PHOENIX - If you stand on the northeast corner of 15th Avenue and Thomas Road, you can smell the soaps and oils from Strawberry Hedgehog, an all-natural soap and body bar store, all the way across the busy intersection.
As you walk in, you're immediately hypnotized by the views, smells and Tracy Perkins, the owner who's been making all the products in the shop since 2003.
"I started noticing that my skin was reacting to the products I was using, so I began mixing my own and giving it to people. It worked for me, them and then they started giving it to people," she said. "We opened up the street, but once we moved to this location, business has increased, and we appreciate all the support from the community."
The name, as unique as it sounds, comes from Tracy's background as a geologist. She used to go on walks and hikes and would capture pictures of a cactus flower that she just fell in love with. After some investigation, she found out that these were called strawberry hedgehogs.
Once her store launched, that was what she decided to name it.
That focus on nature has continued through the products her store makes.
"I want people to know that when they walk into our store, they are making a change that is all-natural, not tested on animals, good for the environment and good for them as well," Perkins said. "We make all of our soaps and products here, using only the purest essential oils and minerals, and the fruit extract that we use for our soaps is so pure, you can literally eat the extract that we use."
Plans to grow are now falling into place for Perkins and Strawberry Hedgehog. You can find the products at Whole Foods and very soon they'll be in Sky Harbor with an eye on expanding to Las Vegas, and San Diego, but the base will remain here in our beautiful state of Arizona.