It’s a dirty world out there, but not for long if Preston Tillotson and Tyler Robinson—the “Studz” behind the artisan soap brand Sudz by Studz—have anything to say about it. The partners (in life and in business) produce handmade skincare and bath products, including a line of fragrant soaps with whimsical names like Sinus Buster (made with eucalyptus, mint and camphor) and Beer’d Bar (made with local craft beer).
(MAKING A) CLEAN LIVING
Working out of their detached garage, Robinson does most of the heavy lifting surrounding production, while Tillotson handles marketing and the like. “It was a hobby at first, but then it took on a life of its own,” says Tillotson, adding that the business has brought them “immense satisfaction on both a spiritual and practical level.”
THE SCIENCE OF SUDS
Sudz by Studz sells both “melt-and-pour” soaps (using a premade soap base) as well as more labor-intensive “cold process” soaps, which Robinson produces from scratch by adding various combinations of oils, colorants, fragrances and other ingredients to lye in order to create a bar that smells good, looks pretty and gets you clean. “It’s the perfect intersection of art and chemistry,” says Tillotson.
The Studz maintain high standards when it comes to sourcing ingredients for their products. “The ethics are important to us,” says Tillotson. They use only certified sustainable palm oil, for example, and they order from reliable suppliers who can document the exact source of the natural ingredients, which include exotics like kukui nut oil from Hawaii and babassu oil from Brazil.
IT’S A DIRTY JOB
As it turns out, you have to get pretty dirty to make a product meant to get you clean. And of course there’s the lye to contend with. “We wear a lot of safety gear: protective suit, gloves, goggles,” says Robinson. It’s a Walter White sort of look, and it has raised a few eyebrows. “Sometimes, people walking by see me and wonder what I’m up to,” he says with a chuckle.
WHERE TO BUY
Sudz by Studz products are sold at Good Stock Boutique and Lululemon Athletica (both in Arden Fair mall) and online at sudzbystudz.com. Bars of soap cost between $5 and $10. A pricier luxury product line is in the works.