Haipazaza Phezuta is an online store offering natural beauty and wellness products. The company was founded in 2016 by T and Tipiziwin Tolman (right). The couple decided to forego any store-bought baby products for their children and instead turned to traditional Lakota medicine to treat children’s eczema. All their products are made using organic, natural ingredients.
T is mixed heritage Lakota, Lenape, Tsalgi and English-American. He grew up in the Washington and Idaho area, and as a young adult moved to the Black Hills in South Dakota where he went to college and was a Lakota Language and Culture teacher for more than ten years.
Tipiziwin is Wiciyena Dakota and Hunkpapha Lakota born and was raised at Standing Rock. She comes from the Pretends Eagle, Half Skunk, Young and Yellow Lodge extended families from Standing Rock and Spirit Lake in North Dakota.
The Tolman’s met during Lakota Language Teaching and Learning Professional Development at Sitting Bull College in 2008. Both T and Tipiziwin worked as Lakota Language Immersion teachers at the Lakota Language Nest on Standing Rock before relocating to Pullman, WA, to go to school at Washington State University. They have six children and one grandchild.
The company began with the couple making small, personal batches of soaps in their kitchen. After a lot of practice, trial and error, the couple began making larger batches to sell on their online store.
“We have grown to love it and the oldest children now help so much more than when we first began,” T said.
Haipazaza Phezuta means “medicine soaps” in Lakota and the company motto is “share the good medicine.” The Tolmans make a variety of products including bath bombs, soaps, body butters, shampoo and conditioners, and lip balms. The shampoo and soap bars are made using a special process of soapmaking.
In the soaping world, there are two main categories of soaps: cold process and hot process. Both processes take heated oils with lye as the foundation. Haipazaza Phezuta soaps are all created using the hot process method. Using this particular process means the infused oil is added after the lye and oils have gone through the saponification process.
According to the Tolmans, this process guarantees that the medicinal properties of the infused oil and ingredients are stronger, and whomever uses the shampoo and soap bars will get the full advantage and use of the medicine plant ingredients.
The Tolmans are also committed to using only sustainable and natural products.
“We honor our relationships with the medicine plant relatives, and most of what we use is harvested by our family and friends or acquired through trade,” T said. “We love that we are able to create products that honor our relationships with our medicine plant relatives. Everything we make is done with good energy and good medicine.”