Story: Susan Darcey | Photography: Matthew Martin |
Step inside this aromatic boutique in Hot Springs, created by Charlene Simon, for an adventure in indulgence with all-natural, handmade bath and body products
How did you get into making soap? This hobby–making soap–was literally created out of boredom. I was living in California at the time and my husband was on submarines in the Navy and he would be gone for extended periods of time. I was at home with our children who were very small then and I thought this would be a great outlet for my creativity and pass the time.
How did you come to have a shop in Hot Springs? I am originally from St. Louis, but I moved to Hot Springs about 10 years ago to open my shop. I made the soaps in my kitchen for years and years and would give them as gifts for friends and family; but I’ve always wanted to open a shop in a small, quaint area. Hot Springs fit that perfectly.
What sets your soaps and body products apart from others? Almost every thing we make is completely handmade. We have body scrubs, lotion, bath salts, perfume and natural deodorant. People are attracted to natural and handmade skincare because most of the ingredients are food based or edible separately. The soaps are made with plant oils like olive oil, coconut oil and rice bran oil.
Where do you actually make your soaps and bath products? Everything you see in all our boutiques is handmade just two blocks from Bathhouse Row. We used to make them in the shop until about two years ago. We had to move production off-site as we were getting busier and bigger and were forced to move the kitchen due to space. We work five days a week hand-blending everything and then ship everything out to our other stores and from the website, which is like a full functioning store itself.
Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium, Hot Springs, (501) 525-7627, bathhousesoap.com