Located on the edge of a saw mill in Oxfordshire, LA-EVA is the evolution of an artisan studio specialising in cold process soap making. For us, traditional handmade soap provided a unique platform for exploring palettes of scents, the potential of natural raw ingredients, and the care and attention it takes to create something truly beautiful. In our light, fragrant studio space, for a handful of years we cooked, cut, edged and packaged batches, blocks and bars of soap. Over time we worked on recipes and formulations for other products too, and popped up at festivals, local independent shops and markets, including the iconic London Spitalfields. We established a small, faithful customer base and close working relationships with farms, suppliers and the Soil Association.
A couple of years ago came a sense that it was time to pull together some of the best elements of our work and share them more broadly. A small, carefully curated range of products came together, units of wellbeing inspired by sensory experiences and a love of beauty.
LA-EVA can now be found in select retailers and hotels across the UK and Europe.
The LA-EVA studio has, over the course of this journey, evolved from a maker’s abode into a hub of broader inspiration and collaboration. We view our studio as a blank canvas that allows us to explore and express elements of the LA-EVA philosophy in vivo, a lived in space where creativity is fostered and ideas are generated. Seasonal change and the creation of ‘installations’ have become an integral part of studio life. We approach these installations in a playful manner, and experience them as an energising process; shaking up the environment seems to recalibrate our minds and everyday drive, absorbing and feeding the positive energy of co-creativity and collaboration. We regularly host get-togethers including art exhibitions, yoga practices, botanical installation workshops and talks.
Our journal, Life LA-EVA, shares moments in time captured in this unique, unconventional ‘office’ that we inhabit, the backdrop of our physical output.
THE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Rose-Marie Caldecott is a fine artist whose work explores and plays with the tensions between what is fixed and what is fluid. Her studio is located a stone’s throw across the courtyard from our own. It is Rosie’s ethereal paint textures that adorn the amber glass bottles of LA-EVA, lending an element of her philosophy and the beauty of her work to our products.
Louisa Canham started her career as a clinical psychologist, gaining an Oxford Doctorate in her early twenties and specialising in the field of adolescent mental health. She worked for over a decade in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals and prisons before deciding to take an open ended break from psychology when her children were young.
Having discovered the art of making cold process soap several years earlier, Louisa came to open an artisan soap studio in 2014 alongside a close friend. LA-EVA has organically evolved from there into a unique brand that eclectically draws on threads of inspiration and knowledge acquired on this unconventional - left of centre - personal journey.
IN THE PRESS
‘Elan Vital: Louisa Canham aims left of centre with new beauty brand LA-EVA [...]. LA-EVA is sure to soothe even the weariest among us' - WALLPAPER*
'Perfect for the face, hands or body. Relax and enjoy' - VOGUE
'Notre préféré: Le BLŪ wash, un gel nettoyant dont le parfum boisé est addictif ' (Our favourite: BLŪ, a cleansing wash with a woody fragrance that is addictive) - ELLE France
‘Raising the bar’ - Lagom
‘A new cult brand to make you up your beauty game’ - Byrdie
‘Truly transporting scents…’ - Psychologies
‘How holistic got hip [...]. If left of centre looks and feels like this, we’ll be in the left lane for the foreseeable future.’ - Get The Gloss
‘The beauty rulebook has been torn up […]. We’ll be storing our LA-EVA bottles slightly to the left of centre on our bathroom shelf’ - Because