Krug's Eco-Logic is truly a small business.
"I am the marketer. I formulate the products. I am the shipper and the sales representative. I am everything," said Erin (formerly Krug) Fouse, who started making natural vegan soaps and skin care products to deal with her young children's sensitive skin problems.
The 1996 graduate of Altoona Area High School started making skin care products in 2007 while living in Hanover and started selling them a year later.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Erin (Krug) Fouse dissolves lye into a container of icy cold water to begin creating soap in her home.
She returned to Altoona in 2011.
Fouse has a degree in biology from Shippensburg University and worked as a science teacher in Virginia and in the Bellwood-Antis School District.
"I also took chemistry courses in college. Knowing physiology and chemistry helped me to figure out what the skin needs," Fouse said. "I did a lot of reading on the Internet and learned how to make soap, and it went from there. I formulated my own recipes. I used all natural ingredients. My customers don't have anything that is fake."
Today, she makes about 12 different scents of soaps and nearly 20 other skin care products - including after shave and shaving oil for men - from the basement of her 14th Avenue home.
Krug's Eco-Logic products can be purchased online at www.krugsecologic.com and at the Altoona and Hollidaysburg farmers' markets. Fouse hopes to soon have her products in some area stores.
Kate Belis of State College, a former student of Fouse's at Bellwood-Antis, likes her vegan green tea facial soap.
"It has helped keep my skin from breaking out. I also use toner to restore the pH balance in my skin," Belis said. "I have recommended her products to many of my friends. She is also so helpful. She knows exactly what to recommend."
Tara Ryan of Altoona likes Fouse's toners, soaps and lotions.
"I like them because they are all-natural. They are all that I use. They are just wonderful for your skin," Ryan said. "I love her products."
Fouse said a 5-ounce bar of soap typically sells for about $6. Skin care products range from $10 to $40, depending on the product.
Fouse said sales - about 80 percent of which come through Facebook - have been increasing, and at some point she hopes to find a retail location with production space so she can move out of her basement.
"It can only get so much bigger for the house to hold it," Fouse said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.