Episode 77: Rachel Winard, Founder of Soapwalla

Change can be slow. Though we’re almost two decades into the 21st century, beauty standards have only just begun widening in scope. Just ask Rachel Winard, founder of skincare line Soapwalla. “I like the way I look, but I’m not the typical face of a skincare company.”

With a penchant for designs shaved into her hair and tattooed arms on display, she describes a sense of invisibility within the beauty industry. “Usually, you see long flowing hair, very light skin. You either look like that, or you’re very straight-looking man in a suit. There was nothing to suit my presentation.” But she found an upshot to that sense of invisibility. “Instead of moving within a box, I’m going to create my own path, in and out of business.”

In this episode, get the backstory on the brand, go deeper into issues of underrepresentation, and find out the one simple thing companies can do to bolster inclusivity.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzWelcome back to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®. It's Jodi Katz, your host. This week's episode features Rachel Winard. She's the founder of Soapwalla. Please give her episode a listen. She thinks that soap can do way more than just clean our bodies. And last week's episode featured Cathi Singh. She's a freelance, Emmy Award winning makeup artist. I hope you enjoy the shows.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the show. I am sitting with Rachel Winard, founder of Soapwalla.
Rachel WinardHi.
Jodi KatzWelcome to the show.
Rachel WinardThank you. I'm so excited to be here.
Jodi KatzI'm so thrilled that you're here. I do want to say that we tried to plan this for several months ago, and unfortunately you were going through some health issues at the time, but I'm so grateful that you're here now.
Rachel WinardThank you. Me too. Believe me.
Jodi KatzWhat would you like to share about what you went through recently?
Rachel WinardSure. So I ended up having semi-emergency open abdominal surgery to remove 17, what ended up being, benign tumors. We didn't know at the time. Mostly uterine fibroids, but some that traveled and got excited and started moving around my abdominal cavity. So that was a whole thing that was very unexpected. I had been having symptoms for about six months prior to the surgery, but they really ramped up, and from the time I found my surgeon until I went into surgery, it was only seven days.
Jodi KatzOh. So what are symptoms of that? Like what were you feeling?
Rachel WinardFor me it was like radically different periods. So I went from being very consistent every 28 days, like I could set my clock by my internal clock, and no cramps, nothing, to being at home three days like bowled over in pain, could not stand up, and a weird pressure in my belly. By the time I was really being taken seriously by doctors, you could see growths on the outside of my abdomen.
Jodi KatzThat's crazy.
Rachel WinardYou could see the bulges.
Jodi KatzSo they did an ultrasound and they saw all these things like all inside?
Rachel WinardYes. First I had a pelvic where the gynecologist said my uterus was tracking at seven weeks, and-
Jodi KatzLike pregnant?
Rachel WinardPregnant.
Jodi KatzSo the fibroids and tumors were so big it made you seem pregnant?
Rachel WinardBy the time that they removed my uterus, because I ended up having to need a uterine hysterectomy, it was at 16 weeks pregnant, and that was with most of the tumors on the outside.
Jodi KatzOh, my God.
Rachel WinardIt was a big old mess.
Jodi KatzHoly cow. This must have been so scary.
Rachel WinardIt was terrifying. Yeah, and I'm still ... When you have something like this, I have systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus for short, which is an autoimmune illness, which also plays a role in this, and there's so very little research done on women's reproductive issues that are benign but life changing like endometriosis, like fibroids. So there's not really a lot of knowledge on how these two play together, but something kicked my immune system into super high gear because I have zero symptoms six months ago and I had 17 tumors by the time that they removed them.
Jodi KatzWow. And do they have any idea what that shift would have have been?
Rachel WinardIt's unclear at this point, but I'm definitely ... I'm on a slightly more monitored track now, so there's a lot of testing in the future.
Jodi KatzOh, my God. Well, I'm so happy that you're sitting here with a smile.
Rachel WinardThank you.
Jodi KatzYou look comfortable.
Rachel WinardI feel great. I feel light.
Jodi KatzI bet.
Rachel WinardJust like bowling balls were removed from me.
Jodi KatzThat's crazy. Oh, my God. Well, I don't know how to transition to this, so I'll just do it. How are you going to spend your time today? What's on your plate for today?
Rachel WinardSo this morning I boxed, which I do, I box or I practice yoga every single day. I also went up to my roof garden and I gardened. I watered all my plants since it's like a million degrees in New York City today.
