Meet the Makers: Sonia Chhinji and Fouad Farraj of Woodlot

Get to know the designers and artisans that were featured in our Made-in-Vancouver gift guide

December 3, 2015

By Ashley Sparrow / Photo: Britney Gill

What started as gifts for friends and family turned into a brisk business for partners Fouad Farraj and Sonia Chhinji of Woodlot. Rooted in tradition, their candles and bath products are inspired by techniques inherited from their families. Farraj learned to make soap from the olive trees in his backyard while growing up on the Mediterranean coast while Chhinji’s mother taught her how to hand-roll cotton wicks (a practise that can be traced back to her grandmother in India). Using these techniques, the couple churn out small batches of soap, bath salts and petroleum-free coconut wax blended candles in their bright and airy Mount Pleasant studio. After joining other local brands on our Made-in-Vancouver gift guide, this duo share their signature holiday gift.


What’s on your Christmas list this year?
Fouad: A puppy
Sonia: An Issey Miyake bag

What’s the gift you’re most excited to give this year?
Sonia: A custom photobook to a really good friend.
Fouad: A home-cooked meal to family.

Do you have a signature gift you always give?
Sonia: Before starting Woodlot, I always gave friends and family homemade candles and soap bars, so this year I will rely on Old Joy gift boxes because they are simply the best, and full of amazing Canadian-made brands.

Aside from your own, what’s your favourite locally made brand?
Sonia: Vitruvi.
Fouad: Wings + Horns.

What gift(s) do you wish for the city of Vancouver?
Sonia:  Affordable housing.
Fouad:  I would really like to see the Downtown Eastside cleaned up.

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