Coming Clean with Lather to LaceJul 27, 2015 04:49PM ● By Brandi Barnett
Daringly BeautifulAugust 2015
By Fache Desrochers
Photos: Josiah Alter
A daredevil is someone whose life is driven by a racing heart – a person whose blood pumps for adventure, and who dives into experiences with a hunger and strength typical of only the fiercest beasts.
But if fairy tales and nature documentaries have taught us anything, it’s that every beast has its beautiful side. In fact, it almost seems that the wilder the beast, the more potential for beauty. And this is particularly true if you ask Kayte Fredieu and Kalish Morrow: dyed-in-the-wool daredevils, partners in adventure, and founders of Lather to Lace, an artisan home décor and handmade bath and body emporium that is turning the market for home and personal beauty on its head, one lovingly crafted product at a time.
If you don’t see the connection between adrenaline junkies and artisan products, that’s perfectly normal. After all, if one is seeking thrills, perusing hand-crafted textiles or massaging ethically sourced lotions into the skin is far likelier to lull that person to sleep than to get the blood pumping. But necessity is the mother of invention, and so to truly understand the motives behind Lather to Lace, we’ll need to return to their beginning, which started off with a bang. Or rather, a crash. “I was in a motorcycle accident about five years ago,” explains Fredieu. “I had about 18 fractures and was in a wheelchair for some time. And because of all the scarring, I couldn’t use my normal regimen of bath products that I had been using my entire life. So I started looking into natural handmade products, which worked so amazingly that I started to wonder if I could figure out how to make them myself.”
She could, as it turns out, so she did. Fredieu laid the foundation for her artisan skincare journey by first mastering the mother of all lotions and potions: soap. “Soapmaking is chemistry, and it took me some time to become adept at it,” says Fredieu. “I found out that it takes a lot of studying, research and practice to get a wholesome, beautiful bar of soap that’s hydrating, nourishing and not drying.” But one thing was always clear to Fredieu: On the road to exquisite skincare, quality is key. “I use at least 95 percent organic ingredients in everything,” she says. “If it comes organic, I buy it that way.”
The ladies of Lather to Lace come together like a picture-perfect bath: while Fredieu provides the luxurious bubbles, Morrow sources the elegant claw-foot tub to fill with them. An accomplished interior designer, Morrow is a curator of beautiful objets d’art, many of which are her own creations. The duo share not only a working aesthetic and a balance of skills, but also a wild heart. “Kalish and I are both licensed skydivers, and that’s how we met,” Fredieu says with a grin. “We’re both risk-takers at heart, so I knew we would be good business partners because we have the same level of drive, and the ability to take chances.”
Fredieu had been growing her artisan soap business for a handful of years when Morrow became one of her main distributers out of the Hanford Antique Emporium. Before long, they decided to join forces on their own venture, and Lather to Lace was born. “It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been an amazing adventure,” says Fredieu. “We’ve established ourselves at the Vendome building in Hanford, and we’ve just opened our second store right on the water in Morro Bay.”
A big part of Lather to Lace’s inventory philosophy is its dedication to supporting local consigners. Both storefronts and their online shop boast everything from crocheted crafts to baby items to fair-trade home décor and much more. “If we ever can’t find something locally and have to outsource it, we always do it fair-trade,” says Fredieu. “But Kalish has been learning how to hand-make her own exclusive lace and textiles, so soon, instead of buying fair-trade home décor, we’ll be making it.”
This hands-on approach stems from the rather punk-rock ethos that drives their goals and keeps their standards high. “We are pretty passionate about cutting out the middleman and getting rid of corporate consumerism,” says Fredieu. “I envision a life one day where handmade soap takes over the world, and all those inferior, filler brands are just burned to ashes.”
When you’re a beast whose business is beauty, the world is what you make of it. And for loving daredevils like the ladies of Lather to Lace, that concept is a welcome one. “I want to build an empire. A small empire, but an empire,” Fredieu says with a laugh. “I envision myself running an ethical corporation one day with Kalish by my side, just daring to make beautiful things together.”
Lather to Lace • www.lathertolace.com • (559) 410-8416
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217 N. Irwin St., Hanford • 845 Embarcadero, Morro Bay