Jodi KatzIs it a vegetable garden or a flower garden?
Rachel WinardIt's a flower garden. Since we have a roof deck, in New York City we have lots of little creatures, so we don't ... I would love to have a vegetable garden, but that's not so great for keeping little friends away from your roof, so it's just a flower and plant garden. Herb harden. So I putzed around up there for a few minutes, and then I got ready and I came here, and then after I'll do some work. I'm doing a presentation tomorrow, so I'm sort of preparing for that.
Jodi KatzCool.
Rachel WinardYeah.
Jodi KatzWell, let's talk about something that goes way back for you, which is being a concert violinists. How did this get started for you?
Rachel WinardSo I started playing violin when I was four, and it was immediately love at first sight. It's hard to put into words, but I just, I still have such a somatic recollection of like touching the violin for the first time.
Jodi KatzThat's very young, right?
Rachel WinardVery young. I mean, it's not so young. I became professional and I went to Julliard, and it's that's kind of the age that most of my classmates started either violin or piano or whatever it was, three, four, five. Like that's pretty common, but it is a very young age, and I think because I was so young, it's sort of shaped how I see the world still. Like I see the world through music.
Jodi KatzWhat does that mean to you?
Rachel WinardLet's see if I can describe this. You know, one of the best ways or most tangible ways is the way that I formulate since I'm the sole formulator for Soapwalla. When I am crafting a product, I think of it like a piece, so I need like a good solid baseline. I need sort of the melody to go through, and then high notes to accentuate whatever it is I'm trying to focus on. So that's sort of ... Like whenever I'm walking down the street, there's like a soundtrack to whatever's happening. Everything is musically oriented.
Jodi KatzThat's so amazing that you say that because I am so not musical and I can't even taste what you're talking about. Right? I can't smell it. It's so foreign to me. Not only can I not play musical instruments, but like I don't even really understand how to appreciate music. It's just not in me. I never learned it. Maybe I can, but it's pretty cool. So you went, like this ... When you say professional, you mean you were hired to play?
Rachel WinardYes, yes.
Jodi KatzThis is a big deal. How old were you when that was happening?
Rachel WinardI went pro when I was 12, and I still competed. So it's like ... I mean it's, classical music is very different from pop music. There are a lot of overlaps, especially in the business side of things, but like you can still compete in international competitions and then also play for money, which is what I did.
Jodi KatzSo you were traveling around playing for money?
Rachel WinardYeah.
Jodi KatzAnd then how do you fit school into that?
Rachel WinardWell, I went to ... So, high school, I did homeschooling for a year, realized that was not for me. Went back to high school. I was just gone for about half the time. I was very diligent about my scheduling from a young age because I needed to practice six to eight hours a day. I was performing, I would say, six times a week, and I had school and school work to deal with. I wanted to ... I'm a perfectionist, so everything I do needs to be done well. So I wanted that for my schoolwork, as well as everything else. So I woke up at 4:00 AM every morning during high school so that I could practice for an hour and a half before I got to school.
Jodi KatzOh, my God. This is crazy dedication.
Rachel WinardI think it's pretty common across the board. Like if you listen to Olympic gymnasts or swimmers, it's the same thing. If you're really dedicated to a craft, you rearrange your life so that you can get it done.
Jodi KatzRight. So is the word obsession right? Like were you obsessed with it?
Rachel WinardI don't think obsession is right. I think obsession can have a negative connotation, for me anyway. I would say I was highly focused and it fed me. I think sometimes obsessions can-
Jodi KatzDeplete.
Rachel WinardDeplete you.
Jodi KatzYeah, right, right. But music fed you. That's so interesting. But you have to have like total support in your household to be able to live this life.
Rachel WinardYes. Oh, yeah. My parents are amazing people. I love them to death, and I feel incredibly lucky because they have supported me in everything I've ever done or said or wanted to be from day one.
Jodi KatzThat's amazing.
Rachel WinardThey're still that way.
Jodi KatzSo I'm still sitting here thinking about every day you're a teenager waking up at 4:00 AM, playing your music, doing your schoolwork, going to school, probably having a job that night, playing, and then it's go to bed and start it all over.
Rachel WinardAnd if I was performing in the city, so we moved to Seattle when I was I think 13 and a half or something for a violin teacher. If I was performing in Seattle, one of my parents was at that performance. I don't think I ever performed locally without one of them being there.
