in the workshop


change is inevitable. growth is optional.

It's my job to write this epilogue, and as jobs go, it's fairly easy. No sadness. No bitter sweet. Perhaps the easiest thing I'll do all summer. As I type Sarah is busy making candles, while also choosing paint swatches and trying to coordinate the carpenters to hang the door of 240 S 11th, Alli is labeling and helping customers, and I've just returned from handing the agent our official notice to vacate 117 S 13th Street after the holidays. We neither take with us nor leave behind any regrets.

When we moved here fifteen years ago, 13th Street was full of promise for retailers, and for many of those years it did not disappoint. Our space on the street gave us foot traffic, a buzzy neighborhood, and the kind of visibility that serves a business very well. While here we've been graced with multiple best of philly awards, a retailer of the year honor, and loads of love from so many magazines, papers and television programs that we've grown a solid base of regular customers both in store and online. On various occasions we spread our wings, attempted new endeavors and saw what there was to see. At the end of the day, the real joy for us has been the core business. The workshop and the store. Our tenure on 13th Street has offered us an opportunity to succeed at the brief. Live lives we love while creating quality, effective natural bath, body and skincare products.

though we try hard not to stray from the path, sometimes the path strays from us.

Our commitment to Philadelphia stays constant. We do not waiver. Center City is our home. While many might be feeling a lack of leadership, fresh ideas and solutions to the problems that seem to double by the week, packing up and running away solves nothing. It actually makes the problem worse. We hear daily from locals, suburbanites and out-of-towners how unsettling the city feels to them. At times we feel it too, and while there may be no easy fix to our problems, it does nothing to dim our resolve. Anyone who has been around here long enough knows that Philadelphia has it's own particular ebb and flow. We do however have a duty to our customers to give them a pleasant, safe and convenient experience when coming to see us. Easy access to a parking spot where you can run in and pick up your favorites is also a requirement. Our vision for the next seven good years allows us to better connect you to the hands-on experience of how things are made, and it allows us to recreate a more tactile shopping experience.

For now we look forward to these last few months on 13th Street as we build out the new spaces, and to welcoming you into our new store and workshop over on 11th Street come January 2023.


244 - 204 S 11th Street  -  workshop entry left - store entry right

you'll be able to see things being made in the workshop daily, and we will be welcoming you into the workshop space for classes, podcasts and special events throughout the year


Refilling Your Empty Bottles

a three minute read that offer's a makers perspective

Our LOW TO ZERO WASTE refilling program launches mid-March 2022. Here is a link to the new site for more detail:

I'm going to hit you with a few numbers that were very helpful to all of us when attempting a clearer understanding of our personal consumption of plastics.

A lot of folks have been expressing their desire to do away with single use plastics. We agree and feel the need to enlarge the conversation and see what's really happening. Best info takes us to 2018, where plastics generation was 35.7 million tons in the United States, 14.5 million  of which came from the packaging of food. Almost all of the food plastic was non-recyclable

The EPA used data from the American Chemistry Council, the National Association for PET Container Resources, and the Association of Plastic Recyclers to measure the recycling of plastic. While overall the amount of recycled plastics is relatively small—three million tons for a 8.7 percent recycling rate in 2018—the recycling of some specific types of plastic containers is more significant.

The recycling rate of PET bottles and jars was 29.1 percent, and the rate for HDPE natural bottles was 29.3 percent in the year 2018. The number for PET and HDPE recycled should be much higher yet so many people still do not recycle.

Products commonly made from recycled PET include new PET bottles and jars, carpet, clothing (*all the stretch materials from yoga pants to those jeans you're wearing), industrial strapping, ropes, most automotive parts, fiberfill for winter jackets and sleeping bags, construction materials, and protective packaging to name a few. HDPE plastics can find new life in plumbing pipes, plastic lumber and flooring, children's toys and a vast range of other products. Fun Fact: did you know that it takes 23 recycled D+L bottles to make one pair of yoga pants?

This is why we use PET and HDPE. It also has the added benefit of lasting decades in our homes if properly clean, sanitized and refilled.

The new website addresses all of our thoughts on directly refilling bottles and why we feel our system best address the legal and ethical responsibilities we hold. We understand that some retailers will refill your bottles, and while we have a retail store, we are registered manufacturers of bath, body and spa products under the category of cosmetics. As such, we have a much higher standard toward efficacy, safety and sanitary practices. We will continue to source new materials in an ever evolving market and strive to improve what we can offer to make this a better planet.

We have the vision. Sometimes it's simply a matter of the market catching up. 

you see, what had happened was..

the world changed overnight.

Since early spring, many people have been coming back into the store to shop. For the most part it's been a great success, especially for those aware of the new configuration. Every now and then however, someone is really really unhappy about the way things are set up. We get it. We do. We just have a limited amount of energy when bulwarking disappointed shoppers. Especially when it gets busy.

Like most of you, we have found that getting through the last couple of years with our sanity in tact has been all about adaptation. Making the best of what we can. As the majority of our business is done by online shoppers (US, Canada and UK) and though custom blending, our priorities had to be re-ordered. We are part of a growing trend toward finding new ways to do business.

Think of the updated store configuration the way you would with your favorite bakery. All the things you love are right in front of you, and the sales associate is there to give you a one-on-one experience with loads of scent pods available for you to sample the aromas.

Once we move to a new location in January 2023 (only a few blocks away.. we will announce when ready), we will add more browsing space and a place to hang out with your dog or stroller while we do what we do. Until then, we hope you will make the best of what we have to offer, and like us, work to be patient and kind when things get crazy busy.

Thanks for rolling with the changes, and for making 2021 our best year ever!

Steve, Sarah + Alli