About a year ago, I set into motion my plans to create a bath & body company aimed towards a theme of feminist empowerment. What really started it was a brain full of ridiculous puns based on celebrity women I've admired- Soaprah, Elizabath Warren, Ruth Bather Ginsburg, Bubbell Hooks (those last two are still in development, haha).
And while I meant those as a lighthearted joke, once I started talking to friends about them it was clear that I had to move forward with these plans and not let the amazing product names go to waste. After spending a decade working in many jobs, from graphic design and illustration, to crafting, to running food production facilities and shipping departments, I found myself with a really stable base of knowledge that has served as my foundation for getting this whole shebang running. But it's really been over this past year that I've been able to define and redefine what I want this company to look like, and I want to get those thoughts out on digital paper.
The beauty industry thrives on fixing imperfections that largely do not need fixed. A great deal of people make a great deal of profit convincing us to change our appearances to better fit an idealized white western standard and having lived my life as a white cis-woman in the USA, those ideals have been thrown at me every minute of every day of my life. So I walk a fine line when creating things for Ms. Andry's Bath House. How do I create products and market them in a way that separates me from the onslaught of media messages that tie beauty and self-worth together? It's something I think about constantly.
I know for certain that I never want you to feel that Ms. Andry wants you to fix yourself. I want the things I create to add to your being, not to hide or take away or mask parts of your being. I don't believe that things like aging and wrinkles need to be fixed or prevented or hidden. I don't want my products to be in your home because you are paying a penance for your existence as a human.
A hot shower or bath is one of the most common things we do in a routine of self care. It's also a part of our body hygiene, because most of us would agree that a regular wash of our armpits and butt cracks is a necessary thing to do. It can also be tough to do those routines when struggling to love our bodies, when being naked with yourself doesn't feel so great, when looking in the mirror or even getting out of bed is a hell of a struggle. I want you to know I fight with those things, too. I want Ms. Andry's products to be a part of your life that makes you smile at the goofy names, that makes you feel relaxed or energized or sexy with a fantastic smell, that makes you sparkle and shine if glitter is your deal. I'm learning that a lot of people need things that have no scent at all, for all sorts of reasons, and trying to find ways to make products that are fun without being scented! Because lord knows no one needs an extra migraine in their self care routine.
Ms. Andry is a one-woman business, so all of the dreams I hope to make happen are slow moving ones. I'd love to be in a position some day to make really accessible packaging, to give hundreds of options of closures and pumps and sizes and things that travel well, things that don't require getting in the shower to accomplish, products that can be used with limited mobility. These are all on my list, and I am so excited to hear any ideas you might have for these sorts of challenges.
At the current moment I can say that Ms. Andry uses suppliers that are committed to fair trade, as well as zero animal testing. I'm working on making low-scent or completely unscented versions of every product where possible (though a few things smell just terribly horrible without fragrance so you'll have to take my word on that). I love having options for scrubs and washes that won't make your tub slippery, and I'm working on making sure that jars have lids with ribbed edges so they are easier to grip and open. As I'm able to take more photos of cosmetics in use, I am aiming to show them on a range of skin tones, and on bodies with normal things like hair and freckles and stretch marks. I want to make sure that cosmetics are made to work on a whole range of skin colors, instead of just being aimed towards white skin.
And finally in this long and rambling post, I want you to know that your decision to buy things from Ms. Andry's Bath House is a decision to spend your money with a woman who deeply appreciates it. I know you have so many options, options that are cheaper and easier to pick up at the store. Every dollar you spend with Ms. Andry goes to the health and well being of me and my family (I have a husband a 20 month old son who appreciate the hell out of you, too!) and goes back into the business to make more options. I fight chronic pain and fatigue every day that make it pretty difficult to work outside of my home, and the flexibility that I have with Ms. Andry is an amazing gift. I am so, so appreciative to have your support and love, and I hope that knowing more about the person behind the store makes you feel even better about your time spent here!