Lather Up

Waconia’s Donna Garhofer uses birch trees to make striking soaps.
Waconia-based Birch and Body makes soaps using birch trees.

Three years ago, Donna Garhofer bought a book on soap making and began crafting unique black and brown soaps. Birch & Body has since transformed into a growing business, inspired by the natural extracts found in birch tree bark and in chaga, a type of fungi found on birch trees.

These ancient extracts moisturize the skin with antioxidants and healing properties, says Garhofer.

The soaps are created through a hands-on cold process using all-natural, local-sourced ingredients. This approach is crucial to Garhofer’s products, “I see consumers wanting to be more educated on what they’re putting on their bodies and eating,” she says. “I really want to provide something that’s special so people can take care of their skin.”

Currently, Birch & Body features four different soaps: Birch body soap, Birch face soap, Chaga body soap and Bircha body soap. With the exception of the face soap, all are available scented with essential oils.


Birch & Body Soaps are available at $12–$14.