Founder Feature: Laura Whitaker from Wildcraft — Health Hut
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College Street

Monday - Saturday: 11-6

Thursday: 11-7

Sunday: 11-5

Leslieville

Monday + Tuesday: closed

Wednesday - Saturday: 11-6

Sunday: 11-5

Muskoka

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786 College Street, Toronto

1025 Queen Street East, Toronto

3658 Highway 118 West, Port Carling

786 College Street, Toronto

1025 Queen Street East, Toronto

3658 Highway 118 West, Port Carling

College Street

Monday - Saturday: 11-6

Thursday: 11-7

Sunday: 11-5

Leslieville

Monday + Tuesday: closed

Wednesday - Saturday: 11-6

Sunday: 11-5

Muskoka

Closed for the season

Founder Feature: Laura Whitaker from Wildcraft
· · · Comments

Founder Feature: Laura Whitaker from Wildcraft

· · · Comments

Laura, we’re so excited to learn more about Wildcraft and the journey you’ve had bringing approachable, consciously crafted, plant-powered skincare to the world. We can’t wait to wander the woods with you. 

HH: Wildcraft has been on the Health Hut shelves since 2015, and we love it as it gives our customers a carefully considered line of sustainable skincare at accessible price points. If you were to put together a skincare routine for less than $100, what are you putting in the cart?

LW: Yes, it’s amazing that we’ve been working together all these years! Health Hut was one of our very first retailers. We have plenty of routine options for all skin types. A simple routine under $100 for dry skin, for example, could look something like this:

  • Wash Oil Cleanser, $30 - Start your skincare routine with this hydrating cleanser to gently break down impurities and makeup without stripping the skin.
  • Balance Toner, $27 - This hydrating facial mist helps to minimize pores and preps the skin for moisturizers.
  • Restore Face Cream, $30 - Finish off with our ultra-hydrating Restore Face Cream to leave your skin vibrant, glowing, and deeply rejuvenated.

HH: We’d love to know, which Wildcraft product are you always reaching for?

LW: I can’t choose just one! The four products that I use almost every day are our Wash Cream Cleanser, Balance Toner, Regenerate Face Serum, and our Restore Face Cream. Those are my essentials! 

HH: In 2021, Wildcraft took the 1% for the Planet pledge where 1% of your annual sales are contributed to organizations that support the wellness of people and the planet. *huge applause* This year, your pledge is going towards Water First. Can you tell us about this organization and why you chose it?

LW: Thank you! It was a big move for a small organization like ours to contribute 1% of our sales, but it’s one that I’m really happy we made as a business. At Wildcraft, we believe in the importance of individual wellness, but we also believe in community wellness. 

Water First is helping to address water challenges in Indigenous communities in Canada through education, training, and meaningful collaboration. They believe that everyone has the right to safe, clean water and that the water crisis in Indigenous communities is unacceptable. As an Indigenous person and owner of a wellness company, Water First’s mission is something I wholeheartedly support.

Thank you to our customers whose orders and support allow us to contribute to this wonderful cause!

HH: Connecting to nature is at the heart of Wildcraft’s story. As the seasons change, what is one of your favourite skincare routines as we head into the colder months?

LW: Body care products start making a more regular appearance in my routine once the cooler weather comes! We just launched our new Frankincense and Geranium Illuminate Body Cream and its ultra-nourishing texture and warm scent is perfect as we head into cozier self-care routines.

HH: We read about you paddling Algonquin Park and jumping in the lake across the road from your childhood home in rural Ontario. Robin Wall Kimmerer writes, “the land knows you, even when you are lost.” What is a place that feels really good for you to be in?

LW: First off, I love this quote so thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to speak to it. (Apologies in advance for the long-winded answer; I think this is an important one to explore!)

For those who may not know, Robin Wall Kimmerer is a First Nations botanist who embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. Her understanding of our human connection to nature is profound; I deeply appreciate her perspective and I absolutely love her book, Braiding Sweetgrass, where this line comes from. 

In the chapter where this quote lives, she shares how her family would spend their summers canoe camping on Algonquin land in the Adirondacks when she was a child. She writes about the disconnect she felt passing through places with settler names such as Mount Marcy, Forked Lakes, South Pond, or Brandy Brook. She writes about the anger she felt at not knowing the real names of these places and her sadness about all the language and traditions that had been taken from her family when her grandfather went to residential school.

Her message is a hopeful one, however, when she states: “The land knows you, even when you are lost.” She talks about how her deep connection with the land transcends what has been stolen and how little by little her and her family have started to regather this knowledge wherever they can and how they have created their own meaningful traditions in its place.

For me personally, I feel deeply at peace whenever I am immersed in nature. It’s definitely one of the reasons that I connect to natural skincare. Like Kimmerer, I grew up canoe camping on Algonquin land. I mostly camped in and around Algonquin Park. After a few days of sleeping on the forest floor, I definitely start vibrating on a different frequency and I always leave feeling refreshed and grounded by it. 

HH: What’s the best skincare advice you’ve received and what skincare advice would you like to pass along?

LW: Honestly, it sounds corny but the best skincare advice I’ve ever received is to just feel comfortable in your own skin. The people that are always the most attractive, in my opinion, are the ones who have this trick figured out. It’s not easy to cultivate self-confidence, especially as a woman in a world that is always telling you to buy something to make yourself more beautiful. The truth is you truly won’t feel radiant until you believe it yourself.

At Wildcraft, we really like to think of our products as wellness products—things that make you feel good to use from a sensorial perspective. They create little moments for you to truly care for yourself.

HH: It’s the end of the day and you’re crawling into bed after the sun’s last colours have spilled over the sky. What will we find on your bedside table?

LW: I’m always testing a new product that’s under development for Wildcraft. We have some fun ones for evening skincare rituals that we’re working on right now, and that’s what’s been on my bedside table all summer!

The most extra and beautiful botanically-dyed silk sleep mask from a local company called Wild Woven was gifted to me by a dear friend. It’s plush and pillowy and I absolutely love it. 

A giant mason jar of water.

HH: What vision do you hold for the future, for both Wildcraft and for our Mama Earth?

LW: Wildcraft is built on creating better everyday moments of wellness. My hope is that every time you use a Wildcraft product, you’re creating a moment of simple luxury that empowers you to pause, slow down, and feel good about taking care of yourself so that you have more energy to take care of those around you—your friends, your family, your community, and the planet.

LIGHTNING ROUND, THIS OR THAT

  • Oil or cream cleanser? Double cleanse with Wash Oil Cleanser followed by Wash Cream Cleanser.
  • Bath or shower? BIG bath person.
  • Salty or sweet? I love a salty snack.
  • Cook or take out? I always prefer to cook (especially when ingredients are in-season).
  • Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and evening.
  • Morning or night? Morning
  • City or country? Country
  • Summer or winter? Fall!

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT FEEL-GOOD...

  • Binge-worthy show? I’ve been binge-watching seasons 1-3 of Making the Cut which is basically a revamped Project Runway. 
  • Toronto eatery? Noctua Bakery in the Junction is a true treat.
  • Local Shop? I really love Type Books.
  • Evening snack? Cheese and crackers forever!
  • Song? I love dancing with my daughter to As It Was; she always laughs and it’s really cute.
  • Ritual when you get home? I love lighting a candle, pouring a glass of wine, and making a little dinner.
  • Activity to wind down? Restorative yoga and breathwork when I make time is always the best.
  • Beverage? I’m loving Light Wave from Barbet!