Jodi KatzWas that important to you that they were there?
Rachel WinardNot at the time, but afterwards I'm just like, how did you ... It's amazing. It's really amazing the dedication that they had.
Jodi KatzYeah. You know, I asked that out of curiosity, because in my head I'm wondering, do I need to be at all of my kids' sporting things?
Rachel WinardYeah.
Jodi KatzLike can't they just go to a game and one of us not be there? Is it really that important?
Rachel WinardI think it probably depends on the kid and their relationship to the thing that they're doing, and if someone's there to support them, right.
Jodi KatzRight, right. You know, it's hard for me to remember because it's a long time ago since I was a teenager, but I don't know if I ... I mean, I think I saw my mom there, but it wasn't like feeling it, and maybe because sports for me, they were just something fun to do and it wasn't like a super passion. It was just like an activity.
Rachel WinardExactly.
Jodi KatzBut yeah, maybe if I was like had so much pride in every goal and so much pride in every moment on the field, I would feel differently.
Rachel WinardYeah.
Jodi KatzOh, that's so interesting. Thank you for shedding some light on that for me.
Rachel WinardOh, my pleasure.
Jodi KatzSo my next question you already answered, it was, is there anything that ties making product and making music together, and you expressed it so beautifully. So now I'd love to shift gears and talk about another topic. When we first spoke you told me, and this is in quotes, that no one looks like me in this business in the beauty industry. What does that mean to you?
Rachel WinardI look ... Well, I like to joke that I look like a 12-year-old boy, which I don't mean in a negative way. I like the way I look, but that's not the typical face of a skincare company. Usually you have very long flowing hair, very light skin. You look very straight, or you either look like a man in a suit or you don't look like this. I'm wearing like a tank top with my tattoos showing today. I have no makeup on. I have a very short cut. Oftentimes I have like a design shaved in the back of my head, like not the usual.
Jodi KatzI love what's happening with the front. That's very cool.
Rachel WinardThis is called humidity. I don't do anything to my hair. The only thing I do is after I apply deodorant, there's a little bit of residue on my fingers, and I just run it through my hair and that helps tame a Jew-fro situation.
Jodi KatzRight, the-
Rachel Winard[crosstalk 00:11:18].
Jodi KatzSo when did Soapwalla start? When did this start for you?
Rachel WinardI founded the company in December 2009, but I started making products in 2002.
Jodi KatzSo 2002 is a long time ago. It's like a million years ago in this business.
Rachel WinardIt's really a long time ago.
Jodi KatzI would think that things have changed a little bit in the dynamic of like who's creating beauty brands, who is innovating in this industry when it comes to the statement of no one looks like me. Have you seen that shift?
Rachel WinardYes, definitely. I would say in the last two years specifically I've really seen a shift in the conversation, more of inclusiveness in every possible way, which is great. I just want us to continue that. I don't want us to be like, "Yay, we solved this problem. We're done." Because there's a lot of work to be done.
Jodi KatzYes. I mean, my own awareness, it keeps ... I'm having little light bulb moments all the time. I was talking with someone who's a content producer at Buzzfeed and I was telling her how excited I am to have finally started Rent the Runway because it's just sort of a game changer for me. Like I don't really have to think about it. I don't have to buy anything. I don't have to go to a store. And she's like, "Yeah, I love it, but they don't make enough products in plus size, so it's not for me." And I'm like, "Holy, yes. This is such a missed opportunity." And she went on to say, "Well, a lot of the brands don't even make things in my size. It's not that Rent the Runway refuses to carry them. It's just that they don't exist."
Rachel WinardI have the same issue. There's nothing there that suits my presentation.
Jodi KatzRight, right. The style that you want is not there.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzSo this idea of inclusivity, it's just like I feel like little light bulbs going off all the time, and I feel like I'm a well informed person, so if these light bulbs are going off just now for me, you can just imagine how most people, they're not even close to screwing down a light bulb, right? It's so far away.
Rachel WinardI mean, one of the easiest ways to do that is just listen to someone else who has a completely different experience from yours. Like without judgment, just let them tell you how they see the world because it's very different from you, and it's such an easy way to get a new perspective. I mean, that's what companies need to do as well.
