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Posts by Cody Atkins

Local Vendor Spotlight: South Austin People So.A.P.

South Austin People (SoAP) is a company of professional artisans. All of their bodycare products are made fresh, by hand, with no unnecessary chemicals, dyes, or petroleum. SoAP represents the Austin persona perfectly: natural, organic, and locally made.

JohnPaul Fierro, B.S. Chemistry U.T., is the founder of South Austin People. He says, “The products we make are the highest quality that we feel can be produced. We use organic vegetable oils in our soaps, and we are working towards a petroleum free life for as many people as we can help.” JohnPaul has carefully formulated each of the different recipes, and they work diligently to source the best ingredients.

After you’ve tried their handmade soap, they think you’ll never wanted to use mass-produced corporate stuff again. And it’s from right here in South Austin!

Business partners, left, Cecil Winzer (sales, marketing, brand development) and right, founder, JohnPaul Fierro (product formulation and manufacturing).

S.o.A.P. partner Cecil Winzer answered a few questions for us:

How did you get started in the natural soap business?
JohnPaul Fierro started South Austin People in 2004. As a UT chemistry graduate, he was alarmed by all the chemicals and petroleum in most body care products. He set out to produce 100% natural personal care products that everyone would feel safe using.

What has your relationship with Wheatsville been like?
We love Wheatsville! Wheatsville is our #1 retail outlet and we are very proud to work with them. We send customers there all the time and want to support our fellow local businesses.

How does SoAP stay involved in (or connected to) the community in Austin?
We all love Austin and have been living, working and playing here for most of our years. We support several non-profits by donating products for fundraisers. We also love participating in the farmers’ markets and other shows/events around town, they allow us to interact face-to-face with the people that want and love our products.

What’s your personal favorite product that you produce?
Gosh, there are so many! It might be better to tell you how I use our products on a daily basis. I shower and wash my hair with our Liquid Soap. I always use one of our bars on my face, with 10 different vegetable oils, all of our bars are so good for the delicate facial skin. I shave with our Shaving Bar, it gives the best shave I have ever had with no razor burn and no nicks or cuts. I use our Unscented Lotion as my after shave lotion. I use our Peppermint Foot and Body cream on my feet and any other rough areas that need a little extra moisturizing. I use our scented lotion throughout the day on my hands. Finally, if I ever get a little too much sun or some fine lines or blemishes on my face, I erase them with our Meadowfoam Night-Time Anti-Aging cream.

Anything new in the pipeline that we should be looking forward to?
We have been redeveloping our Dirty Paws Dog Shampoo. Look for a brand new label after the New Year and we are planning for this to be our first product to get national distribution. Sorry Austin, but you have to share our products with the rest of the world!


Pay Less for Clean Water

Here’s an earth-friendly AND money-saving idea: start filtering your own water! Filtering your own water reduces the number of plastic and glass bottles that we have to dispose of; even if they avoid the landfill, recycling has a carbon impact on our environment.

New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter

Estimated Usage

Each filter cleans 1500 gallons of water =
32 glasses of water 365 days per year


Filter System
$113.99 = 8 cents per gallon

Replacement Filter Cartridge
$63.99 =  4.3 cents per gallon

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Kishu Water Filters

As you know, there are many ways to filter your drinking water; there are filters that attach to your tap, pitchers you keep in the fridge, gravity fed systems used by campers, and systems that are plumbed right into your house. However, taking enough filtered water with you for your long journeys from home can be a challenge. Kishu sticks change that. Kishu offers toxin absorbing charcoal sticks that are small enough to fit in any sized water bottle so you can fill up wherever you are and still enjoy clean water.

Kishu Charcoal is made in Japan by artisans who follow the same traditional methods used for thousands of years.  Sustainably harvested branches of oak trees are carefully heated in hand-made kilns to over 1000 degrees. After many days of continuous, closely monitored carbonization, the branches become very dense, transforming into a hard glass-like material. The end result is 97% carbon and is called ‘activated’ charcoal.

Activated charcoal is used in almost every water filtration system in the world. It is highly absorbent and will soak up containments in drinking water such as lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, and chlorine. Additionally, it will impart beneficial minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The end-result is clean, great tasting water!

Kishu sticks come ready to be used right out of the package. All you have to do is drop a stick into your water bottle or pitcher. We have three different sizes; To-go size, a medium size (perfect for Klean Kanteens), and a pitcher size. These sticks will continue to work for four to six months as long as you boil the stick for ten minutes, once a month.

Once six months is up, you can repurpose your Kishu stick in many different ways. Here are just a few examples: You can throw it in the fridge or hamper to absorb odors, you can compost it, or you can break it up and throw it into the garden as bio-char. The possibilities are vast, and by repurposing you increase the value!


Raising the Bar (of Soap)

We have a new line of handcrafted soap available for you in your bodycare aisle this week! Pacha Soap is more than just a bar of soap though, they are a social asset. Pacha donates one bar of soap for every bar purchased. Right now we have a box full of donated soap (60 bars) ready to be given to a local charity of our choice. This batch is going to be given to Safe Place.

This attractive and great smelling soap is only $4.99 for a 4oz bar.


Where’d you get that?

If you’ve been in the store lately, you've seen all the really awesome Wheatsville merch. we have for sale. We’ve been asked, and perhaps you’ve wondered yourself; where do we get this stuff made and what do we look for when sourcing it?

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Show your Co-op PRIDE

Co-op Economy Reusable Bags

If you are reading this, you probably already know about the positive economic impact that cooperatives have on the community. However, there are a lot of folks that aren’t aware of these benefits. A great way to spread the word is with our new purple reusable Co-op Economy Bags. Each bag measures 14 ½” tall by 14” wide by 8” deep and includes all sorts of facts about the economic benefits of shopping at a co-op. In the coming weeks we will be featuring three more bags in different colors, each with their own unique facts about co-ops. Be sure to collect all four! Each bag is only $2.99!

For more information about how co-ops make a difference CLICK HERE!

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