Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Featured Exhibitor: Wenonah Body Lab




Who are you and what do you do?  

Who We Are
Wenonah Body Lab started in the fall of 2019 with a father and his two daughters (now 14 and 17) with the goal of empowering the two young women in his life to be future business leaders.
What We Do
Wenonah Body Lab's natural difference is small batch, handcrafted body care products made by real people using natural plant-based ingredients in plastic-free packaging. Our products are People Friendly & Earth Friendly. 
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it? 
We started crafting soap to sell with our oldest daughter. As soap sales increased people asked the name of our business. As we started in Winona, Minnesota it felt right to use the original Dakota spelling of Winona which is Wenonah followed by Body Lab. Interestingly, the meaning of Wenonah means first born daughter, so it is a bit commemorative to our origin.
Is this a full-time business for you? 
Yes. Along with growing our business we are also building a brand and it requires a full-time commitment.
What do your customers love most about your product(s)? 
Our customers identify us as the natural and plastic-free body care product. Our tag line, "No Funky Stuff" and our customers seem to get a chuckle from that. 
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
Of course. Most of our products have taken 6-9 months to develop and the time is consumed with making failed formulations after failed formulation. However, each failed attempt is a lesson about what doesn't work and eventually arrive at a product that happily enjoyed by our customers.
What do you think sets your designs apart from others? 
Aesthetic. This isn't to say we have the best design, but we are intentional about using product packaging, labelling and overall design that is consistent with our zero-waste mission. The result of this is an aesthetic which is minimalist, modern, and slightly industrial.
Have you always been passionate about art and design? 
Every aspect of product development is performed by us to ensure our aesthetic is imparted in the product and user experience. Specifically, we formulate and craft each product; select the packaging material; and design, print and screen print product labelling.
What is the latest thing you have been working on? 
As a plastic-free company, we have struggled with the use of labels. Although we use paper labels instead of common plastic-based labels, the labels are pre-applied to plastic sheets so they can be easily removed for application onto products. The plastic waste generated from the labels is annoying. So, we are no shifting to screen printing the labels directly onto our products. We never thought we would be a screen-printing business, but it is the best solution to our commitment to being plastic free.

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