Tara MacWhirter expanded earlier this year with a new line of products. Now she's looking to possibly expand into bigger production space to keep up with demand. (Photo: Francis Tessier-Burns).

Wiggle your baby clean

You’re likely to see a new logo coming out of Garden Path Homemade Soap. No, the monarch butterfly isn’t going anywhere; the new logo is for Wiggle, the company’s recently-launched line of baby products. 

Tara MacWhirter, Garden Path’s owner, says new parents and grandparents alike have been asking about baby-specific products for some time. She adds while most of Garden Path’s products can be used on babies already, “unless it specifically says for babies, people don’t feel that it’s safe.”

“So we felt that by creating a line (specifically for babies), it would serve that purpose.”

When it came specifically to a baby line, MacWhirter says, there were many people who were looking for products that help with eczema. To do so, she says they used a “less is more approach”: mostly unscented, preservatives-free and all-natural.

Growing up

All of Garden Path’s soaps are made in MacWhirter’s home. Metal drying shelves used to line the dining room walls.

She says her family hasn’t had a meal there in more than a year. “The smell was too strong.”

So, last summer, they added an extension to the house dedicated only to soap. Cupboards house the company’s dozens essential oils and jars of homegrown plants they use, including lavender, rose petals and chamomile. Across the cupboards sit the metal shelves with hundreds of soap bars lined up like little soldiers awaiting a wet, sudsy battle for cleanliness to triumph.

In this room, MacWhirter explains where the name Wiggle comes from.

“The name came about because our logo is a monarch butterfly so I thought, shouldn’t it be a baby butterfly,” she says. “A baby butterfly is a caterpillar, so we thought of a word to describe caterpillars and babies.” The caterpillar in the new logo is indeed a monarch butterfly caterpillar.

Know your product

The line has been many months in the making. They tested their products, but also did some background research.

“One of the things we noticed,” says MacWhirter, “many of those original brands such as Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, those famous brands that were the original founders of the natural products, have been purchased by large corporations.”  

In 2007, Clorox bought popular natural product line Burt’s Bees for $925 million, only one example of big corporations buying up natural product lines. 

While this isn’t inherently bad, MacWhirter suggests reading labels very closely and doing research into the ingredients we use every day.

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