Hopefully most of our readers know how much we look forward to our Neighbor Spotlight features – each individual we interview is so unique that it makes the experience exciting and fresh every. single. time.
Speaking of fresh, this month we are thrilled to feature Christina Wennstrom, artisan soapmaker and founder of Soap Seas.
Merging her passion for the beach and homemade soaps, Christina founded Soap Seas in 2015 to offer “natural, artisanal-grade soaps inspired by her personal experiences living by the ocean in Redondo Beach, California“
As we are walking through the Rivera to meet Christina, we hear an excited “Hey guys!” from a woman zipping by on beach cruiser rocking a in a palm tree sweater and a huge welcoming smile.
This warm first impression is a true example of who Christina is and what Soap Seas resembles. She lovingly hand-crafts each small batch of soap and, based on our experience with her, she handles her relationships in much the same way. Prior to our meeting, we were expecting to talk primarily about her booming Soap business but throughout our conversation, we were impressed with her level of involvement within the community and her overall charisma as an individual.
She is a true inspiration and girl boss, well plugged into the local community as an ambassador, committee and board member for multiple organizations. Additionally, she curates for her own collaborative pop-up shops and events with other local artists and business owners. It is evident that she has a true passion for the South Bay and the “makers” world, so much so that she has created the group called South Bay Faves.
Christina recently celebrated her official trademark of Soap Seas (congrats!), so read on to hear more about her business and where you can purchase her goods (the holidays are coming after all!)
1. When did you start Soap Seas and what inspired you to open your own business?
Soap Seas launched in the Summer of 2015. I have always loved the beach and when I found my new passion of soapmaking, I wanted to blend the two worlds together. I decided to start my own business because I had so much enthusiasm for my beach brand I created that I couldn’t keep it to myself! After creating wedding favor soaps for my sister, everyone was super supportive of my product that I was encouraged to build a business! The mission of Soap Seas is to spread the playful love of the beach & to nourish the body & soul naturally. Soap Seas product line is entirely inspired by the Sea and the beach community. Each soap & bath product is lovingly handcrafted in small batches to preserve the integrity of the high quality ingredients, handmade in Redondo Beach, California.
2. You are very involved with the community what organizations are you a part of?
I am a Redondo Beach and Torrance Chamber Member, a mentor to Girl Scouts of America in the South Bay, A South Bay Business Womens Association affiliate, the South Bay Chapter Leader of the Academy of Handmade, an Ambassador for the SEA Lab, Dear Handmade Life & Robbins Brothers of Torrance, member of the neighborhood group “Keep the Esplanade Beautiful”, and a 2017 member of the Leadership class for the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce. My business, Soap Seas, has received a Trademark from the United States Patent & Trademark Office and I just celebrated my 2 year anniversary! Yeah!
3. We can see that you are very passionate about the South Bay, what is your favorite thing about being a local?
I see and experience first hand what is happening in my community. I am constantly engaged with local events, charities, fundraisers, and networking opportunities that provide me the connection to the South Bay. I’ve always liked to know whats going on in my backyard. I love living here and knowing your neighbors and what they are all about. It gives me the opportunity to collaborate, connect, and build something bigger than just myself. Its all about that local love!
4. What is your vision for Soap Seas and where do you see your business going?
Soap Seas has become well received in the South Bay that I have been really liking the different avenues that Soap Seas has allowed me to explore. I definitely enjoy my beach brand and being out in the community doing shows and events, but now I have started curating shows with other artists and creatives that showcase not just myself, but other great local makers. I created “South Bay Faves” ( @southbayfaves) which is a celebration of local art, design, and craft which I am super proud of. I include artists in the community that I have either done a previous show with or I know them personally. I have completed 2 shows that I organized myself so far which have allowed me to collaborate with some great venues and businesses like Strand Brewing Co in Torrance & A Basq Kitchen in Redondo Beach. I’m a big cheerleader for bringing people together and appreciating their talents, so why not put them on a platform? I have also found a huge joy in teaching soap making to young girls. I have teamed up with the Athleta brand in El Segundo, CA where we hold a beginners soapmaking class. It teaches them a new craft as well as hearing my entrepreneurial story of starting my own business. These girls feel empowered and I am so happy I can be a part of that moment for them. Bringing this service to these girls fills my heart and soul.
5. Tell us where we can buy your products!
Soap Seas is found in stores/boutiques in all the beach cities, Palos Verdes, Malibu, and Morro Bay and also sells online ( location listings on my website) . I am affiliated with the Marriott Torrance/Redondo Beach Hotel and can be found at the SEA Lab as well. I create custom orders & baskets for parties & events ( weddings, bridal showers, etc). I also teach private beginners soapmaking classes. For inquiries please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a holiday soap making class at Athleta in December, sign up to my email newsletter for all the details and current information in all my upcoming workshops/classes/shows. Big beachy high fives!
Follow Soap Seas on social media to hear about up-coming events and new products: