their skin using ingredients sourced from botanicals.
“It took hours and hours of self-study and talking with people from Brazil, the Caribbean, and places all over the world—you learn a lot just by talking with other people,” Collins says.
With skin being the largest organ in the body, Collins says it make sense to stay away from chemicals and harsh ingredients to keep the body healthy.
The company’s soap, lotions, scrubs, lip balms and body butters range from $8 to $28, with Collins striving to keep her high-quality products affordable.
With Valentine’s Day coming up quick, Collins will custom-make baskets for people to give their loved ones.
Although some businesses have had a tough time in the COVID-19 economy, Collins says last year brought great opportunities. Her business was featured at Walmart’s Game Day event in Sun Prairie and Amazon’s Handmade started selling her product line.
Collins runs the business with her pastor husband, Dwayne. The couple gets help from daughter Samaria, an up-and-coming entrepreneur herself, winning a spot in the CEOS of Tomorrow competition by selling hoodies and blankets to help premature babies. Collins says her family provides honest feedback and keep her balanced.
“I get to work with my family, and we have fun together,” Collins says.
The UpStart program at the University of Wisconsin, for women and minorities, also provided expert resources to Collins to help launch her business.
With three years of experience running Restoration Soaps & Body Care, Collins feels comfortable offering some advice to would-be entrepreneurs.
“Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is something that you love and are going to enjoy,” Collins said. “There are good days and rewards, but there are days when it may seem impossible. The thing that keeps me going is that I have chosen to do this and makes me happy.”
Collins is also on a mission to help people pamper themselves, especially during these times when some may feel stressed and overwhelmed. Restoration Soap & Body Care products can help renew, rebalance and restore, she says.
“Even with everything that is going on right now it is still important to take care of yourself,” Collins says. “You can still sit back, put on some music and relax and give yourself a foot scrub. It will give you a new perspective that things will get better.”