Sunday, May 6, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Roots Soap Co

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Roots Soap Co

Who are you?
My name is Anna, and I live in Southeast Portland, Oregon, with my fabulous graphic designer husband and our two little kids (with a third joy on the way this fall). I'm originally from Montana, and he's from Spokane. I am the maker in my business and he is the designer behind my logo and packaging.

What do you make?
I am a second generation soapmaker, and I make about 18 different kinds of soaps as well as herbal salves and am getting ready to offer all natural laundry soap as well. My mother taught me basically everything I know about the things I make, and instilled in me a love for all that is natural, close to the earth and handmade. She had me stir my first batch of soap when I was about eight years old, and I still use her same recipes (with my own unique touches) to this day.

Besides making things, what do you do?
Besides being a business owner and full time mom, I pour my creative energy into sewing things for my kids and friends' kids, gardening in my backyard, cooking whatever we're craving for the day and reading animatedly to my kids. When we get the chance we love to get out and go to Mt. Tabor to walk and explore, see the taxidermy animals at Paxton Gate on N. Mississippi, get wet at the Jameson Square fountain, eat ice cream at Fifty Licks on Belmont, and go for bike rides. We obviously love summer.  

What inspires you?
Definitely my older sister Jen who is also a soapmaker, runs a farm, is an amazing mother, and probably the strongest woman I know. She helped me so much when I first started my business and has been an immense support all the way through. I am also inspired by the many local makers in our community and by really amazing design.

Where can your work be found?
My soaps are sold at Powells on Hawthorne, EtCetera in St. Johns and Aster and Bee on Division. I'll also be peddling my wares at Crafty Wonderland on May 12th at the Convention Center.

What do you love about Portland?
I am endlessly amazed at how beautiful and diverse this city is, and how friendly the general feel is. I love how it somehow has a small town feel while having all the amenities of a big city. Plus wilderness and ocean are right out the backdoor! I think that's why it attracts so many young wanderers; you can really make this place your own and fall in love with it. We sure did! We have all our favorite spots where we feel at home; Hopworks on Powell, Stumptown on Division, The Landmark Saloon, walking in Ladds Addition, picnicking on Mt. Tabor, and many others.


  1. Awesome Anna! Your products look amazing!

  2. This is such a great post! Anna is amazing, and so is her soap. It is by far the best I have ever used. -kate


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