Christopher and Vinico Benois and Robert Valvo are fixin’ up some fabulous treats at VC’s Bath and Body Treats. Their soaps, candles, perfumes and detergents are pure, clean and beautifully fragrant. Completely vegan and natural, VC’s products are designed to pamper, to nourish your skin, and to please your senses.
Like Artisans of Old: VC makes all their products by hand, and in small batches, like artisans from days gone by. The base ingredients are oils (coconut, palm, soy, sun flower, avacado, shea butter), lye, and fragrance oils. That’s it. No chemicals, synthetics, phthalates, nitro musk or paraben. Nothing that’s ever been tested on animals. VC uses only the finest of oils, and the soy is pesticide and GMO free. VC’s products are completely vegan clean, but also luxurious.
Creative Scents: The VC Trio explained to me what sets their soaps and candles apart. There are, they say, three types of scents: Essential oils, fragrances from oils blended by man, and synthetics. Most bath products contain synthetic scents. Essential oils are very expensive and can be rare. So, VC creates their own scents by blending natural oils and other ingredients together, with a touch of their own creativity. VC also crafts perfume oils with their fabulous scents.
Triple Treat: Take their candles, for example. These candles are three treats in one. The candles burn beautifully and fragrant, but the pampering is not done when the candle burns. The melted wax is also a great massage oil and lotion. In fact, VC once made lotion. But everyone wanted the candles instead. Some customers just purchase the wax to use as a lotion or massage oil. I tried out the wax as lotion and immediately felt my skin soften and moisturize. Good stuff!
A Clean Wash: Then there’s also the laundry detergent. Okay – who gets excited about laundry detergent? Well many people want a laundry detergent free of allergenic substances and good for the environment. Your clothes ultimately touch your skin, right? So, the detergent matters. VC’s laundry detergent is not only HE, but natural, non allergenic, and smells great! They tell me of customers whose lives were changed because this is the only detergent they could use without severe reactions. Wow.
A Fresh Start: VC Bath and Body Treats started when Chris and Vinicio were looking for work. Chris had been working in the travel industry and Vinicio was a talented Mexican folk dancer. Robert joined the team later. Chris and Vinicio started making soaps with a kit and selling them at a shop on NE Alberta Street. Soon, they were adding herbs, essential oils and vegetables to create some unique fragrances.
All About Soap: The soaps were selling, and Chris and Vinicio wanted to try making soap from scratch through cold processing. They signed up for a class to learn, but the class was cancelled. Not to be deterred, they taught themselves, bought the supplies, and started making the cold processed soap they craft now.
Taking Off: The team continued to improve their soaps and dream up new scents. VC eventually branched out from the shop on NE Alberta and sold their goods elsewhere, like farmers’ markets and street fairs. A few years back, VC Bath and Body Treats joined the Portland Artisan’s Coop as one of its first members. By 2012, VC was in 9 stores in the Portland/Vancouver and Silverton area, with over 60 different fragrances.
Sharing Artisans: The artisan coop started so local artisans could share a retail space to sell their products at a reasonable cost. The shop is located in the Hollywood District, and all 40 members share in the management and running of the shop. It’s a brilliant idea and fun place to visit and shop!
Terrific Trio: The VC Bath and Body Treats team is really a terrific trio. Their creativity fills the air when you are around them. They are happy, very fun, and obviously love and believe in what they do. As we chatted, they discussed some of the new scents they’re dreaming up. Mostly, they have a warmth that is contagious. I simply didn’t want to end the interview, and I probably took too much of their time! I am sure that warmth lives in the products they make and is partly why their customers value their products and the team so much.
Get Pampered: Pamper yourself or friends and loved ones! Shop for VC Bath and Body Treats at the Artistic Portland’s shop at 4042 NE Sandy Blvd in Hollywood.
You can also shop for their products and learn more about them at their website: www.vcbathandbodytreats.com.