B Natural with B’s Suds and Scrubs in Missouri
Bailey Ross, originally from Blue Springs, Missouri, owns an organic skincare shop in Warrensburg, Missouri called B’s Suds and Scrubs. She and her husband, Dane, became interested in the skincare industry and launched the business in October of 2019 a few months after their wedding.
“Weddings are expensive,” Ross said, “so I was trying to think of something I could do on the side that I would like to do, others would enjoy, and would help pay off some of our wedding expenses.”
While thinking of ideas in the shower, she noticed her husband’s bar of soap and got the idea to start a soaps and more business. She talked with her husband and friends about it, and the idea soon became a reality.
“We came up with a name, a logo, and started rolling out the ideas,” said Ross, who conducted research before launching her business. She tested other soaps and scents to learn what worked and what should be changed. She asked friends and family for their input about her products. She did trial and error tests.
Then, after letting people test and review her soaps, Ross altered her products until the results created the most customer satisfaction. Products offered by B’s Suds and Scrubs include soap bars, sugar scrubs, bath salts, whipped body butter, and variety boxes. Ross also makes seasonal soaps and scrubs.
Ross said the main idea behind B’s Suds and Scrubs is to create a 100% natural product that benefits the customer in every way.
“A lot of natural [or] organic soap bars either smell really great, but aren’t good for your skin, or they are completely natural, but they don’t have a great smell,” Ross said. “I wanted to create something that was both.”
Dr. Kathy McMurtry, 62, an esthetician from Magnolia College of Cosmetology in Jackson, Mississippi, agrees. She discussed how hormones and pH levels can affect the way your skin looks and feels.
“When [your pH] is balanced, you’re going to be looking radiant, going to be looking good and feeling good,” McMurtry said.
McMurtry has a background in marketing. When she was a child, she quickly learned how to talk to others after her grandmother began bringing her door to door on evangelist trips.
“Marketing has been embedded in me since I was a child,” McMurtry said, “so when I went to school, I knew what I wanted to do. I just had to figure out what to market.”
McMurtry has been an esthetician since 1997 and has been instructing students in esthetics at Magnolia College since April 2019. She is also an herbalist and creates her own skincare products.
“I use herbs from the earth — chamomile and sage and shea butter — all those properties are a great benefit to the skin,” McMurtry said. “Others, too. Lavender is calming; rose helps to tighten and firm the skin.
“Vitamin E is very good for all types of skin. Ingredients like chamomile, rosemary, and sage are targeted toward mature skin. Aloe vera is more for young people.”
Ross said the ingredients she uses to make her products are natural and moisturizing. She uses goat milk and essential oils in her soaps, and her body butter and sugar scrubs contain sugar, coconut milk, oils, and shea butter.
Ross said natural products have become popular because younger generations have learned to do their own research about organic skincare options.
“We have become the generations that only want natural and want to help the environment,” Ross said. “We have learned about all of the chemicals and terrible products we have been putting on and inside our bodies and have decided to make a change.”
Dr. Lyndsay Shipp, 36, a dermatologist and founder of Dermatology Associates of Oxford in Mississippi, said consumers may choose organic products because it gives them a sense of safety.
“There is a lot of misinformation that is not science-backed that makes consumers feel like they are not doing the correct thing if they don’t buy organic,” Shipp said.
McMurtry agrees that more consumers have started researching before they buy.
“I believe because people are being more aware of the holistic wellness approach, they’re putting more effort into buying organic products,” she said. “What is holistic wellness? It’s an approach to life, a lifestyle.
“It’s when a person looks at their lifestyle and has a certain approach—when you focus on your mind, your body, your spirit, how you eat, exercise, what you put on your skin and in your body. You don’t want any chemicals.”
Holistic “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.”
McMurtry said this includes “self-love, self-care, taking care of yourself,” meaning holistic wellness involves taking care of every part of yourself, not just your skin, when thinking of natural skincare.
In order to alleviate consumer concerns about product ingredients, Ross includes detailed labels on all of her products and is open to any customer questions.
McMurtry also stresses the importance of product labels, explaining that organic products are better only if they are actually organic.
“When [consumers] read the label, they need to make sure it has a certified organic label,” McMurtry said. “If people would read labels and get a better understanding of the product and do a little research, I think they would change their minds and use natural products.”
Dr. Shipp said organic products are typically plant-derived. However, she said some organic products may only be described as such because they don’t contain dyes and preservatives, including paraben.
“The ingredients that are typically removed are the preservatives, which make the organic products not have as long of a shelf life,” Shipp said. “Also, a lot of times, the preservatives that are removed are replaced with other ingredients that can be more allergenic.”
Ross is also aware that some customers may have skin sensitivities, and is prepared to take steps to maximize customer satisfaction.
“I make sure [my customers] know that I want to work with them and will find the right kind of soap [or] mixture that will work for their skin so they are a happy customer.”
One of the biggest obstacles Ross said she has faced as a business-owner is simply spreading the word about her new business.
“There are also a lot of people that make soaps and have their reasons as to why people should buy their soaps,” Ross said. “Trying to start a brand new company where nobody knows you or what your product is like and trying to win them over is hard.”
Ross said running her company takes a lot of patience and perseverance.
“In order to succeed, I have to keep pushing my company out there,” she said.
Ross, who began her career in marketing, also works at a company called R&R Advertising, where she creates hiring materials for clients and job postings, among other tasks.
“As one of the youngest people in my office, I can bring a new look [or] idea to things that haven’t changed in years,” Ross said. “But some people are still very inside-the-box type people and don’t want to step out of the box even if it would help us.”
Ross said one of her friends travels to craft shows with her soaps. This has paid off. Ross is gaining a customer base as more people discover her business and the products she has to offer. She is also interested in making candles and aromatherapy shower spray.
The holiday season will bring new boxes that include products scented with peppermint and pine, and will also feature newly added chapstick to match.
Dr. McMurtry said more natural, soothing scents, such as “aromatherapy, going into those flower scents” tend to be better for the skin.
“I would challenge anyone to use products that benefit [them],” McMurtry said. “Why wouldn’t you use products to benefit your skin, the largest organ on your body?”
Information about Ross’s business can be found on the Facebook page B’s Suds and Scrubs.
For more information about organic products and how they affect the skin, contact Dr. Shipp at Dermatology Associates of Oxford or Dr. McMurtry at Magnolia College of Cosmetology.