Paint soap made in Qualicum Beach goes global
Soap created in Qualicum Beach is now being sold on shelves around the world.
As a painter, Christie Carter-Tokairin has always struggled with finding environmentally friendly cleaners for her brushes. When she opened Revived Vintage in Qualicum Beach last year, one of the things she wanted to stock for her customers was a natural soap for cleaning paint brushes. Revived Vintage sells refinished furniture, home decor items, paints and also hosts workshops.
"It didn't make sense to use an environmentally-friendly paint and then use a chemical to clean my brush with," she said.
But she had some stipulations. She wanted the soap to be puck-shaped so she could hold it in her hand and easily swirl her brushes on it, she wanted it to be environmentally friendly and 100 per cent natural, and it also had to be a certain thickness and be available at a good price point.
Since she couldn't find this perfect soap, she approached Quadra Island Soap and asked Naomi Terry if she would take on her endeavour. After sending samples back and forth in the mail a number of times, Carter-Tokairin had devised her perfect paint soap.
"I loved it, so I named it and put it in my shop," Carter-Tokairin said. A couple of Island retailers heard of her magnificent soap and began carrying it, one in Duncan and one in Victoria.
Earlier this year, Carter-Tokairin was at that Victoria store doing retailer training when the president of Homestead House in Toronto asked about her soap. Homestead House (home of the iconic brand Miss Mustard Seed) makes milk paints that are organic, biodegradable and zero VOC.
The president of the company asked if Carter-Tokairin would be interested in bringing her paint soap into the Miss Mustard Seed paint line.
Now Carter-Tokairin's paint soap will be made available at over 250 retailers in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
Carter-Tokairin said she was impressed that the Toronto company went to the effort of supporting a small Canadian business that is making artisan soaps by hand. She has since been approached by Cloverdale Paint (another Canadian company) to make a paint soap its Van Gogh Chalk Paint line.
Carter-Tokairin said local businesses supporting local business is what she's all about.
"It's the local domino effect," she said. "You keep things local, you give jobs to people, you keep money in the economy. That's my driving force. I try and keep my shop as local as possible."