Happy MoFo everyone! It’s been so much fun revitalizing the 5 Questions series, and I thought the Vegan Month of Food was a good chance to highlight some of my favorite vegan crafters. We’re kicking things off today with Tracy Perkins, the vegan soap queen behind Strawberry Hedgehog! Don’t her soaps look good enough to eat?
I’ve known Tracy for years, though we’ve never met in person. She creates amazing vegan beauty products for her company Strawberry Hedgehog and is an amazing vegan cook, too! I’m a huge fan of Tracy and of her work, so I was thrilled when she agreed to participate in my special 5 Questions series for the MoFo!
1. Tell me about how you got started crafting.â€¨
My mom always had my sister and I busy with crafts as a kid. I remember LOTS of puffy paint and having a blast. That waned as I got older and busier, but I took up cooking as my craft when I became vegetarian as a teenager and needed to be creative in a small town, making my own meals.
In college I recognized some really severe allergies that went away when I didn’t use chemical laden products. That love of cooking and putting flavors/scents together plus being sensitive to most things on the market is why soap making seemed natural to me. My training is as a geologist so the sciencey side really appeals to me as well as the aesthetic and olfactory side!
2. What draws you to eco-friendly materials?â€¨
You could say the biggest driver for me to use eco-friendly products is my body’s outright rejection of ingredients that are synthetic. Beyond that, my “day job” is teaching various Earth Sciences courses at the community college. I teach Environmental Disasters and Introduction to Physical Geology most semesters. I am aware of the intricate connection between humans and the planet, how we are affected by environmental change and how the environment is affected by us. It is a no-brainer for me to opt for cruelty-free, eco-friendly materials.
3. What inspires you?â€¨
Tea, food, my garden, the desert, the forest, All Life!
4. Who are your crafty heroes?â€¨
My great grandmother, Anne, I know only through her crafty legacy. I have a giant metal etching/sculpture she made for my grandfather of a Dr. Pepper cap (he worked for them for years). I have seen picture after beautiful picture of my Mother growing up wearing clothes Granny Annie had made and the pictures of my parents’ wedding cake she made. I marveled at the wooden plaque she carved with the names of fallen soldiers from the community from past wars in the tiny church my parents were married in. She taught my Mom how to sew and I think of my Mom as a crafty inspiration, though she would never own up to that title, despite wonderful clothes she made my sister and I as kids and one FABULOUS, very sparkly prom dress!
5. Where can folks find your work?
My soaps can be found all over Arizona, in a handful of wonderful boutiques including Ecocentricity, Here on the Corner, MADE, Fuchsia Spa, and Arizona Whole Foods Locations. In Southern California at the G-Beauty Lounge and Primrose Organic Salon and in Bozeman, MT at Soulshine Yoga!