By listening closely to the trees and plants present here, and leaning strongly on the relationship-centered and ethical gathering practices of the Wise Woman tradition, listening to our own ancestors’ voices, and leaning on our herbalist teachers here on Whidbey (especially Crow’s Daughter) and around the world, we (herbalist Lori and soap maker and crafts-person-extraordinaire Gina) began creating local plant-infused herbal body products in 2019. Just a few. And just for locals, visitors to the island, friends, and family. We had so much fun, and met so many great people, that we’ve expanded a bit this year. We’re still a small home kitchen-based operation, but we now sell a variety of local plant-infused herbal body products on south Whidbey. We’ve also started wholesale selling local plant-infused oil on Whidbey (because working with the plants, making plant-infused oils, and meeting other makers makes Lori’s heart sing). And we now ship to family and friends!
Our Local Plant-Infused Herbal Body Products
Our current retail products include:
- Two hand soaps – Douglas Fir or Whidbey Gardener’s blend (roughly 3 oz, soaps are small batch and hand cut, so size varies from 2.8 oz to 3.5 oz, but most are 3 or more) . Shelf life: indefinite, and our experience is that they get better with age. The ingredients list for all herbal products is included below.
- Three shampoo bars – Rosemary Mint, Lavendar Mint, and Dandelion Nettle Mint (roughly 3 oz, shampoo bars are small batch and hand cut, so size varies from 2.8 oz to 3.5 oz, but most are 3 or more) (Note: Dandelion Nettle Mint will be available August 1st). Shelf life: indefinite, and our experience is that they get better with age. We age shampoo bars at least 3 months before selling them.
- Three hard lotion bars – Lavender Mint, Rosemary Mint, or Douglas Fir (2 oz) – Hold between your palms for a few seconds to warm, allowing the bar to melt a bit, and then use like body lotion. Shelf life: two years if stored in a dark, cool place. Note: These bars were made for the Pacific Northwest climate. If I ship to you elsewhere, there’s a risk that you’ll consider the lotion bars too melty or not melty enough, depending on where you are. That may not happen, but it’s a risk.
- Douglas Fir body oil (2 oz) – Can also be used as a beard oil. Shelf life: one year, if stored in a dark, cool place.
- Simple salves – currently, Douglas Fir, Dandelion flower, Usnea lichen, Nettle, Burdock Root, or Lavender (and Comfrey, coming mid July 2020) (2 oz) Shelf life: two years if stored in a dark, cool place.
- Sleep and dream pillows – small sachets for tucking into your pillowcase, filled with dried plants, flowers, herbs, and tree leaves in blends that support rest and dreaming) Shelf life: At least 3 years and likely far more. Squeeze to re-activate herbs. You can also open them and add more dried plants and herbs in the future. Note: Currently sold out. We underestimated how many people would have trouble sleeping in 2020! These will be available again once all the plants are harvested and dried again–fall of 2020. We’ll be adding romance pillows as well this fall, because the human world needs more rest, better dreams, and hearts full of romance to handle years like this one!
Our Wholesale Local Plant-Infused Oils
My three favorite parts about being an herbalist right now are 1) deepening my relationship with trees, plants, and lichen on south Whidbey, 2) deepening my relationship with human community members on Whidbey (yay makers and farmers and craftspeople and artists and creative humans!), and 3) creating local plant-infused oils. I am ALL about the plant-infused oils! I am now selling roughly 20 wholesale local plant-infused oils to other local soap makers, body product makers, and any anyone else on Whidbey who needs these oils in 8, 16, and 32 oz size jars. These are not essential oils. They are local plants, flowers, petals, tree branches, and lichen infused into organic extra virgin olive oil. I mostly use very old, time-tested methods from the Wise Women tradition for making oil, and the process takes between 5 weeks and 4 months, depending on the plant. For more information, click the Inventory and Price List button to see our inventory list, price sheet, and benefits list. People who provide a sales tax exemption form don’t have to pay sales tax.
Where to Purchase our Herbal Products
On Whidbey, our local-plant infused body products are available at Madrona Supply Company in Clinton, and at the Workin Dream farm stand on Andreason Road between Langley and Bayview, and here at Silly Dog Studios at open air markets (summer dates are July 10, July 24, and August 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). They may also be available in the fall at the Whidbey Island Harvest Festival at Langely’s fairgrounds (October, if it happens this year) and at our annual holiday trunk sale here at Silly Dog Studios (with other local artists, crafts people, weavers, basket makers, and soap makers) in November (if it happens this year).
Friends and family shipping! We do limited shipping, only to friends and family. If you are a family member or friend, email or text Lori to receive the link to our Friends & Family online shopping page. Due to our small business size (yay 3-person biz!), we have to charge for shipping, but we do our best to keep shipping costs as low as possible.
