Kalastyle Soaps: Making Bath Time More Beautiful

While lots of American companies are now making organic, eco-friendly, no-animal-testing bath and body products, only a fraction of them have been offering these products for more than a decade, let alone more than two. Kalastyle is one of these forward-thinking vendors, and has a full arsenal of simple yet beautifully made, widely appealing, non-gender-specific soaps, shaving creams, lip balms, moisturizers, and more, all sold in eye-catching, graphic packaging that makes almost as good a gift as what’s inside.


Kate and Lance Smith (the first two letters of their names form the Kala in the company’s name), former toy designers for Hasbro, started Kalastyle 25 years ago in a small Rhode Island farmhouse. They began as importers, buying Old World, apothecary-style personal care items from some of the most venerable soap manufacturers in Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain—many of whom have been making bath products for generations. As Kalastyle’s products caught on and the company grew, they added American makers to their roster. And although their products are now found in about 8,500 retailers nationwide, Kalastyle has steadfastly stuck to its natural, top-quality, health-conscious roots. . . . Even if they now run their business from a larger facility, sans chickens, geese, and goats.




Alice Smith, the company’s social media expert and daughter of the founders, explains that Kalastyle’s popular Swedish Dream and Modern Wash lines are both crafted in the United States by a soap maker that has been in continuous operation since 1876. “Their state-of-the-art development laboratories provide custom formulations, and they were the first US soap manufacturer to receive organic certification,” she says.


In keeping with their earth-aware approach, Kalastyle has recently begun using Rainforest Alliance–certified, sustainably sourced palm oil in all of their best-selling, US-made products, as well as organic aloe vera juice. Some, like their best-selling Swedish Dream Sea Salt Hand Creme, are 100 percent natural—free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicones, EDTA, and gluten—plus vegan and cruelty-free. “It contains 20 percent shea butter and a lovely balance of lavender, calendula, and olive oils,” Alice notes. “I think it’s one of our best products.”




As for that fun, bold, vintage-inspired packaging? Kate is the driving force behind most of the artwork. “It’s incredible to watch what she can do with a newly sharpened pencil and a clean sheet of tracing paper. That woman can sketch anything!” says Alice, who has worked as a printmaker and often collaborates with her mother on packages designs.


avocadoopensilo_1 Swedish Dream Seaweed Candle


Whether individual bars or bottles or a boxed set of creamy, skin-soothing soaps, Kalastyle has dozens of choices that are perfect for gifting during the holidays and beyond. View the full range on their website, or e-mail Kalastyle to inquire about becoming a wholesaler.

—Robin Catalano


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