This month’s Independent Spotlight is on Britton of Haus of Gloi.
The Haus of Gloi is a vegan soap company that began in the spring of 2007. In the spring of 2009, Britton followed her dreams fully and Haus of Gloi became her full time job.
What drew your interest in bath products?
My love for indie bath and beauty runs deep, its like useable art! But I also love experiencing the interpretation of an idea or feeling in scent form, that I get to wear or use.
How long have you loved bath products?
Since I was little. I used to raid my mothers vanity table, I always made off with the powder puff, I love body powder, heh.
What spurred you to create your first bar of soap and your own brand?
It was after I tried my first bar of handmade cold process soap, about three years ago, it was a ZUM bar I think. I eventually hit the library in search of information and surprisingly, they had a ton of books on the subject! I spent tons of money and tons of time being a hobby soaper before I took the plunge and started selling on Etsy. Thankfully I married a graphic designer 😉 Matt takes care of all the design work while I work on production, fragrances and new products.
It just should be. I don’t feel that animals and insects should be forced to give up their bodies and by-products for us to use. It was a personal decision I made for myself almost a year ago (April 1st!) and I feel that it should be reflected in everything I do, that includes the business I run.
About how many hours a day do you work? How many days a week?
We start working at about 8-9 am and finish at 10-11 pm most days (with breaks of course!). Sunday is the only real lazy day we take (aka: brunch food coma recovery day!), being we cant ship. We pretty much always have something to do with the business going on! Its hard work, but I love every second of it 😀
How do you come up with your scents?
Besides my general catalog of fragrances many of my scents are blended with the season in mind. I draw from anything that inspires me really, it could be a color, a dream, a current obsession or an old experience.
What makes you decide to create a new product line?
Usually out of necessity or request. Or if I created something and really enjoy it, I usually like to share with others.
What is your favorite product to create?
Soap for sure! Especially limited edition batches, lots of fun.
What is your least favorite product to create?
Sample scrubs, and only because they’re time consuming little buggers to fill. I cant use piping bags because the consistency is so thick that too much is left in the bag after filling, so we have to use these tiny stainless steel spoons on each one, a pain!
What is your all time favorite scent?
Jasmine blooms on a hot summer night. My neighborhood is full of them and late night walks during the summer can be very intoxicating! If I could spend all summer with my face in a creeping jasmine vine, I would!
What are your favorite scent notes?
Resins! Anything sticky or rich, tobacco absolute, oakmoss, amber resin.
What is your favorite type of product?
I really like foaming sugar scrubs. Some day I’d love to formulate one of my own!
Do you have a signature scent that you wear?
Not really, right now. I’ve been wearing Peach Mama quite a bit though. I usually smell like whatever I’ve been working with for the day, often a cacophony of this and that! Whenever I’m out and about running errands I get a lot of “What’re you wearing!?” and I’m like, “I don’t know!” LOL.
Do you have a signature look?
I’ve had dreads off and on for years, current set is 3 years old. I think they’re very much a part of who I am and how I look. I don’t do the hippy/rasta look that is most often associated with locks though. I’m sort of goth, grunge? I guess. I love beat up/well worn cloths and shoes, practical stuff. My shoes (VANS solid black core classics) are so awesome right now though! They’re so beat up, haha. I currently want to find a jean jacket that I can dye black DIY it and turn into my full time Metal Head jacket 😀
What are your favorite colors to wear?
Black, gray and muted colors mostly. Browns, olive and sometimes orange and reds … I like dark stuff. I love lime green nail polish and makeup though. Love it! Aromaleigh Rocks! Googoomuck color is my most favorite.
Do you have a favorite fashion or beauty trend?
I really like that black lipstick is showing up more. But, with fashion Helsinki street style is my favorite, they dress so well, and I love that they use tons of second hand cloths!
Do you have any favorite seasonal scents?
PUMPKIN. PUMKPIN. PUMPKIN. Haha, I love Halloween/Samhain 😀
Where do you look for inspiration when you’re in the mood to create something new?
Usually mythology. I love the Norse and I look to the Eddas for inspiration sometimes. I’m also inspired by documentaries that I watch, like I recently saw one on Japanese “Satoyama” villages (they live in harmony with nature, google it!). I also have a top secret cookbook, that pairs up flavors for ALL kinds of foods, herbs and spices, so whenever I’m in a bind or am looking for an idea, I usually find myself there.
Can you tell us about any upcoming collections?
Oh boy. This month has been insane! Lots of newness, we’re about to release the long awaited lotions and our limited edition Spring trio, those are all coming out at the same time. I’m also working on two (maybe three) fragrances for the Portland Vampire Ball event that is coming up in about a week!
Do you have a favorite way to make fragrances?
I usually draw my inspiration from memories or a feeling that I have an want to express in the form of scent. Sometimes they happen on accident and sometimes I add and subtract from a blend until I find the perfect concoction that evokes my idea.
What’s your skincare routine?
I recently just started using the products from Acne.org. Its been really rough, because I went from awesome skin to total crap skin almost over night two years ago. I know I probably sound like an infomercial, but their stuff IS AMAZING. I’m very critical of skincare products and I saw a difference overnight, seriously, not even kidding, overnight! It just stopped everything in its tracks.
What’s your favorite way to accessorize?
Scarves and belts!
What are your favorite authors or books to read?
I haven’t had much time to read recently, but am a Neil Gaiman fan of course 😉 And I started Quicksilver by Neil Stephenson.
What are your favorite movies or tv shows?
Well, I was raised on Star Wars, hardcore. A sibling of mine is even named after a character! So I usually go on a bi-monthly Star Wars binge, heh. Harry Potter movies are awesome. House of 1000 Corpse, Sword in the Stone, are a few. Matt and I are huge British TV fans, The Mighty Boosh, Snuff Box, Good Neighbors, The Peter Serafinowicz Show and his Look Around You series are great. Currently I’m enjoying Spartacus and documentaries on religion, ancient cultures, science, plants and animals.
Metalocalypse has to be my all time favorite though! Season 3 is amazing!
What’s your favorite indulgence?
Oh gawd, a big ol’ all you can eat vegan brunch from Sweetpea bakery here in Portland. Local pizza cart offering vegan pizza, called W’yeast and a pint of So Delicious coconut milk ice-cream!
Do you have any pets?
Two kittehs! Toki Wartooth And Pistachio.
Do you have any favorite video games?
WoW. I play hunter class, Night Elf … I haven’t touched the game since I last took some time off (right after holidays) though, I don’t have much time for it right now. But I get the occasional WoWish fix from Oblivion. Thinking about going Horde side when I have some time to play!
What are the colors in your home?
Its pretty boring. Nothing specific really, lots of random paintings that friends of mine have done, a few of my own. Books. Bits of scattered vintage.
What are the colors in your workspace?
Its the multi-colored world of small business! Heh, stainless steel, amber colored bottles, cardboard and soap rainbows.
What do you do to relax?
Yoga has been the best way for me relax. Its the only way I can stop, do some serious breathing and literally work the stress out of my joints. I love it.
What do you do to pamper yourself?
Retail therapy a hot bath, and sleep!