Shoppers visiting downtown Beaufort for the August First Friday event might notice a new shop on the block.
Bathe, a new store offering a complete line of hand-crafted natural soaps and other bath and body products made right here in Beaufort, has opened at 210 Scott Street.
Owner Natalie Wohlwend envisions Bathe as a “maker’s boutique,” where she crafts soap, lotion, lip balm and more in view of patrons.
“I really want people to see how our products are made,” Wohlwend said. “I believe in the artistry of hand-crafted, local goods that are made with care and attention.”
Wohlwend fell in love with Beaufort when she moved here with her family seven years ago. Opening Bathe is quite a departure from her past career as an operations manager, but Wohlwend decided to take a leap of faith to open the store.
“I was at a friend’s house in Asheville, looking at the beautiful scenery, and thought to myself, ‘Our time is precious and I need to take advantage of every minute.’ And then I took stock of my life, goals that I set for myself, and what I still wanted to do,” Wohlwend said. “Then I went for it.”
Wohlwend credits her sister, Stacy Prince (Kiss A Prince Soap Company) with igniting her passion for soap making. Wohlwend learned the craft over several years by assisting her sister in Anderson, S.C.
“My sister taught me everything I know about making soap,” Wohlwend said. “She spent years developing recipes and shared all of them with me. Only a sister would do that. I will forever be grateful to her.”
Wohlwend makes soap using the old fashioned cold-process method. All of the products at Bathe are made in small batches using the finest oils and all-natural ingredients allowing for high-quality products. Bathe locally sources ingredients as much as possible.
“I have friends that give me beeswax from their farms, and I give them lip balm in exchange,” Wohlwend said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
Each day at Bathe products are made, packaged and on the shelf for purchase. If they run out of something you are looking for, Wohlwend will likely make it for you the same day.
“I’ve had several people come in looking for a specific essential oil in a body wash or a whipped body butter. I ask them to come back in a few hours and I will have it ready for them,” Wohlwend said. “They are usually shocked that I can and will do this. It makes me really happy to see their appreciation.”
While many local businesses have come and gone over the years, Wohlwend hopes the unique nature of her store and the commitment to customer service will help Bathe become a fixture downtown.
“Beaufort is my home,” she said. “I hope to share my passion with our community for years to come.”