The bond between Savannah makers and their community is admittedly strong, so when Salacia Salts owner Cari Phelps saw the recent opportunity to make a difference amidst the current COVID-19 induced chaos, she ran with it.
Phelps, whose company specializes in making skincare products using locally and regionally sourced ingredients, came up with the idea to develop and donate a sanitizer/hand cleanser to local soup kitchen and 501(c)3 nonprofit organization: Emmaus House.
“I saw a gentleman washing his hands in a drinking fountain during this whole pandemic,” said Phelps.
“It was difficult to witness, but it made me realize that he probably is just without a place to wash his hands right now. Later that evening someone from the CDC was on the news talking about how you could make hand sanitizer from some simple ingredients that I already had at my studio.”
Phelps didn’t waste any time and set into motion quickly. “I came up with the idea on a Sunday, went into the studio, played around with the formula, made a label for it Tuesday, and donated it on Wednesday, so it’s going fast,” Phelps said.
“We donated about 56 units and I checked in this week and she wants a hundred more, so, clearly there’s a need or they didn’t get it to each of their clients. We’re also donating another bottle for each online purchase made.”
Phelps’s commitment to serving the entirety of Savannah’s population is part of what keeps this city alive; the ongoing push of Savannah residents working to make a difference by finding and creating local solutions has been demonstrated across the board already.
“The other thing about this sanitizer is we put it in a spritzer bottle so rather than a gel, they can spray it onto a cloth or napkin and clean off any surfaces they’re about to touch or have been in contact with like a tabletop or a bus seat and their own tangible items.”
“I had a dream I was packaging salts in bottles that I found in my backyard. We were renovating an old 1800s home at the time and found a lot of old glass and broken pieces of interesting history which tied in hand-in-hand with my background in design and packaging. Fast forward to about now and we have about 50 different products and a gift shop just a few blocks away from where that whole dream started.”
“We focus on natural products and products that bring folks relaxation,” added Phelps, “so we use natural sea salts and products that are grown in our region like grits, pecans, rosemary, and lavender. We say we’re inspired by both the south and the sea.”
Salacia Salts also offers workshops where attendees can make their own salt scrub or clay facial mask. “When people learn about and engage with the product firsthand, it makes them understand the value of the product and what they’re choosing to put on their body and use on their skin.”