Welcome to my little slice of heaven! I recently opened a small boutique in the center of historical Troy, NY. When customers come to my shop they find a variety of artisan cold process soaps that I make from scratch. There is something for everyone as I make about 40 different varieties including soaps made from local beer, wine and tea. Customers will also find a variety of other body products including lotions, fizzies, soaks & my handmade 100% Soy Candles. Soap making started out of a need. My husband has eczema & we were constantly buying soaps at the local farmers' market. Around the same time we found how well handmade soap worked on his skin my job as a High School art teacher started to be cut a little at a time (about 1 class a year.) One night I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to supplement my income and help my husband's skin at the same time by making soap. I am a self taught soap-maker utilizing my degree in sculpture to make each soap. After I was laid off in June 2012, I took a leap - opening my own shop.
What makes your business unique?
While I use traditional methods to create my body products, I add a modern twist by incorporating different types of fragrances and colorants. You will find a wide range of fragrances - from traditional lavender and oatmeal to more "pop" scents like ginger ale, cotton candy and oatmeal stout. I use natural ingredients like turmeric, clay, parsley, activated bamboo charcoal and beet root to color my soaps. All of these are thought to have additional skin benefits. My soaps are luxurious, but affordable. They are healthy - I use only high quality ingredients - all of which are paraben and sulfate free. Tested only on friends and family most of my products can be considered 100% natural. Made in small controlled batches, customers often enjoy coming in my shop and watching me make my products. I love seeing the joy on their faces when they get excited about different fragrances. I also carry fine art and crafts by local artists. This allows me to support my community and bring more beauty to the world!
What is the best advice you have received?
I have been lucky to be surrounded with many people that believe in me, including my old students. They are a lot of my drive and motivation as I want to show them that you can be successful in whatever you choose to do! I was told early on to surround myself with those who believe in you. Sometimes when people see your success they will try and be negative to make themselves feel better. Don't listen to them! I am a teacher at heart and I KNOW we learn the best from experience. Even if something doesn't work out quite right - you still learn from it. Don't give up and don't give in.
Come visit our new store in the heart of Troy, NY. We are located at 271 River Street, Troy, NY 12180.
Our soaps and other products can also be found at the Saturday Delmar Farmer’s Market at Bethlehem Middle School on Kenwood Avenue in Delmar, NY, The Albany Visitor's Center Gift Shop on Broadway in Downtown Albany, The depARTure gift shop at the Albany International Airport, Elissa Halloran Designs at 229 Lark Street, Albany, NY, and The Brown Eyed Susan located 2894 State Route 8 Speculator, NY .