The MOMs Wellness managers took a field trip this week to the Biggs & Featherbelle kitchen in Baltimore. And no, its not a kitchen for food preparation, it is solely dedicated to the masterful crafting of local soaps.
The large room that contains the entire business is not flashy or perfect, instead it is a functional, pleasant and organized space that has evolved over time, and necessity, to get the job done. It reminds me of MOMs stores in that way. Kelly & Kasey, the two sisters who have directed their own destinies in growing their business, conducted the tour.
They told their story somewhat haphazardly, as if we’d just shown up one day and asked what they are doing in this place, and they were trying to explain it all. Its refreshing that they are soap-making enthusiasts, in contrast to sales-pitch types. Their infatuation with the processes they use and the ideas they generate (failures and all) were clearly the driving force in what they do.
Their mom tends to packaging and shipping. Their father built nearly every usable table, rack and shelf – of which there were many of varying purposes. One or two employees, including Grayson (shown here doing what he does best – making soap), help get the labels stuck, the bows tied, and the lids turned (for the bath salts, soaks, scrubs and butters).
The colorful overlapping polka dots on their gift boxes are painted in a painstaking manner, each layer of them drying before dotting the next layer. It is clear there would never be a way to capture the look of them using any other process.
The distinct scents of essential oils are something I’m quite used to after years of handling them. They are completely different than the “fragrances” of drugstore and salon products, which are synthetic. Essential oils evoke images of cabins in the rain, long country grasses, rich overturned soil, bees recklessly collecting pollen from huge flower patches, spicy hot teas, and ripe juicy citrus. All this, in one big room in an old brick building in Baltimore.
We got a sneak peek/sniff of their new Flower Soak, and learned the secrets behind the Biggs & Featherbelle characters that represent the brand whimsically on each label, as well as the insider’s scoop on what it’s like to run a company with your own sister (I can hardly imagine).
The smell of essential oils still clinging to our hair, we thanked our hosts, snapped a pic, and left the tour. We treated ourselves to a little farm-to-table style dinner at Clementine, where they graciously sat our large group together, and catered to special dietary requests.
We are happy to spread the Biggs & Featherbelle love in our stores! Check out their ever-popular bar soaps and bath delights at MOM’s (especially for holiday gifts), and know you are supporting a great local family & business.