What gets us excited almost as much as people drinking our tea is when they use it in new and inspired ways. Over the next few months, follow along as we highlight local collaborators that take our teas outside the cup! It’s an opportunity to glimpse into the lives of our favorite makers and learn what makes them so special. First up is our dear friend, Sally Plunkett of S.A. Plunkett Naturals.
S.A. Plunkett Naturals was built around handcrafting safe, gentle, and effective botanical-based bath and body products for all. Each product is thoughtfully designed with a commitment to using sustainably-sourced natural and organic ingredients. Not to mention, Sally strives to keep her environmental impact and packaging minimal—both essential mainstays in our own business practice. From the age of 17, Sally dreamed of one day owning a business like S.A Plunkett Naturals. Over the years, this passion took shape in the form of a hobby by making soaps, salves, balms, and other products in her spare time. After the birth of her daughter, she began creating products with more intention, trying to soothe the sensitive and reactive skin issues that plagued them both. It was then she realized she could lead by example and produce skincare options that are kind to our bodies and planet.
The kettle is whistling, and teatime has arrived—what tea would we find steeping in your mug?
For a cold option, Lemon Hibiscus. For a hot tea, Women’s Blend.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
From a young age, I dreamt of living on a lavender farm with an awesome workspace where I could dry herbs and make soap and other natural bath and body creations. After graduating from high school, I was drawn to the world of herbal studies and botany, then focused on geology and geography in college. Before starting this business, I worked as a GIS analyst for an environmental consulting firm where I created maps and provided GIS support mainly for wind energy and hydro projects. I may not have the farm (yet), but I have a great workshop and a business I love!
How long have you been in business?
S.A. Plunkett Naturals officially started in March of 2017. I've been making handmade bath and body products to share with friends and family for some time.
What was the motivation behind launching your product line?
I have been making soaps, salves, balms, and other products off and on for years. I found it enjoyable and rewarding. At the close of 2016, after half a lifetime of dreaming about having this business, I finally decided to or got the courage to, follow my dream. I wanted to be an inspiration for my daughter—to set an example by working hard to build something important to me—and to have a job that I truly cared about while making a difference in the lives of others.
Tell us, what does a “day in the life” look like for you?
4:15 AM » Wake up, go to the gym (if I can).
5:30 AM » Wake up if I hit the snooze for the gym.
5:30 to 8:30 AM » Enjoy my favorite time of day, try hard to make a social media post, check/respond to emails, and then get myself and daughter ready to get out the door.
8:30 AM to 2:45 PM » At the studio working.
2:45 PM to 7:00 PM » Get daughter from school, attend any after-school activities, hang out/family time, work a little more, make dinner, help daughter get ready for bed.
7:00 PM to 9:00 (or 10:00 PM) » A combination of computer work, business planning, studying herbalism and aromatherapy courses, complete veg out time, visiting with my husband, or watching a movie.
When you have downtime, what are your favorite local spots to explore?
My favorite thing to do anywhere is camping. I can’t pick just one place in Oregon, because there are so many beautiful places! A few of my top choices include the Hells Canyon area, Steens Mountain, and Anthony Lakes. My favorite place in Portland is my neighborhood, Woodlawn.
What goodies have we created together?
Everything from soaps, sugar scrubs, and lotion bars, to body oils and lip balms. Our newest collaboration of soaps features Bird Song Oolong & Earl Grey Lavender. They are both bright, floral blends, perfect for the sunny days ahead.
It's no secret we are big fans of your brand! What interested you in partnering with us?
I love tea, and I find that The Jasmine Pearl offerings are exceptional and are also so lovely to work with. I also love the people at JP! It is such a treat walking into the tea shop, as everyone is always so friendly and knowledgeable. It has been a joy partnering with such a wonderful group of people who are genuinely passionate about what they do. The company is so supportive of many local makers and small businesses, like myself, and I like collaborating with a small business that takes joy in supporting local. It is such an honor to work with another company that prides itself on quality and sustainability.
Is there a JP signature tea blend you love using in your products?
My favorite tea to work with has been the Earl Grey Lavender (pictured here in a cold oil infusion). I love how it lends its color and aroma to various products, especially the Earl Grey Lavender soap. It has been my favorite co-branded project with you guys so far. I find the soap making process rewarding, but I also really appreciate the color and fragrance that tea produces in the finished bar.
Thank you, Sally!
To learn more about S.A. Plunkett Naturals, check out her website
or stop by and visit Sally at these events this summer:
June 30th Portland Flea
July 20 + 21 The Portland Bazaar