When the fall chill officially sets into the air, many of us are starting to think about the holidays. There can be a lot of stress trying to figure out a nice housewarming gift for a Thanksgiving host or the perfect Christmas surprise for a loved one, but fear not, hope may lie in the Stella Marie Soap Company. A soap company you say? Stay with me here, this is no mere stocking stuffer store. The handcrafted products are beautiful and perfect for the person in your life who deserves a little pampering.
Kim Gonzaga has been creating artisan soaps the old fashioned way and selling them at fairs and open markets for the past five years. Now Warren is welcoming Gonzaga with her soaps, candles, bath salts and more as she opens her first storefront. “This community is warm, welcoming and proud of their little part of Rhode Island,” Kim says. “Our fellow merchants are lovely and there is an incredible synergy here.”
Not only can you find Kim’s impeccable products here, but she also sees this new locale as a place to sell the work that her fellow craftspeople create. “We designed our space hoping that our customers will feel relaxed as soon as they walk in the door. When you come to our shop after a long, draining day, its time to exhale and get a little treat for yourself,” she says of her vintage-designed shop. The atmosphere is warm, fragrant (without being overpowering) and friendly. You experience the relaxation that the products will provide even before you’ve put them in your basket. She even makes sure to use locally sourced oils and additives for her products whenever possible.
Gonzaga, having worked a corporate job for 16 years, says she felt the pressures and stresses of a 9-5 and she was inspired not only to change her life but also to help bring peace of mind to others through her craft. There is something special about a handmade product versus a big chain retail purchase, the care that goes into each item translates in its use.
This season, visit the shop to find their current fall and winter soaps including: Pumpkin Pie, Sugar Plum and Fresh Pine. Or maybe look into soap making classes for yourself or your friends as a fun new hobby or cool afternoon activity. There is also a unique assortment of complimentary candles and six varieties of bath salts that you can purchase by the ounce for the quintessential tub time. These items along with something like an aromatic eye mask, soap cupcakes, lip balms and massage bars could be a thoughtful way to show someone in your life that you know their pressures and you care. As Gonzaga says of helping others relax, “I hope we can make a small difference in that way.”