Changemaker: Rachel Winard
Rachel Winard is the founder and president of Soapwalla, an award-winning luxury natural skincare line. She believes that products are only as good as their ingredients. Rachel’s philosophy: ‘the skin is our largest organ. For it to function at its best, we must feed it wholesome ingredients. If I refuse to put something in my body, I don’t want to put it on my body either.’
Soapwalla was born in founder Rachel Winard’s kitchen one evening, after months of unsuccessfully searching for skincare products that wouldn’t aggravate her sensitive skin issues caused by systemic lupus, a chronic autoimmune condition that almost always affects the skin. Soapwalla premiered December 2009 and products are sold globally through e-commerce and retail partners. Soapwalla is best known for their award-winning Deodorant Creams.
Rachel is wildly passionate about what Soapwalla does every day: creating products that promote skin health and the emotional well-being of our customers and planet. She speaks across the globe about the importance of natural beauty and ethical business practices. In 2015, Rachel presented workshops in the US, Canada and Europe, including at Colette and Le Bon Marché in Paris. All Soapwalla products are made by hand, in small batches, in Brooklyn, NY.
If your life had a mission statement – what would it be?
This quote by Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?”
What professional title do you go by?
Soapwalla Chef. I want people to think of Soapwalla’s products as food for their skin. Also, we use foodgrade/edible ingredients in our products to ensure we’re using the highest quality materials available.
If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
Florist by day, chef and violinist by night.
What’s one thing people wouldn’t know about you from social?
I train kickboxing several times a week. And I make a mean cocktail (although I myself only drink maybe 3 times a year).
What was the defining moment that mapped your current life path
I think it was a bunch of small things. The biggest single determining factor was being diagnosed with lupus, a chronic autoimmune illness, in 2003.
What’s the one thing no one told you about, or you didn’t expect about being an entrepreneur?
You’ll never be caught up with emails :-)
What’s wrong with the world right now?
Apathy. I want people to get invested in something, passionate about something, care deeply and fully and possibly heartbreakingly about something. And then do everything in their power to make that thing happen/prevent that thing from happening (depending on the issue).
What’s right with the world?
Love. Connection. One of the beauties of the internet and social media is we get to glimpse others’ lives in a way we weren’t able to before. And that has the ability to bring us all closer together.
Are you optimistic or pessimistic about our future?
Favorite month of the year?
May – it’s my birth month! And it’s spring, which is my favorite season.
Favorite meal (cooked or out) and why?
Oh man, that’s hard. I LOVE food. It’s hard to pick a favorite. If I had to pick just one thing, it’d be my mom’s matzo ball soup.