Well Told With Sonia Chhinji, Co-founder of Woodlot

Created from a desire for natural, plant-based products that infuse the best quality essential oils, Woodlot offers hand poured coconut and soy candles, all natural soaps and lotions, essential oils and natural body mists crafted from simple ingredients. Woodlot’s products were created to inspire the beauty rituals of future generations who value clean-burning, plant-based products. And as much as they are a home and body company, they are a brand that stands behind the philosophy that beauty and wellness should be intentional, inclusive, and natural.

For a limited time, receive Woodlot’s Original essential oil and Flora soap with any purchase of $50 or more.

1. Woodlot is so much more than the candles, essential oils and skincare products you sell. Can you talk about the idea of a self-care ritual and how your products play into that?

Self-care is such a hot topic. For me, this has evolved quite a bit as I’ve learnt that this term can mean different things to different people. Over the last year, especially, we’ve heard so often how our products can really transform a space or contribute to a daily routine. With people working from home, many of them managing work and parenting in the same space, and having so much less access to what may have been their ‘me time’ pre-pandemic, we’re always delighted to hear how our products have helped. Some people will associate ‘work time’ with a scent and only burn or diffuse that scent when working. Others use palo santo to clear away the hustle bustle of the morning and settle into a productive space.

Allowing ourselves a moment to transition and set a new intention to move forward with is really vital when there’s so much going on and anxieties are so high. I think sometimes social media makes us believe that self-care has to be fancy or complex, and while that type of self-care can be fun, self-care can also be drinking more water or going to bed early. For me it’s often getting in a little movement, getting outside, or finding the time to read a chapter of a book. As a mom, I love my skincare routine because it allows me a few moments for myself. I love the act of applying toner and facial oil to my skin, and feeding my skin something hydrating and nourishing makes me feel really cared for right from the start of the day.

2. Why was it important for you to offer soaps and lotions that are all natural?

When I started to seek a cleaner lifestyle beyond food, soap and toothpaste were two of the first things I wanted to find all-natural alternatives for, because we use them all the time. My husband learnt how to make soap in childhood because it was a tradition of his family’s. Learning that process and finding out that you have to wait 4-6 weeks for soap to cure was a really grounding experience for me. We live in such an instant and automatic world. I love having products that I know were made with care and with passion. Using a bar of soap or lotion that was hand-crafted with carefully selected ingredients is the equivalent to eating a home-cooked meal made out of veggies someone grew in their garden.

3. Can you tell us about the role essential oils play in health and wellness?

Essential oils make beautiful enhancements to your health and wellness rituals, but I don’t believe they can replace the necessary ways that each of us should be taking care of ourselves. I think scent is something people really find joy in, and that enjoyment is an important part of the self-care puzzle we often neglect. It’s lovely to have something be a part of your routine that just makes you feel good or takes you back to a specific memory. But I don’t believe you can say, “Hey, use essential oils and they will fix everything”. I believe you have to build towards health daily, and that different days call for different things, but that essential oils are often a good tool.

4. For those who don’t have a diffuser in their home, do you have suggestions for how they can still use your essential oils?

I love adding essential oils to a salt bath. 8-10 drops does the trick. You can add them as the bath is filling and by the time you sink into it, the aroma has completely filled the room. I will also add essential oils to a wool dryer ball to make my clothes or linens smell good. You can add them to DIY cleaning products or even just add directly into your mop water when you clean your floors. Someone recently shared that she adds them to a ribbon and ties it around her fan so that the scent blows through her space. A lot of my friends carry our Recharge blend around and will just smell it right out of the bottle when they need a bit of a pick me up. Diffusers are great, and I love the aesthetic of them, similar to having a candle that smells great but is also nice to look at, but there’s plenty of other ways to include essential oils in your lifestyle without one.

5. What’s been keeping you well these days?

Check-ins with family and friends, which is not the same as in-person visits, of course, but it does help to keep in touch however we can. I’m big on reading and baths and I love my weekly mask ritual. Discovering new music and being able to share it with other people is a big one for me, and I love seeing that my son is the same. Sometimes our tastes differ but there’s nothing like seeing him dance around the room when his favorite jam comes on. I really think it’s the little things that are going to carry us through right now, and maybe it always was; moments here and there that feel peaceful or joyous. I think wellness has to be what feels good for you and that might differ from what other people do, and it might differ for you on a day-to-day basis, so it’s just trusting your own intuition and paying attention to what your body is telling you.