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How kind soap company began

The KIND story

From our Founder,
Jean Scholtes:

I have dealt with skin sensitivities my whole life. Finding a soap or lotion that my skin would tolerate was a constant struggle. It seemed like the only products I would EVER be able to use were boring and medicinal. I was never able to soak in a luxurious bubble bath or slather on a lovely scented lotion. All of those types of products contained ingredients that made my skin angry. Red, rashy, swollen skin and eyes look especially bad on a redhead!

Unfortunately, one of my sons inherited my sensitive skin. At four years old, he developed eczema on the back of his knees and scratched them raw every night. The doctors we saw all gave just one solution: steroid cremes. The idea of putting steroids on my little boy’s skin every day did not sit well with me. Further research on the long-term effects of steroids on the skin proved that I was right to be concerned. It was at this point that I decided to take the matter into my own hands and look for other, more natural, alternatives.

I looked up the ingredients in products that claimed to be good for eczema, and for skin in general. These were well-respected, “natural” and “safe” personal care brands – a few specifically for babies. I was appalled and angered at what I was finding. Ingredients classified as skin and eye irritants, known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, etc. Not to mention the reason one product didn’t sting eyes wasn’t because it was so “pure,” it was because there was an ocular numbing agent in the formula. The backs of these bottles read like a recipe for toxic soup. I immediately went a little nutty and started pitching everything in the house that had any of the offending ingredients listed on them. A fire was lit under me at this moment, and it’s never gone out.

I realized that if I wanted to have safe products for my family (and really know what ingredients were in everything we used), I was going to have to make them myself. I read dozens of books, spent hours researching ingredients and formulas online, and started experimenting in my basement with making my own soap. After some truly epic failures, I created an oatmeal soap with goat’s milk that worked wonders on my little one. In a matter of one month – after purging the bad products and using the homemade oatmeal soap – the eczema was cleared up, and I had a much happier little boy.

“After creating a simple (and successful!) bar of oatmeal soap, I realized the potential of eliminating all of the other irritating ingredients we put on our skin every day.”

After seeing his skin clear up I realized that I couldn’t stop with soap. I knew I wanted to formulate and make everything we put on our bodies. Realizing that this was going to be more than a hobby, I enrolled in online Aromatherapy courses through The American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, Oregon. I learned how to create natural skin care products using the therapeutic benefits and amazing aromas of Essential Oils. After two years of classes, I earned my Certificate in Aromatherapy.

When I decided to go all-in and make this my life’s work, I “retired” from my job as a Creative Director, (designing packaging and building brands for other people) and set out to create my OWN brand!

Since I was starting a brand from scratch, I set my mind to do it right from the very beginning – great natural products, eco-friendly packaging, and charitable contributions built into every product. When trying to find the right name for the brand, the word “kind” really seemed to sum up everything nicely. I created KIND soap company at the end of 2008 with the three “pillars of KINDness” we would always guarantee to our customers: to be KIND to their skin, KIND to the earth, and KIND to others.

Using friends and family as guinea pigs, I created a whole line of natural skin care products that are safe for the most sensitive among us AND luxurious in scent. I started by selling KIND products at farmers markets and online, and then to retail stores. In 2011, I opened my first brick-and-mortar retail store in my town of Webster Groves, just outside St. Louis. Two years later, after outgrowing that space and gaining some helpers, we moved down the street to our current location. KIND soap company products can now be found at Whole Foods Markets as well as online marketplaces and independent natural foods stores, spas, boutiques, and gift shops. We now have over 100 products, and I’m not finished yet!

It’s been an amazing journey that all started nearly a decade ago with an itchy little blond-haired boy. My skin is in its glory as well. I’m soaking in bubble baths and slathering on lotions and pampering myself silly. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our customers. Some of them have been “KIND fans” since the very early days, and I now consider them friends. It has been so incredibly rewarding to hear about (and see!) all the positive results that KIND natural skin care and beauty products have had with their skin.

The best result of all, though, is that little boy – who is 15 now and towering over me – continues to have healthy, itch-free, eczema-free skin.

Kindly,
  Jean