Like many organizations, we’ve been working hard to stay connected with our community and support our small businesses however possible, now more than ever in the wake of COVID-19. Our creative businesses have made adjustments to help customers still shop local safely and conveniently. We wanted to take a moment and share some of the experiences from our Main Street members. We’re continuing this series with soapy retailer, Kimberly Bien, owner and maker at Salted Sanctuary Soap.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?
I create small batch skin care products and soap with skin loving ingredients. Like many people, I have sensitive skin and am allergic to many synthetic ingredients intended to give mass produced products a longer shelf life. That is what led me to research commonly-used, but toxic ingredients, such as parabens and phthalates. It didn’t take long before using good for your skin ingredients and sustainable packaging became a passion. When I started making products, there wasn’t as much information on the internet as there is now, so I purchased a few new books and several vintage books, and created my formulas through trial and error. In 2012, I formed an official business and haven’t looked back.
WHAT ARE THE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED DURING COVID AND HOW HAVE YOU ADAPTED YOUR BUSINESS?
Prior to Covid-19, I did a lot of in person shows. When events were shut down, I moved to online sales, utilized social media more effectively, and started offering porch pick up to support local customers. I miss my customers (soapy friends!!) faces and I’m looking forward to in-person events in 2021, however, I will continue with the changes I’ve made as the face of retail has changed. I’m forever grateful to Denton Main Street Association for their support and guidance.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS and HOW CAN WE FIND THEM?
Given that it’s winter, or the closest thing we have to winter we have in North Texas, and the air is dry, my go-to products are the Breakfast In Bath Oatmeal Soak, the Breakfast Bar, and the Lavender and Rose Everything Oil to soothe and hydrate.
You can purchase products at here and find them in shops on the square including La Di Da Boutique, Norman Roscoe, and UNT on the Square.
AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER THAT SELLS SELF CARE PRODUCTS, WHAT IS YOUR GO TO SELF CARE ACTIVITY THAT YOU WOULD TO SHARE?
With all of this being cooped up inside and added stress, it is good to stretch, get some fresh air, and have something interesting to look at. I find a lot of inspiration when looking at Denton’s many murals. There is so much artistry and hard work that goes into them and I love seeing the community taking photos in front of them. A few of my favorites on the square and just off can be found at Andy’s Bar, Recycled Books, Cartwright’s (inside and out), Oak St. DraftHouse, Bearded Monk, Denton County Brewing Company, and Steve’s Wine Bar, but there are many more gems to be found. Just off the square, but completely worth the drive, is Milpa Kitchen and Cantina. Discover Denton has a complete mural directory that you can use to create a personal tour via the Discover Denton app.