A stay of 2 or more days at The Empress could always include a daytrip to our charming neighbor, Hot Springs. On Central Avenue in Hot Springs on Bathhouse Row, sits a store quite fitting for the Spa City. Bathhouse Soapery is a boutique geared towards helping people celebrate their “me” time.
“I love the people that come to the city,” said owner Charlene Simon. “I just love watching them [customers] experience stuff…When this space became available, we took it immediately.”
The mother of three described her store and products as an adventure in indulgence. When you’re always putting your needs and desires ahead of everyone else, Simon says relaxing is a must.
“Not everyone can escape to Hot Springs when they want. It’s not about the soaps, it’s about the people that walk through the door… The only time that I ever really got time to myself was in the bathroom,” she laughed. “Not everyone can go and take a mud bath, so I was like how about a cool bar of soap that someone can put in their shower?”
Seven days a week you’ll find customers sampling the aromas and textures of their hand-blended bath and body products. Sixty varieties of scents are available from sweet tea to cherry almond. There’s even a bacon flavored for Hog fans!
“Food is a major inspiration for me,” explained Simon. “I just wanted a hobby.”
Simon has been handcrafting soaps since the 1990’s. She came up with her own recipe more than a decade ago and it took her about a year to develop. The bars are made off site in a warehouse a few miles away. The products are then packaged, and labeled in front of customers.
“As long as I’ve been making soap, I’ve never changed the recipe,” she added.
Soap isn’t the only item she sells. Simon gives equal attention to other bathing essentials including body scrubs, perfume, and deodorants that all complement each other.
While you’ll find the classics year round, the bathing menu changes with the seasons with spring, fall, and Christmas scents.
“We want to pass along that joy that we get out of selling it and smelling it to them,” Simon added.
Bathhouse Soapery ships products to people all over the country. They also have a store in Natchitoches, La. and another opening within the next two weeks in the St. Louis, Mo. area.
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