Our origin story
Janice Summers, Founder and CEO
Everyone likes to know how and why we got started. What was it that ignited the Très Spa flame?
It came together in a very organic way like pieces of the great moving puzzle (we call life) falling into place and locking in one movement at a time. But coming together in ways I could have never imagined along the way. Très Spa did not evolve laterally, it’s more like pulling in random bits from a life time of experiences. From bad skin conditions to blissful days spent luxuriating in some of the finest destination spas. Seasoned with a desire to make a difference in an individuals life as well as for the planet as a whole. Add to all of that a passion to create and transform, it seems pretty clear I was driven to do something.
I suppose I should say that my motivation was because I had difficult skin conditions having suffered from psoriasis and eczema my entire life. Which is true. I did suffer all my life. But that wasn’t what drove me and that is not what continues to drive me now.
At the very core, I wanted to create exceptional products that anyone could use and I loved going to the Spa. So two ideas converged and I was on a mission to create personal care products that would act as catalysts of transformation for people. Life can be stressful and we can all use transforming on a pretty regular basis. Who has the time (and the money) to run to the spa every time you need transforming? I know I don’t! Yet, the value of the trans-formative nature of going to a spa is priceless. So how could I get that experience packaged up for people to experience at home or whenever they may travel? It started with a bar of soap.
Making nice smelling feel good products wasn’t enough. I wanted products that would serve to nourish others using only natural, sustainable plant derived ingredients. I didn’t want to make an average bar of soap, I wanted to make an exceptional bar that would nurture the Mind, Body, & Spirit and I wanted it to be affordable for anyone. So that meant high end ingredients, a very long lasting product, and offered at exceptionally reasonable prices. In order to do this, I worked tirelessly to source each and every ingredient. Carefully vetting each step of the supply chain while still finding the most reasonable prices. It also meant we had to purchase the raw materials directly and create the products ourselves. Making skin care, hair care, and face care products is a joy for Très Spa and a very important part of the product as I believe intent is infused in each creation. So we keep our ingredients high end and our prices low because I believe everyone should feel cherished and special not just the wealthy. This is also why you wont see a lot of discounts and super sale prices, we are already inexpensive so why try to play that game. The main goal is that I wanted each person, regardless of who they are and what their life experience has been, to feel a compassionate embrace every time they use Très Spa products. That is my hope, that is my intent.
My company so I got to do what I wanted.
Très Spa’s mission
Très Spa creates artisan handcrafted personal care that are in Harmony with Nature. From the first look, the first touch, the first aromatic note that reaches your senses you know that Très Spa products are a cut above the rest. Our inspiration comes from nature and the long history of holistic health and aromatic practices. Our approach to personal care is for the Mind, Body, & Spirit. We take great pride in crafting natural products for you and your environment using only the finest natural, organic, and wild crafted ingredients.
Très Spa products are lovingly handcrafted with intent and hand packaged in the USA.
One planet, one chance
Tres Spa Planet Friendly
We only have one shot at this so let’s not screw it up. What we do and the choices we make have an impact on the planet and we have one chance to get it right. As creators of consumable products we take our responsibility to be good stewards seriously.
We all share one birthright, our position as stewards of the environment. No matter what your position is in life, you own this birthright and the duties and responsibilities that go along with it. What you do matters and the choices you make every day make a difference. Something as simple as how you care for and nurture your skin is one of them and who you choose to support with your purchasing power can have a profound impact. At Très Spa, we take our stewardship responsibility seriously. We focus on all of the little things that go into creating and distributing superior skin care products. We are always striving to make adjustments and improvements to advance our management skills. Sustainability is deeply rooted in our guiding ethos.
Our quest for sustainability starts with all of the ingredients that go into each product. If you can plant a seed, grow it, harvest, and re-grow it: it’s sustainable. So from the very beginning we made the decision to use botanical ingredients. The oils we use are cold pressed from nuts and seeds that have been grown and harvested responsibly. The scents come from pure essential oils that are cold pressed, steam distilled, or extracted. You will never find artificial fragrances in any of our products. As we have grown and evolved we made the commitment to become full vegan as well as supporting organic growers.
With the exception of a couple of preservatives required for product safety, you won’t find synthesized compounds or nearly natural or nature identical ingredients in our products. We only create authentic natural products.
