Creativity and commerce coalesced at the Crossroads Mall on Thursday when the Country Baby Soapery made its debut during a grand-opening ribbon-cutting celebration hosted by the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce.
Featuring handcrafted soap, candles and fragrances, the Country Baby Soapery is located inside the mall, neighboring Retro Reset right across from the Hallmark store. The brick-and-mortar shop opened years after owner and artisan Jenny Kiblinger began selling her creations online via outlets like Etsy and Facebook.
“I started online with Etsy and I created this little soap that has a shark in it and that became an Etsy bestseller, and then I had a foot scrub that also became a bestseller,” Kiblinger commented.
Kiblinger’s soaps and candles are handcrafted and feature artwork that she imagined, designed and created with her family.
“My husband does the labels, he helps with little ads and online stuff, and then my son Benji does the website,” Kiblinger stated. “It’s a full team effort.”
The team is also active on social media. On apps such as TikTok, Kiblinger gives audiences insight into her creative process as her videos showcase how she creates her soaps and candles from scratch.
“The stuff I post isn’t really about making sales but rather to show people the processes involved in making this stuff,” Kiblinger said. This process flow gives customers greater interactivity with the products they purchase as they can see how the candle they purchased was actually created, she said.
“My favorite type of soap to make is the cold process soap, which is an old way of making soap,” Kiblinger said. “So basically, it’s sodium hydroxide, which is commonly known as lye, mixed with water and oils, but the creativity comes in by adding different colors, fragrances and artwork.”
The creativity doesn’t end with the product, however, as the storefront itself is brightly colored and inviting.
“Everything in my store has a sort of decadent, almost indulgent, bakery type feel,” said Kiblinger with a smile.
The Country Baby Soapery has come a long way from an online Etsy shop to having a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“I’m happy to be a part of the Crossroads Mall, and I really hope people give us a chance,” Kiblinger said. “Shop small, shop local!”