Jodi KatzYeah. I mean, I'm hoping that this pod is starting to do that because we talk to people who are ... I mean, a lot of them are founders, but many of them also aren't, and I feel like we only hear from the celebrity face of a brand. Even if it's not celebrity, it's like the notable person, and the people on stage at industry events are the ones who sold their company for a million billion dollars. We don't hear from everybody, and that's been so important to me. Like behind the scenes is so important and just as important.
Rachel WinardVery much so. It's almost more important.
Jodi KatzEvery age. Yeah, and every age and background, and like how you found this industry. No one found it with laser sharp focus, you know? Most people just find it by accident.
Rachel WinardYeah.
Jodi KatzOkay. So let's talk about this other term that you told me, invisibility bias. What does that mean?
Rachel WinardSo it's when you aren't even ... It's not that you ... I'm trying to think of how best to craft it. You're not even there, like you're not even part of the conversation. So it feels, when you're in that position, that you're not even worth the breath that it takes to either put you down or build you up. You're just not even there. It's a very particular kind of bias.
Jodi KatzHow do you feel that in our business?
Rachel WinardI don't see lesbians represented. I really don't. I see more of an inclusiveness in a lot of other ways. I still see it skewed very heavily toward straight female presentation, no matter what their identity is. The presentation looks very straight, historically straight, and/or straight male or gay male.
Jodi KatzRight. So if I were to coach some of the clients that I have in terms of like how to avoid this invisibility bias, how would I show somebody who's not straight in communications, for example?
Rachel WinardHire some queer women. That's one of the easiest ways. And then show them on the front. Like there are as many people as there are, there are gender presentation. I believe strongly that gender is fluid, and I think there are ways to appropriately capture that so that we see that. It's very empowering to see yourself in some way on a screen or a big billboard like on a SoHo building or even just when you're flipping through a magazine.
Jodi KatzRight.
Rachel WinardAnd I think just having those people in the room to tell you how they would like to be represented is the first step.
Jodi KatzGreat point. Actually have conversations, not make assumptions.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzRight? I mean, that's not rocket science, right? Right? Like we can all do this.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzIt's just about making time, making their priority.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzSo walking through our business since about 2002, or even if we go back to 2009, walking through our business, building relationship, making connections, networking and getting investors, whatever it is that you've had to do to grow the business. Like how has this invisibility bias or this feeling of no one looks like me impacted the way that you move through the growth?
Rachel WinardI think it's a blessing in a lot of ways. So I don't have a business degree, which I also think is a blessing, and in the same way, my invisibility gives me a lot of freedom. Instead of moving within a box, I just said, "Fine, I'm just going to create my own path, like completely outside the box, in business and out." I think a lot of people who are part of the norm, they have to work a little harder to get to that place of complete freedom that you have when you're on the margins.
Jodi KatzRight. So I just feel like the time is so right for your brand. I think the customer is asking for this. They don't want to be dictated to anymore. Even just like in the simplest terms, the consumer's view of what aspiration is has totally changed. Right? Like aspiration only used to be in our industry like the tan lady on a yacht in Capri. There was really only one way to show it.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzMaybe her accessories would change, the car would change or the jet would change, but like ... You know, a jet or a boat. And now aspiration means so many different things. So-
Rachel WinardIt's amazing.
Jodi Katz... what has been the hardest thing though, being someone who feels not represented in the business? What's been the biggest challenge in growing Soapwalla?
Rachel WinardNot being taken seriously, which I think may also just be my being a small woman in a business that's still very dominated by men. And-
Jodi KatzWhen you say small woman, you mean like-
Rachel WinardI'm not tall. I'm like five feet when I'm standing as tall as I possibly-
Jodi KatzAre you wearing heels?
Rachel WinardNo.
Jodi KatzOh, okay.
Rachel WinardI present as taller.
Jodi KatzYes, seriously. Yeah.
Rachel WinardIn my head I'm like five foot eight. I feel like everyone is my height, and then I stand next to them and I'm like, "You grew a lot." So yeah, I project a taller person, but when I'm standing one on one with someone you can really feel my height. So I would say that, like being not taken seriously or receiving very patronizing responses, or just not even being invited to the table, the conference, the speaking engagement, whatever it is.
Jodi KatzSo this would be in talking with ... What is this, like talking with editors or talking with investors? Where do you find this biggest challenge?
Rachel WinardSo we haven't gotten the investment route yet, so I haven't had any meetings with investors or bankers or lenders. We've been in the black since day one, which I'm really, really proud of.
Jodi KatzMazal. That's amazing.
