Thursday, March 31, 2011

LUSH - The Final Ingredient

A Tibetan monk, a passionate woman, and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee all walk into LUSH....

Sounds like the beginning of a strange (and possibly distasteful) joke, doesn't it? But it's no joke at all. These people and others figured prominently in some fascinating stories of LUSH history that I was privileged to hear recently at LUSH-Tuttle Crossing's Blogger Event. Other stories featured perfumers with the souls of musicians, a company big-wig who began her career washing soap molds in the factory and "master compounders" who are capable of making, by hand, every product LUSH carries.

LUSH's product line is innovative and exciting. The products are pretty amazing. They are beautifully and thoughtfully made with not only the customer's, but the entire planet's needs in mind. They smell intoxicating. They're good for our skin. They require minimal packaging. They work as promised. They make us feel good about buying products that have a lower environmental impact. They make something as mundane as washing our hair fun. They make taking a bath an event.

I could go on and on about LUSH's products and give you a review of the ones I've tried or tell you more about its history. Much of that information, however, is on its website. (I HIGHLY recommend you go there and read more about this unique company.) But I believe it's not just the products themselves that transform a curious new customer into a rabid "Lushie" in one visit. Anyone I hear speak about LUSH beams when they talk about it. While the products are certainly worth raving about they simply cannot account for the giddiness that overcomes a LUSH customer at the mere mention of it's name. There's more to LUSH than bath bombs and bubble bars.

In short, it's the people. The people who created this company have an admirable vision about how a business can run and relate to the rest of the planet. They are committed to doing what so many other companies will swear cannot be done. They've created a profitable brand while maintaining an elevated level of respect for the planet and all it's inhabitants. You can witness equal commitment in the sales associates like the ones at "LUSHCBus" who do things like take home the recyclables each day (since their host store doesn't do it) or go out of their way to make sure the snacks they provided for us that evening were palm oil free. (They explained that the production of palm oil is a major cause of rain forest deforestation and the habitat loss that is threatening our chromosomal cousins, the chimpanzees, with extinction.)

What's more, LUSH brings their customers into this vision the minute they walk in. No matter what your level of environmental concern you can't help but feel like a part of it. The associates will share with you more than simply what a product does. They will tell you about how it's made and why it's made that way or whose idea it was originally. It's like being invited to a friend's house for dinner and hearing all the favorite old family stories. It not only gives you a better idea of who they are, but makes you feel welcome to join in. Even their packaging (what little there is) encourages this relationship. It bears not only the date the product was created and expires but a smiling image of the person who made it. This fosters a connection between the customer and the compounders in much the same way as going to a farmer's market and meeting the farmer that grew your food. In a time when we can sometimes feel so utterly disconnected from each other, the planet, and even ourselves, this link brings the experience of using LUSH products to another level.

LUSH is passionately committed to co-existing as peacefully as possible with the rest of the planet while creating high quality hair and skincare products. Their products are known for their fresh, natural and (when possible) organic ingredients. But I wonder if they realize the final ingredient that makes being a LUSH customer so exciting and addicting isn't found at a compounder's fingertips but within them. The passion of the people that make up this company and the kinship that's created between them and their customers is a rare thing in the 21st century, I think. Whether it's serendipity or a premeditated business strategy doesn't really matter. The end result is an overall experience that their customers enjoy - immensely.

I'd like to thank Morgan, Madison, and Stephanie for having us and allowing us an in-depth look into LUSH's psyche. It was fascinating, informative and SO much FUN! I'll be back again soon! I'm really looking forward to checking out the Spring products that launch on April 1st.

If you have a LUSH near you (or within any reasonable distance), I really recommend paying them a visit. You won't regret it, I promise. Word of warning, however, if you're tempted to sneak a taste of the edible massage bar, make sure it's the MANGE TOO and not another one that only LOOKS like it might taste good. Not that I would know about that.... Oh, and if you want to know about that monk, prisoner and woman, go ask about them at your local LUSH. ;D

Smile & Be Beautiful!


  1. Aww, this was so fun! It was so great to have you here!

  2. great review! I love Lush tuttle crossing!