What you also wont find in our products are chemicals that have been shown to have deleterious effects on delicate environments.
Many products have actually been banned from areas of the planet due to the adverse downstream effects they have. The most notable are certain Sun Screens and Bug Repellents. *If you want an environment friendly bug repellent, you should check out our Hiker’s Heaven line.
At Très Spa, we design our products to be so gentle on the planet that you could stand in the middle of the most delicate remote area of the planet and freely use our products without harming a single living organism. With the exception of bacteria. Soap (this includes our shampoo) has been shown to kill many forms of harmful bacteria. Our products come from nature and are easily absorbed back into nature.
We have to put the products in something. In a perfect world, you would be able to stop by and fill up your bottle, jars, and bags but that is not realistic. So we do our best to make the best possible choices that meet the challenges of our customer needs. The organic soaps and organic shampoo are wrapped in recycled paper. All of our white paper labels are printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper. Our packaging can be recycled, reused, and even re-purposed. You can even purchase refills for our stick products. Quite a few of our customers are international travelers so our products need to be travel ready, hence the PET bottles.
We continue to evaluate and make improvements when we can, making Très Spa even better.
Conservation in creation
As a creator of products, it is our responsibility to make sure we are mitigating the effects of manufacturing by controlling the downstream impact. With over a decade of experience we have fine tuned our vendor selection and our processes to minimize waste. In addition, we offset our carbon footprint through charitable donations.
Reduce Reuse Re-purpose
It’s heartbreaking how many manufacturers use excessive packaging to retail their products. Sometimes it’s required for safety but in the cosmetic world it’s often done to artificially inflate a products perceived value. The personal care business and the cosmetic world share some of the same mind space when it comes to retail so you find that same behavior bleeding over.
We get it. Who doesn’t love a pretty box with lots of textures and colors and pizzazz? Shinny shimmery glittery things sitting on a shelf capture anyone’s attention. But there is a cost to that and it’s one we all end up having to pay if we fall into that trap. There is an environmental cost with all that excess packaging in addition to the sting in the buyers wallet. Most people think of landfill load after consumer purchase. But that is not the only environmental impact. Take a moment and imagine all of the processes and chemicals that go into one package and then think of the downstream impact of all of those chemicals. The cascading effect grows exponentially.
Over a decade ago, we decided to ignore the market trend of excess and do our own thing. While we can’t get away from packaging, Très Spa uses minimal, recyclable, and/or or reduced packaging for the products. At one point we even made our own paper until it got to much to do. Our gift collections are not tiny sized either. They are full size or travel size and the box is just right to hold all of the product together.
And when we ship your order to you, the box is only large enough to hold your order together. We spend a little extra to get sturdy boxes rather than relying on over-sized flimsy boxes packed with cushions.
We can reduce our carbon footprint by reusing packaging. We get the handiness of a tube for certain applications like deodorants. But we get tired of seeing so many tubes entering the recycle program. We wondered what if we made a stick to refill the tube. So we did. Now you can actually reuse the tubes by purchasing the stick refills. Just clean your tube and pop in a new one. We are currently evaluating other products for a similar concept or a buy a “bulk” refill option.
Some of our packaging can be re-purposed for other things. We intentionally do not glue labels on our gift packaging so that it can easily be re-purposed for a multitude of other storage needs. They fold flat for easy storage as well. Once you’ve used them to the point of falling apart, they can go into your recycle collection bin.
When we select packaging for our products we evaluate their environmental impact weighed with the customer needs and the product requirements. You can put the empty packages in your curbside recycle bin. Just make sure you rinse out any remaining product.
We have started a new partnership with Teracycle to make it even easier for you to be able to recycle Très Spa products right from your home. We think we have designed a program that should work for all of us and one that works for a small entrepreneur company. We have big ideas but small footprint so we needed a program we could scale. It’s a program we are very excited about.
Here is how it works: You give us your clean recyclables and we’ll give you points thru our rewards program. Collect your points and use it towards your next purchase. All return packaging needs to be clean in order to earn your reward points so make sure you rinse out any residual product.
Mail in returns: If you are one of our remote customers, simply hang on to the the empty packaging until you have enough to fill an envelop or box. When you are ready, let us know and we will send you a pre-paid label to use for your box or envelop. We appreciate it if you would save up a few items before shipping back to us. Minimize our carbon impact by bulking up your packing.