Rachel WinardThank you. Thank you. Yeah, it took a lot of work to keep it that way, but I really wanted 100% control of the business, and I wasn't willing to give that up because our priorities are very much governed by the principles that I created when I started the company. So obviously when we want to be profitable, I want to be able to provide lovely place for my employees that's a secure employment, but safety, efficacy, purity, all of that still is our number one.
Jodi KatzRight. And all your products are made locally?
Rachel WinardYes. Yeah.
Jodi KatzRight? Locally, New York City locally?
Rachel WinardYeah. Our deodorant we're getting help with now, so that's going to be Connecticut. We can't keep up, which is a great problem to have, which is a whole different can of worms of like finding someone who can help you co-manufacturer who does things the way you want them to.
Jodi KatzRight, that shares the same values as you.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzIt's probably easy to find factory, but-
Rachel WinardYes. Yeah, and I really, I wanted people who are hands on. I wanted people who would let me be in the space. All of that is a whole ... That's a whole different podcast. But I apologize, I forgot what your question was where I started [crosstalk 00:20:22].
Jodi KatzWell, we were talking about ... We started, first you told me that you're actually not tall, which I didn't know, but I was asking how this feeling of not being taken seriously, what prospects of the business is it most challenging to deal with that?
Rachel WinardI feel it on the editorial side a little bit, and also I would say more like panels or talks where I feel like we'd be a good fit, and I know that the people who are running the program know of us and we've had conversations, and I think it's just like they don't even see me as part of that conversation.
Jodi KatzRight. Well, my guess is the Thought Leadership opportunity [inaudible 00:21:04] with people who actually see it.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzRight?
Rachel WinardI agree.
Jodi KatzAnd we can talk offline about what those would be because I want you to get those as well. Okay. So let's talk about something that I was not expecting to talk about until when we had our first chat. How is soap a public health issue?
Rachel WinardSo skincare is ... Skin health is public health, which is why I'm so adamant about us being a brand for everybody, and that plays out in a couple of ways. We don't use human models. I don't want to show you who I think my customer is. You are my customer. So I'm not going to put any images in your head. If you see any people on our Instagram feed, it's likely me because I'm the only model that we'll use, or it's another customer who posted something that we regrammed.
Rachel WinardYour skin is sort of like your canary in the coal mine. Like if you have systemic issues going on, often it will play a role in your skin in some way, and you need that support. You need good, clean, healthy skincare that makes you feel good about yourself and good in your body while you're using it. That will just impact all other parts of your life, your mental health, your physical health, how you walk through the world. And people who are marginalized often don't feel that in the commercial skincare world. I certainly didn't before I really made it. There were certain stores that there was not enough money to make me have to go into. I just felt so incredibly unwelcome and that it was not the right fit. I was really desperate when I started making skincare. I wouldn't have done it otherwise, but I was really in a health crisis, and I realized I needed to.
Jodi KatzWhat was the health crisis?
Rachel WinardThe lupus diagnosis. It took about a year and a half to be diagnosed, which shockingly is actually a smaller amount of time. I think the average is like three years to get an accurate diagnosis.
Jodi KatzWow.
Rachel WinardSo I had a lot of stuff going on internally. I do have internal organ involvement, but nearly everyone with lupus has skin issues because it's an autoimmune illness, meaning that your cells get confused and they start attacking your own cells, thinking that they're foreign bodies, and your skin is a very fast turnover, so a lot of people have pretty intense skin issues, and I was one of those people. Like head to toe.
Rachel WinardSo out of desperation, I started making these products, and as I really delved into this, I mentioned earlier, I'm a perfectionist. So of course, like feet first I dove into this. I taught myself basic chemistry formulation, herbology, aromatherapy. I read old wives' tales, which have a ton of information about the myriad ways that native plants have been used for centuries, and I really started understanding the link between skin health and other kinds of health that we pay perhaps more attention to.
Jodi KatzSo does taking care of your skin in this way help the lupus or-
Rachel WinardOh, yeah.
Jodi Katz... it's just ... Is it treating a symptom? How does it impact your wellbeing overall?
Rachel WinardA little bit of both. When my skin feels good, I feel good. When I feel good, the lupus is less likely to flare, which is exactly what I'm ... That's actually the perfect way to sort of encapsulate what I mean by skin health is public health. If you feel good, it's such ... It's like unquantifiable how that impacts every other part of you.
