Soulful Earth Herbals brings plant-based products to Lansing

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LANSING, Mich.—In the spring of 2005, Kathaleen Parker opened Soulful Earth Herbals. The small business, located in Lansing, is a place where people can buy personal products that are directly extracted, plant-based chemicals, rather than industrially processed chemicals that are found in the average personal hygiene products, such as sulfates. 

Parker claims the start of her business was simply her love for plants. Before sharing her passion with others, she started out making herbal remedies for her family in her free time.

Before opening her store, Parket sold Soulful Earth Herbals at local farmers markets.

“I started really small. I didn’t have any expectations with my business because I didn’t have a firm foundation of what I wanted to do. I just wanted to start sharing the work that I did,” said Parker.

Parker also serves as a resource for people who need more information about plant-based products. She gets to explain to new customers why they should make the switch.

“I can help educate their options for their bodies whether it be through skin care topicals or using herbs to assist their bodies natural functions,” said Parker.

Parker is self-taught. She learned how to create personal products through plant-based methods by reading books.

“The internet was not a thing when I started, so I read a lot,” said Parker.

The product-making process using all plant-based materials is tedious and precise.

“Soap is a three-step process, and I usually dedicate a several-hour chunk when I need to make soap. I have to pay attention to the temperature. That one is probably the most vulnerable product that I make. I can’t have any interruptions while I do it,” said Parker.

Each product has their own process, some being more specific than others.

“If I’m making essential oil blends, it’s just pouring oils in proportioned amounts in a bottle to make the blend,” said Parker.

All these products are made in the store by Parker herself. She measures most of her ingredients by weighing them on a scale.

From arthritis rub, eye treatment, facial toner and many other products, Parker finds herself making products frequently in order to keep them fresh.

“Nothing sits on my shelf for more than a month, everything is freshly made,” said Parker.

Parker will continue to share her passion for plants with the Lansing community by creating products that support the environment.

“My favorite part is being able to share the work that I do. I’m so grateful to be in a space to get to do that,” said Parker.

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