Farmers Market and Event returns: When you see me at the market, you may notice my portable recycle bin. This is so that I can collect your Très Spa empty’s. You’ll still get points that you can save up and spend at the market or trade them in for on-line credit towards any Très Spa products.
The thought of any animal suffering for the sake of human vanity is horrific. This is the reason we stayed strictly with plants that have a very long history in human application. No animal testing is needed. This is also why we have stayed away from trends and fads of synthesized additives cleverly masked as good for you yet stemming from a science lab. We aren’t arguing their efficacy. We just don’t see the need for it when the plants have all we need.
When you see the words Cruelty Free in skin care, it means that the products have not been tested on animals. While there is no governing body policing the term, it is a generally accepted practice in the industry. Now here is where it gets a little problematic. Cruelty Free doesn’t mean the individual ingredients haven’t been tested on animals. Remember those fun chemistry concoctions synthesized in a lab? They do require a bit of testing so how do they get tested? Possibly not on animals but who knows and we have no interest in finding out since we just avoid them all together.
To the rescue come a couple of agencies that will take a look at the ingredients and verify that, not only the finished product, but also each ingredient that make up the finished product have not been tested on animals. PETA is one of those companies.
Tres Spa is PETA Approved Vegan and Cruelty Free
For years we avoided the bureaucracy for the right to say what we have been doing all along. Seems weird to have to pay someone for the right to say that we are cruelty free when we are vegan. But we get it. It does have value to those who do not know us. So eventually we gave in and decided to pick PETA to partner with.
We chose People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a couple of reasons. There is a fee (their is always a fee) and they do verify (just like the other groups) but they go beyond that. They use the funds donated to help support their mission: to end animal cruelty. They actively work to bring an end to animal cruelty and suffering not just in cosmetics, but in all industries. This is a worthy cause, in our opinion, and one worth supporting.
We are thrilled to be approved and recognized by PETA as not only a cruelty free company but a vegan one as well. We are also a part of their Business Partner program. Double bonus!
You can find us in the PETA virtual mall as well as many other companies. All are Cruelty Free and many are also Vegan. Très Spa is in the Beauty department between Health and Accessories. As an additional bonus, see if you can find the secret coupon code. This coupon can be combined with others. Who does that anymore? We do!
Compassion for their living environment
We agree, not testing on animals is great. But we, at Très Spa, think we can do even better. When we innovate, create, and distribute Très Spa products we think of the downstream impact our products may have on natural habitats. So we design our products to be so gentle on the eco-system that you could stand in the middle of the most delicate remote area of the planet and freely use our products without harming a single living organism. With the exception of bacteria. Soap (this includes our shampoo) has been shown to kill many forms of harmful bacteria.
Our products come from nature and are easily absorbed back into nature. We like to say “from nature, back to nature”.
We are a committed vegan company. While we did not start out that way, it has become a very important part of our identity. For us, achieving the vegan status was a pretty big deal. We wanted to go beyond the ability to say cruelty free. We wanted to do better. There are tons of cruelty free companies that still use animal by products in their formulations. I know that sounds odd but the term cruelty free covers animal testing but not exploitation. So you can see that it is one thing to say you are cruelty free, but quiet a different level to step up to be a vegan company.
In the beginning we did use a bit of organic milk in the milk bath and we did use a bit of honey in one or two products. This is fine for a cruelty free company but not for vegans. That was all we used so it was really easy for us to make a couple of simple modifications to our formulas and move over to be fully vegan compliant. Once we understood, we converted to vegan after our second year in business, over a decade ago.
You cannot be truly Vegan Friendly and exploit or harm animals as well as insects. Just like cows do not produce milk for humans, Silk worms do not “clock-in” to a job where they voluntarily go make silk threads for humans. Squashing beetles for color to dye products is pretty obvious, but what about honey? Well…as it turns out bees make honey for other bees. Not for you or me. Read more here Vegan Society
In fact, we go one step further with our vegan practice and insist that ingredients be in harmony with nature. So beyond the required preservatives, you will not find any synthesized or artificially manufactured fragrances or additives of any kind in our finished products. This makes all of the Très Spa products in perfect harmony with nature. You never need to worry about our products polluting or destroying eco-systems. From nature back to nature.