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!