One of the most popular posts on this blog is from my third month writing The Heart of Tofino, way back in 2009. It's this one. Back then, I was getting my first "tastes" (well, my skin was) of the products from Sea Wench Naturals, hand-crafted right here in Clayoquot Sound from wild and organically-grown plants and algae. I loved the products then and it seems that many readers did too. It was difficult for many fans to find the products once they left Tofino and when potential customers would go searching on-line, they'd often find their way to my site. So I am very pleased to see that Sea Wench Naturals has its own brand-new, squeaky clean website. (No doubt it would smell fantastic if such a thing were possible.)
The products are also more widely available in the region than they were when I was first writing about them. I figure if they're in the local pharmacy and not just relegated to speciality shops and spas, that speaks volumes about the appeal. (Plus, I know from the blog that people who'd bought the products while visiting Tofino, soon were trying to find a source from Vancouver, Toronto or beyond. That speaks to the products' appeal as well. Now it's simple to get in get in touch directly with the creators of Sea Wench products.)
The business has really expanded their product line, and a new brochure and a troll through their website finds everything from shampoos, body washes, bath salts, oil and bubbles, to bar soaps, lip balms and candles made of soya, natural butters and oils. There is a new line just for babies in your life, too.
When I cruise through the list of products I'm baffled — and inspired — at how such a tiny company can churn out such a variety of excellent products. But then, when I see the gardens that the folks behind Sea Wench tend, it's clear what hard-working, committed people they are.
So all this may sound like an ad, but part of what I want to do on this blog is showcase the great things that are at the "heart of Tofino" (and beyond, in Clayoquot Sound). Sea Wench Naturals certainly exemplifies the heart of all that is creative, positive and entrepreneurial in our region and I particularly appreciate how the products are so based in place. Just look at some of the ingredients: infused oils of plantain, nettles, alder, willow buds; the seaweeds kombu and Laminaria; devils club root, horsetail, yarrow and coastal glacial clay (from BC's Great Bear Rainforest, no less).
If I had to pick my favourite product - and that is a difficult very task - I'd have to say that it is the Body Wash, which is good for face and body. Pop open the bottle and the essence of cedar is powerful, but not overpowering. A bit of coastal rainforest with every shower.
So please head on over to Sea Wench Natural's new website and take a look. (True to Sea Wench's philosophy of staying rooted in Clayoquot Sound, they also used a very talented local company for the web design, Four Mind.)
[All photos courtesy Sea Wench Naturals.]