Wholesale oil folks, you can pick up your oils here at Silly Dog Studios or I can deliver them to you for a $5 delivery fee (Clinton to Greenbank) or a $10 delivery fee (Coupeville to Deception Pass). Delivery fee may be waived for people who share plants, recipes, cookies, or if you’re willing to wait a few days until we’re coming your way.
Hard lotion bars: Whidbey Lavender Mint, Whidbey Rosemary Mint, or Whidbey Douglas Fir. Hold the bar between your palms to warm it then rub it in to dry hands, arms, legs, and feet, just like regular body lotion. 2 ounces
Simple salves: Whidbey burdock root, nettle, dandelion flower, Douglas fir, lavender, usenea lichen, or comfrey leaf & flower. Sooth skin and deepen your relationship with one of these plants, trees, or lichen! In a 2 oz reusable screw-top tin.
Shampoo bars: Whidbey Lavender Mint, Whidbey Rosemary, or Whidbey Dandelion Nettle Mint. Rub them on your head until you have enough lather. So simple! Say goodbye to plastic. About 3 oz (small batch, hand cut)
Hand soaps: Douglas Fir or Whidbey Gardener’s blend. These smell divine, feel great on the skin, and wash dirt away like a champ. Deepen your relationship with the plants–research the ingredients to decide for yourself if this is soap you want to use during a global pandemic. I know what I think. I trust that our local plants and trees are happy to help! ~3 oz (small batch, hand cut)
Sleep pillows. People have been leaning on plants and herbs to help with sleep and influence dreaming for generations. Whidbey Deep Sleep, Whidbey Dreaming, and Whidbey Romance hold the wisdom of our ancestors. Each sachet is filled with a collection of our dried local plants, flowers, and tree leaves/needles. Tuck into your pillow case, breathe deeply, and go to sleep.
Douglas fir body oil. Can also be used as a beard oil. A gift from south Whidbey forests and some of our own board members (aka, the 10 fir trees at Silly Dog Studios who we know by name). We gather branches after winter storms fell them, infuse branches in organic extra virgin olive oil for 6 to 8 weeks, until the oil smells like our daily walks in the woods. Available for retail sales in 2 ounce bottles, because the shelf life of this precious oil just one year.
Retail Product Ingredients
Douglas Fir soap – Whidbey storm-fallen Douglas Fir branches (from Silly Dog Studios & walks in neighboring no-spray woods) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, plus castor oil, sustainably sourced palm oil, coconut oil, sodium hydroxide, distilled water, and fir essential oil.
Gardener’s hand soap – Whidbey storm-fallen branches of Western Red Cedar & Douglas Fir (from Silly Dog Studios & walks in neighboring no-spray woods) infused in organic extra virgin olive oil, plus castor oil, sustainably sourced palm oil, coconut oil, sodium hydroxide, distilled water, sodium lactate, ground Usnea lichen (from storm-fallen branches on Whidbey), and a cedar fir patchouli lavender essential oil blend.
Shampoo bars (can also be used as soaps)
Dandelion Nettle Mint shampoo bar – Grown on Whidbey (at Silly Dog Studios and also ethically gathered from neighboring fields and woods where no spraying happens) dandelion flowers, nettles, spearmint and peppermint infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, plus coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil, sodium hydroxide, distilled water, sodium lactate, and peppermint essential oil.
Lavender Mint shampoo bar – Grown on Whidbey (at Silly Dog Studios where no poison spraying happens) lavender, spearmint, & peppermint infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, plus coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil, sodium hydroxide, distilled water, sodium lactate, lavender essential oil, and peppermint essential oil.
Rosemary Mint shampoo bar – Grown on Whidbey (at Silly Dog Studios) rosemary, spearmint, & peppermint infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, plus coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil, sodium hydroxide, distilled water, sodium lactate, rosemary essential oil, and peppermint essential oil.
Hard lotion bars
Douglas Fir hard lotion bar – Whidbey storm-fallen Douglas Fir branches (from trees at Silly Dog Studios and walks in neighboring woods) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil.
Lavender Mint hard lotion bar – Grown onWhidbey (at Silly Dog Studios) lavender, spearmint, and peppermint infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, plus coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and just a couple of drops of Whidbey’s own Lavender Wind Farm lavender essential oil and peppermint essential oil.
Rosemary Mint hard lotion bar – Grown onWhidbey (at Silly Dog Studios) rosemary, spearmint, and peppermint infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, plus shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, and just a couple of drops of rosemary essential oil and peppermint essential oil.