Jodi KatzRight. When you are actually feeling good, then it's the lupus is not ignited, right? Like when you're starting to feel bad, it could be emotionally, it could be anything, it ignites the lupus symptoms?
Rachel WinardIt's more likely to. Stress is definitely a trigger for me. I mean, there are other things that are out of my control for flares, but everything that I can control, I absolutely do.
Jodi KatzSo how does lupus affect you every day, other than your skin?
Rachel WinardI really try not to allow it to. So what I do is make sure I listen to myself. If I start to feel a little rundown, as much as I hate saying no to things, I have to start saying no to things. Other non-negotiables for me are that boxing and yoga that I mentioned, like I have to. My body is a physical body. Like I have to move, and more than that, I have to get out of my head, and both of those particular activities for me do that. I like to be really creative, so I have different creative outlets that I do. I play violin, I garden, I become like a crazy mixologist with the skincare. I'm constantly exploring new formulations and combinations of ingredients and see how they work. So all of that sort of feeds into a sense of wellbeing that makes me feel good and normal.
Jodi KatzRight. So what I'm seeing is a thread between all the things we talked about, this idea of, to feel whole, you have to work hard at it, right? You had to do that with music, right?
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzIf it filled you in such a way that you wanted to, but you had to work hard at it, which meant you weren't waking up at 10:00 in the morning and just playing and then going out with your friends at night. Right?
Rachel WinardNo.
Jodi KatzYou were really working hard at it, and to just feel whole and healthy, you have to work hard at it.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzAnd I mention that because I think some people, when they get down in the dumps, they're getting down in the dumps because things aren't happening easily.
Rachel WinardYes. Yes, yes, yes.
Jodi KatzBut we all have to work at happiness.
Rachel WinardI'm so glad you said that. I think there is such a fantasy about good things in life come easily, and if you have to work for it, maybe it's not the right fit. No. The good things in life you have to work really, really hard for, and the piece of advice ... Like I always get asked from people like, what would you tell the next wave of women coming up who want to start their own business? And I always say the same thing. Put your head down and do the work. It's like the least sexy piece of advice you'll get, but it's accurate. Try to drown out all that noise and focus on what you want to achieve, because you can control that.
Jodi KatzThat's right. I think that there was a turning point for me because, I don't know, maybe movies or TV put this notion in my head that like magically the success is going to happen, and well, I see it happening for other people. It's not happening for me, feel down in the dumps, all these feelings of compare and despair, like all this stuff. When I just accepted that I have to just keep moving forward and that I'll find the path even though I don't really even know what road I'm on, once I accepted that everything became much more joyful, easier, more fun, and it works.
Rachel WinardExactly.
Jodi KatzI saw the payoff that I was always desperate for.
Rachel WinardYeah. I mean there's really no such thing as an overnight success. If you look at those stories, you're like but they've been working their butts off for 12 years before they got "discovered".
Jodi KatzThat's right.
Rachel WinardThere's a lot of behind the scenes work that go into these stories that we get presented with of like I just woke up and everything fell into place.
Jodi KatzThat's right. And even the people who make it seem like everything is easy, it's really not. They are just hustling so hard, and they're so good at it that they make it look easy, but that's because they become accustomed to it.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzWhen I have these low moments, I think of George Clooney. He's my example for this because it was many years of being just maybe a working and non-working actor before ER happened. There was Facts of Life for a ... I think it was Facts of Life he was on for a little while, but you know, like a lot, a lot of years of being not George Clooney the way that we know him. Right? And maybe he wasn't even like 40 something until this happened. So everything we have to work hard for, and I see this thread in everything that you're talking about today.
Rachel WinardOh, yeah. I'm a firm believer in working really hard. Plus, it feels better when you achieve that goal. You know the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it, and it feels just, it feels really good.
Jodi KatzYeah. There's a ton of dignity in realizing that I made something happen.
Rachel WinardYes. Like there's a lot of pridefulness that I think is really healthy. I just put my foot forward every single day. Didn't know what was going to happen, and that's okay too. I think there's also a concept that like you have to know what the end point is before you start, which is just never the case. You'll never really know because things happen. Life changes. You make discoveries along the way. So you don't have to know everything to start, but you do have to start.
Jodi KatzYes. Yes. Okay. This is so helpful for me today. I needed to hear this.
Rachel WinardOh, good.
Jodi KatzOkay. So I'm going to shift gears with our last section of questions, and we're going to focus on deodorant.
