A Year in Review. A Year of Gratitude.
In every action we take, we look to our guiding principles to serve as our inspiration. We embrace simple elegance, our coastal island’s history and their communities, and within them, the beautiful flora and fauna that makes up the landscape. All of these elements capture the essence of our Salacia brand. We create products for the body and home that define a conscious lifestyle for relaxation.
This year, it was my mission to provide people with useful and practical products and experiences to help them relax and enjoy life wherever they are. This meant adding some new products to our line (including a gentle clothing detergent), making some adjustments to existing products and packaging - and updating our retail space.
One of our values is nature. We have a focus on sustainability, make decisions on what’s best for the earth first, strive for reusable packaging, care for our waters (both oceans and rivers), respect and enhance our surroundings and environment, and utilize resources smartly.
And we’re in Savannah. So hospitality is another tenant we stand by. We have an amazing studio manager who is over the top gracious, so helpful, engaging and passionate about our customers whether they are visiting our shop in person, calling us on the phone with inquiries or sending them notes via email or in their packages. We are southern. We care about people’s happiness, their needs. We welcome, we listen, we help, teach and share.
And of course as a skincare company, we are passionate about beauty & wellness. We use “good for you” ingredients, so you can feel good about what you are using in your home and on your body, resulting in healthy skin - and a healthy environment.
And in everything we do, we are never extra. We value simplicity. We look back to our roots, real ingredients, always offer transparency about our sources - and gladly share them!
For 2019, we had a few goals at the forefront. We only accomplished those through team work and community support - and our customers!
We elevated the customer experience. We offer free hand treatments and started a frequent buyer program. It’s digital, tracks your points and gives you deals for just shopping like you normally would. We continue to offer VIP discounts around Birthdays and have special sales just for our fans.
We wanted to support causes we care about. We donated 20 workshops last year - and we did the same this year, even opening up our studio to two non-profits for fundraising, sharing some of our proceeds for their cause, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Planned Parenthood in Savannah.
We grew our class attendance for our interactive workshop classes and even developed a blending bar to allow people to just drop in during our business hours. We continue to see this as a great way to share and give locals and visitors an opportunity and a place to have fun, engage and learn. We just love this part of our business! Then, we took this concept and literally packaged it up into a DIY kit that folks can bring home to share the experience with others that can’t physically join us in our space. These have been quite popular in mulitples too - buy several (each set contains enough for three small scrubs) and host your own home party. Perfect for teens!
When we did host, we had a blast. We shared the scrub making workshop with a group of Japanese delegates, a group of high school students visiting SCAD from North Carolina, and of course dozens of bachelorette parties. Savannah is a top single girls weekend destination. For all the visitors to our great city, we even published a Best of Savannah list of our favorites to help ensure no one misses the best of the best.
As an alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design, I was excited that more opportunities presented themselves in ways we could further connect with my alma mater. The SCAD Business of Beauty and Fragrance students frequent our shop as a class, to well, talk shop. We discuss product ingredients, production, marketing and consumer interests. We love being inspired by these youthful minds - and it feels great to give back! I share how my design in Graphic Design helped form this very business.
In 2019, we had a record year for developing products for other businesses too. From a New Jersey cosmetologist to a spa in Florida, our products are being made with other business’ customers in mind, while leveraging our beautiful packaging and natural ingredients. Locally in Savannah, we developed a Detox Tea Bath for Yaupon Tea House with their beautiful sticks and berries from their tea fields. We also co-branded with partners like Visit Savannah who spreads the word across the globe about all the unique-to-Savannah brands our city offers visitors.
We wanted to focus on women empowerment internationally. After a goodwill trip to India last January, Jasmine and I launched a “Helping Hands Bar Soap” to benefit school children and rural communities in southern India. The guest soap, wrapped in reclaimed fabric from beautiful sample books provided by our friends at design studio Hultman Interiors. Two dollars from every bar sold goes to the project. Our goal was to raise $10k by year end, but we closed in around $1500 instead so we still have a ways to go with getting the word out. I think that goal was a bit ambitious, but I am hopeful we’ll do it in time. (One bathroom in India at a high school costs about $10,000 USD).
We also partnered with local Port City Sewing Company to create one-of-a-kind eye pillows. These are also made from the beautiful fabric swatches and have a closure to allow the refill of the beautiful lavender scented contents - or to wash after use. We just love them - and yes, every one is our favorite. Each swatch we use is selected by our design team - and each is more beautiful than the next.
On the environmental front, we had some changes we just had to make. Several of our products were converted from a reused plastic to a virgin plastic over the past couple of years. When I realized the recycled content packaging was not going to be accessible, I knew I had to make a change. So we converted our product line to more glass and aluminum. It was a ton of work, but by the middle of 2019, we had accomplished our goal. We are 99% plastic free now! It was a very rewarding goal and challenge and our packaging is more beautiful than ever.
To reinforce our passion for ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’, we launched a Replenishing Beauty Bar in our shop. Shoppers can choose from our containers, or bring in their own containers from products they purchased before that they’ve used up. Facial cleansers, facial moisturizers, aromatherapy salts, scrub and salt soaks can all be refilled.
After attending a conference in Texas - where I also spoke about Sustainability and your bottom line (promise, it was a bit cooler than this - where I spoke about packaging solutions and unique ways to share passions with customers!), I launched a couple of new products thanks to the great sessions I attended. We now offer Odor Neutralizing products to help keep that fresh clean scent in your home (and relaxing vibes if you choose the right aromatherapy combination which can be customized in our shop!). These products are available for gym bags, fabric refreshers, and even pet bedding!
So on that note, I’ll put our year in review to bed.
Cari Phelps, CEO
Proud Sponsor of The Southern C, Sea Island 2019
Member of the F Project