Burdock Root – Grown on Whidbey (at Silly Dog Studios) burdock root infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax. (Seasonal, limited supply)
Comfrey leaf & flower – Organic cultivated (not wild) comfrey leaves and flowers (harvested at Workin Dream Farm, an organic farm run by adorable neighbors/farmers) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax.
Dandelion – Ethically wild gathered dandelion flowers (from Silly Dog Studios and other no-spray fields on Whidbey) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax. (Seasonal, limited supply)
Douglas Fir – Whidbey storm-fallen Douglas Fir branches (from Silly Dog Studios & walks in neighboring woods) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax.
Lavender – Grown on Whidbey (at Silly Dog Studios) lavender infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, lavender essential oil.
Nettle – Ethically wild gathered stinging nettle (from Silly Dog Studios and walks in neighboring no-spray woods and fields on Whidbey) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax.
Usnea – Usnea lichen gathered off of storm-fallen tree branches (from Silly Dog Studios and walks in no-spray neighboring woods) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax. (Limited supply because usnea takes forever to grow and is remarkably important and precious)
Herbal sleep pillows
Whidbey Deep Sleep herbal sleep pillow – Grown on Whidbey (at Silly Dog Studios) dried lavender and chamomile (for relaxation), hops (deep sleep), lemon balm (lowering anxiety, decreasing stress, insomnia support), Douglas Fir (calming the mind), catmint (relaxation and feeling restful), and a tiny pinch of rosemary (keep bad dreams at bay).
Whidbey Dreaming herbal dream pillow – Grown on Whidbey (at Silly Dog Studios) hops (deep sleep), chamomile (relaxation and pleasant dreams), mint and yarrow (prophetic dreams and dreaming of loved ones), wild rugosa rose petals, leaves, and buds (loving thoughts and warm dreams), thyme (dream of fairies!), and cedar (to ward off bad dreams). Plus one clove (for romantic dreams). The cloves weren’t grown here. They came from the bulk section of The Goose. 🙂
Whidbey Romance herbal dream pillow – Coming fall of 2020! Surely given the year we’re having, most of us could use some more romance in our lives!
Lori Becomes an Herbalist-in-Training
I’ve been growing my relationship with and working with plants for 45 years, since I was 5, when I started helping out on visits to my grandmother’s farm. I spent the past two years studying herbalism in the Wise Woman tradition, with Julie Charette Nunn, Crow’s Daughter. I’m also guided by all of the plants and trees around us here on Whidbey, guided by my grandmothers voices, and the voices and teachings of other herbalists here on Whidbey and elsewhere around the world. I’ve listened to plants my whole life: trees and herbs in particular. Following the tradition of my grandmothers, mom, and aunts too, who taught me gardening, home canning, and prioritizing relationships with people, animals, and plants. I aspire to know the plants on south Whidbey very, very well. And I aspire to grow my community of humans so I can lean on others to learn more about the plants and trees near them. Susan Weed says it takes seven lifetimes to become an herbalist. So, I call myself an Herbalist-in-Training, so you’ll know that I’m only in lifetime #1.
Since I was young, trees and plants have helped me navigate the world as an empath—someone who picks up and holds the emotions of those close to me (both emotionally and anyone I encounter in person), sometimes whether I want to or not. I have always cried far more than other people. For years I thought this made me weak. Then I learned that the opposite is true. I often cry not because I myself have much to cry about personally, but because I’m feeling other people’s emotions. I cry in the presence of people who really need to cry, but can’t. I cry other people’s tears. Often in public. In a culture in which many assume tears are a sign of weakness or self-centeredness.
I have always needed to lean on trees and plants to help me be me. I’m getting much better at listening to them now. By my late 40s, I was listening well enough that we invited trees to sit on the board of directors here at Silly Dog Studios. And we just keep inviting more trees to join us. Currently, our board includes 10 Douglas Fir trees, a Cedar tree, two Spruce trees, two apple trees, two plum trees, two cherry trees, a quince tree, a crab apple tree, a Linden tree, a Hawthorne tree, and a Serviceberry tree. Also, two humans, two cats, and two dogs.
In addition to the plant-relationship-centered products that Silly Dog Studios and friends created to sell this year, I’ve begun to make many more for our family and friends: plant-infused oxymels, tinctures, vinegars, and herbal infustions, for example. These, however, are gifts, not products. I’m more mystic than healer at heart (thank you trees). Most days I leave healing people themselves and to others called strongly to healing. I prefer to spend my days listening to plants and figuring out how connect more deeply with trees, work in full partnership with plants, and create, with them, products that help other humans reconnect with the plants closest to them. Remarkable partners that far too many humans can’t hear anymore.