Rachel WinardOkay.
Jodi KatzSo when I first met your brand, I think ... I don't know if it was in a gift bag, or you know, it was like at an event and I received a Soapwalla deodorant, and it's in a little pot.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzAnd it's not like a roll on or a rub on or ... I don't even know what we call them. Roll ons?
Rachel WinardMm-hmm (affirmative). Stick.
Jodi KatzSticks. Right, right. So like I grew up with a stick, and then I moved to a roll on as a, I don't know, a teenager. And it's a pot, and I'm supposed to dip my hands into it and rub this, massage this into my armpits, and it felt so strange, so I never did it. You told me that you're going to tell me why I do need this.
Rachel WinardYes.
Jodi KatzI want you to tell me why this is fantastic, and then why using it the way that you suggest is fantastic.
Rachel WinardOkay. So the ingredients that we use are nearly all edible. Really, aside from the essential oils, they're all food grade. So the powders and clays are naturally going to help absorb. It's not an antiperspirant, so it won't stop you from sweating, which I personally think is a good thing. Sweating means your body is doing what it's supposed to do. It's called homeostasis. It keeps you from burning up. The essential oils in there are naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, so they stop any bacteria from forming, which is generally what causes that odor. So at the end of the day ... First, I think they smell really good just on their own.
Jodi KatzYeah, I just opened the citrus one. Smells great.
Rachel WinardYeah, that one smells delicious. But at the end of the day, not only do you not smell badly, but you also don't even really smell like the deodorant because the essential oils have neutralized themselves throughout the day. So it's really, you put it on and then you don't think about it for the rest of the day. And I'm such a believer of the pot because one of my personal pet peeves is, first, way too much packaging, and also when I can see like there's a quarter of the product left and I can't get to it. That really does kind of make me crazy. I'm like, I can't get to it. Do I take a hacksaw to this? Like how do I actually get the rest of the product I paid for?
Rachel WinardSo you get 100% out of this pot. It's super easy to travel with. It's a solid, so it's not even considered one of your little wet products for traveling. Because it's 100% natural, you can put it wherever you want additional coverage. We have professional athletes who put it on the bottom of their feet if they get very sweaty, stinky feet. We have a couple of politicians who use it on their hands if they're like shaking hands with 200 people in a 30 minute period. You could-
Jodi KatzBut how does that help? Because it's not stopping me from sweating, so how does that help the palms?
Rachel WinardMy guess is for the palm, it also helps provide a little bit of a barrier so that your skin doesn't just become raw.
Jodi KatzOh, I see.
Rachel WinardBut also if you get sweaty hands when you get nervous, it will absorb some of that.
Jodi KatzOh, okay.
Rachel WinardSo it won't stop it completely, but you won't be Drippy McGee.
Jodi KatzDrippy McGee for governor.
Rachel WinardExactly.
Jodi KatzOkay. So what does the deodorant not have in it that I'm used to using?
Rachel WinardIf you use a commercial antiperspirant, it won't have any of the aluminum compounds that are often in there. The aluminum compounds are what stop you from sweating. They cause your skin cells to swell. They swell shut. That's why the sweat doesn't escape, but you're going to sweat more elsewhere because your body is going to ... Bodies are amazing. They will always compensate. They're working for you the entire time. So if there's a system that's getting thwarted in one place, it's just going to compensate elsewhere.
Jodi KatzRight. And is this your best selling product?
Rachel WinardIt is, yeah.
Jodi KatzAnd is this the first product that you created?
Rachel WinardNo. The first two products I created when my skin was at its worst. I couldn't even use water on it. It was just so inflamed and painful, so I made a cleanser, which is our Lavender French Clay Soap Bar, which is still for sale, and a moisturizer, which is our Restorative Face Serum. Those were the first two products. I figured I needed to cleanse and moisturize, and then I could figure everything else out later, and yeah, they're still ... And those two are two of our best selling products as well.
Jodi KatzOh, that's cool. Well, I'm so glad that we sat down together today.
Rachel WinardMe too. This was great. The time flew by.
Jodi KatzI'm glad that you're feeling better.
Rachel WinardThank you.
Jodi KatzI'm so grateful for the point of view that you bring to the show, so I'm thrilled. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
Rachel WinardThank you very much.
Jodi KatzAnd for our listeners, I hope you enjoy this interview with Rachel. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes, and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

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