Client Interview: Elissa Klaver of SALUS
Date Posted: 10/01/2015 | By:
SALUS is Fort Collin’s very own natural bath and body care company founded by two CSU Alumni: Elissa and Jerell Klaver. They handcraft their natural soaps, moisturizing bath bombs, aromatherapy shower bombs, lotions, creams, bubbling bath cupcakes, organic lip conditioner, massage care, shampoo, conditioner, Muscle Relief Gel, gifts and more.
Their products are made with natural and organic ingredients, and are paraben-free, and as a BONUS most everything starts off unscented so that you can stay fragrance-free or you can choose from their wide selection of over 200 fragrances and essential oils to have it scented just the way you want. For true, Colorado crafted natural body care, visit Salus!
The Salus Suds Team is at the ready to create a personal body care product just for you. That’s personalization!
Salus is the bath and body care shop on historic Walnut Street in Old Town. Look for their lovely green awning outside to find an emporium of body care delights inside.
Us: How did you get started with SALUS? And where did the name come from?
Elissa: In 2007, my husband and I founded SALUS, which is a bath and body care company. We wanted to offer custom products that were naturally great – all on their own – organic, pure and fresh. And then let customers pick their favorite scent right there in the shop.
Once we got started with that concept, we realized that although many customers loved the idea, sometimes they wanted to buy products already infused with scent. Grab and go style. So we started handcrafting organic soap, bath bombs and shower bombs with the scent already in them. From there we’ve just kept expanding our product line every year.
We had a passion and wanted to follow it and be our own bosses. It’s been going strong ever since. We currently have three retail stores in Colorado: one in Manitou Springs, one at the Town Center at Highlands Ranch and one in Old Town Fort Collins. We also have a new warehouse in Fort Collins just for the manufacturing of our bath bombs and shower bombs, which brings us to close to 40 employees total
Oh, and Salus is a Latin word that means well being and vitality. Those are the founding principles of our business.
Us: Why was scent customization so important at Salus?
Elissa: Most stores, or product lines, only offer a few scents, and they’re very perfume-y and strong. A lot of people we initially talked to didn’t like that. We wanted to create an environment where people choose their own scents, from a selection of a few hundred, and mix their own product to be exactly the scent level they want. We use essential oils, phthalate-free fragrances, and really natural, great smelling ingredients.
Us: Do customers notice the difference between your natural stuff and the chemical stuff they’re used to?
Elissa: EK: Absolutely. You can really feel the difference! For example, we recently had a review on our website about our lip balm. He described the difference between our organic lip balm and lip balm with chemicals in it.
“Have you noticed that many lip balms are addictive? Once you start, you have to keep using them because your lips feel so dry. Connect the dots: the lip balm is causing the problem. Not so with the Salus Lip Conditioner. I don’t always need lip balm, but when I do, the Lip Conditioner fills the bill, but doesn’t dry out my lips. Goes on smooth and heals those chapped lips.”
It does cost more to use all-natural ingredients compared to synthetic chemicals, but there is a difference in the quality and the impact on our environment. For us it’s the right thing to do, and what our customers want from us.
Us: Tell me about parabens and why you don’t use them.
Elissa: A lot of commercial cosmetics products use parabens in their preservative system. There’s been research that suggests that parabens may be linked with breast cancer. Why do I bring this up? Because I’m a cancer survivor, and our second son Gabriel passed away due to birth defects. It’s due to these life experiences that we are very conscientious about the ingredients we use, and not using ingredients that may be a contributing factor in cancer or birth defects. There are a lot more natural and earth friendly ways of preserving products that we use and support.
For instance, we don’t test on animals and insist that any supplier follow that same policy.
Us: What ingredients do you use?
Elissa:Our products are filled with natural and organic ingredients such as organic shea butter and cocoa butter. Our sunflower oil is sourced locally, it’s naturally organic and naturally non-gmo, just like our cornstarch, which is certified GMO free. The important thing is that we’re committed to using natural ingredients, rather than ingredients made in a lab. It makes a big difference in how your skin feels.
Our customers also feel great on the inside knowing that with every purchase, we make a donation to Trees For The Future on their behalf. So far we’ve planted nearly 20,000 trees!
Us: Talk about your bath and shower bombs
Elissa: Bath Bombs are our biggest seller and what we have become known for. Basically, a bath bomb is a swirling, twirling ball of fragrant, moisturizing fizz which leaves your skin ultra-moisturized! We fill them with organic shea butter, cocoa butter, and sunflower oil. They are an all-natural alternative to bubble bath.
Editor’s note: OMG. How have I lived without these in my daily soaking tub ritual? The aromas are interwoven and expanding and the ‘plop’ in the water is absolutely effervescent! I’ve tried a half dozen of the different fragrances in the last week and I anticipate each silky soak. Can’t wait for night to come! To me, they’re happiness at $2.95 or less a pop.
Shower bombs are similar in that they give off aromas, but there are no moisturizers in them. You simply place them on the shower floor, activate the bomb with water, and enjoy the smell of your shower haven!
Us: How’d you get to know Leapin’ Lizard Labels?
Elissa: A customer of ours overheard us taking about printing challenges that we were facing on both the quality of what we needed and costs. She asked if we had ever heard of Leapin Lizard Labels, and we were surprised to find out they were local. She said they do excellent work, especially for small runs. So we gave them some test runs to test their quality and costs, and we were impressed with what they can deliver. No one comes close. It’s been great working with Leapin’ Lizard Labels. And, because of their short run capability it has enabled us to grow our private label business as well.
Now Leapin’ Lizard Labels does the majority of our labels. They’re excellent to work with and always high quality. And they can handle anything we give them.
We couldn’t be happier with our relationship with ‘the Lizards.’
Us: Where can we find SALUS products?
Elissa: We have three retail stores in Colorado, and we ship to select retailers all around the country. Those stocking outlets are listed on our website.
And we do sell direct at www.shopsalus.com