Just one sniff of the decadent body crème instantly conjured up memories of our grandmothers in their kitchens baking southern delights like 7-Up Cake, Million Dollar Pie and Angel Food Cake -- oh, the sweetness!
(And made those StyleList staffers who aren't from the South insatiably jealous.)
This feeling of excitement is at the very essence of Whoopie, according to Shannon McLinden, CEO and Creative Director of Farmhouse Fresh products.
"Whoopie started for us as a feeling we wanted people to have when they used the cream," said McLinden. "We wanted to create something that was so rich, so intoxicating that you'd just be super excited to be using it everyday."
Totally captivated by this confection-like moisturizer, we set out to uncover the inspiration behind Whoopie.
Read on as McLinden talks about Farmhouse Fresh's whimsical history, Whoopie's southern and Amish cake-making influences, the secret to its whipped consistency, and the beauty benefits of layering on the rich crème.
McLinden: As a young girl, I was heavily influenced by the classic Strawberry Shortcake genre. I had the dolls, records, and watched "Strawberry Shortcake in the Big Apple City." So, my whole life I found myself gravitating towards things that had a sense of whimsy to them. At Farmhouse Fresh, we are a small team of women and everything that we create within the bath and body realm, we say comes from our canopy of magic trees. We feel like our job is to bottle up happiness -- for us it's a state of mind. We match the whimsy of childhood with sophisticated ingredients. We launched three years ago and our first product was a trio set of scrubs. And they landed on Oprah's O List, validating for us that this person who has seen and has everything thinks our scrubs are something she'd eat in the morning! It really kind of fueled my dream to keep going with all of these neat ideas I have.
StyleList: Whoopie reminds us of cakes and pies our grandmothers bake. Can you discuss the influences?
McLinden: In 2005, a woman in Dallas won a local news cooking contest and it was for a Whoopie pie that she created. I was familiar with the pie and I think the story of the Whoopie pie really captures everything that we wanted to create with the product. According to history, farmers in Amish country would be working out in the fields and their wives would have made them these wonderful cakes that had this butter cream frosting center in between two pieces of round chocolate cake. People kind of say they look like an Oreo cookie. And when they found them inside of their lunch pails they would yell out "Whoopie!" For us, this was a cream that we worked over eight months to develop and part of the reason why we worked so long is because we had to create something with a truly rich feeling to it. So, it has layers of vanilla, heavy cream and almond. This is the first product we've put in the gallon size to fit in our bathrooms!
StyleList: How did you achieve that Cool Whip-like consistency with this product?
McLinden: We all remember growing up with Noxzema and that very light, whipped texture is something that is really appealing to us. For years our customers have been requesting a very rich cream and we've tested about 20 different formulations with a chemist and master fragrancer. But it is a whipping process where the product is sent through a machine to create that life and hold.
StyleList: How would you suggest applying Whoopie?
McLinden: In the spa world, and you can do this at home, they scoop out some, place it in a ramekin and microwave. And you'd only want to do it for 10 seconds because it warms pretty quickly with the shea and cocoa butter and a lot of wonderful oils. When you rub it onto your entire body, you'd notice that its very thick and has an opaque quality to it. Recently, we've been testing Whoopie on feet. Many people will exfoliate and then moisturize, but we've skipped the exfoliation process to see how well the shea butter actually works. And its going very well. Our feet are soft and we don't have the cracks we used to have!