Oil + Salt handcrafts all natural, perfume free spa products created for people with sensitive skin. Products range from bath bombs to shower soothers all of which help you relax and recharge. The NEW wedding cake bath bombs caught our attention, and ladies we know you’re going to fall in love with them too! These minitiaure cakes are perfect for unwinding after a long day of wedding planning! Better yet, gift them as wedding or bridal shower favors! We had a lovely chat with Melinda Kelley, owner of the O+S, and uncovered the pure mission behind the brand. Take a look with us as we dive into a Q&A and learn what makes her products extra special!
What were your initial thoughts when creating your business Oil and Salt?
“My experience throughout my entire life has been that most spa products on the market were too abrasive for my sensitive skin. At the beginning of 2017, I decided to begin manufacturing products that I (and others) could actually use without irritating skin, and Oil + Salt was born! The name comes from the two signature ingredients in the majority of my products: (Essential) Oil + (Epsom) Salt.”
Tell us more about Melinda, who is the woman behind the mission?
“I’m a mom of two girls, a coffee fanatic, married to my college sweetheart, currently working toward completing a Marketing Management degree (2020), and owner/manager of Oil + Salt. I love to vacation anywhere along the coast, but especially Outer Banks, NC. My dream is to retire there one day with my husband and family.”
What is the process of creating bath bombs? Where do you grab your inspiration? We’d love to know more about your process—choosing ingredients, and design development.
“There are about ten ingredients that go into a typical Oil + Salt bath bomb. Before including any new or special ingredients, the first step is determining whether the new ingredient could react with sensitive skin. Any ingredient with harsh chemicals or artificial scents (perfume) won’t make it into an O/S product.
Excluding the drying time (overnight), a batch of bath bombs (8-10) takes about 20 minutes to make using a large bowl of mixed ingredients and molds of various shapes and sizes.”
Take us through your “typical” day.
“I’m fortunate to be able to spend time at home with my girls each day. After breakfast and kindergarten drop-off, I’m able to catch up on emails and bath bomb orders in the morning. In the afternoon, I’ll work on schoolwork or try to think about O/S marketing campaigns, promotions, and product development. It can be hard to balance work, school, and parental responsibilities since all of these are important and deserve undivided attention. It can be exhausting at times but is also very rewarding to wear so many hats and accomplish different things.”
What was the first product you made? How have your products evolved? What has been your most memorable creation experience?
“The first bath bomb I made (and still one of our best-sellers!) was Peppermint Swirl. This bath bomb and all others have evolved so much over the past year. The look, feel, amount of effervescence (“fizz”), and packaging has all dramatically improved since I first started.
My most memorable creation experience so far was making my Shower Soothers. The recipe calls for a significant amount of menthol crystals. When we made the first batch, the entire workspace smelled like mint and cleaned out all of our sinuses! We now manufacture this one in a well-ventilated space!”
Who do you envision using your products? Do you think about this when you work on your next creation?
“The ingredients and manufacturing process ensure that my products are safe for anyone – including children! Kids (including my own!) love looking at the different products I’ve had on display at local events and trade shows, and it’s great to sell something that I know they will enjoy and that I know is safe for them to use. I also try to think about what I personally would like to use when creating new products. When I do take time to pamper myself, I love that I can use my own products and have a relaxing experience!”
Tell us how you came up with the idea for the Wedding Cake bath bomb!
“I was on vacation this past July (2017) in an area with no cell phone reception and limited internet access. Not having so many distractions was a much-needed retreat from the busy-ness of life. I was able to brainstorm a lot of great ideas for O/S, one of which was event-themed products. The wedding cake bath bomb was a clear winner because we would be able to coordinate the color to match each wedding’s color theme or make a replica mini-wedding cake! It makes a perfect wedding favor, bridesmaid’s gift, or wedding shower favor!”
Tell us about your three core philosophies of growing your brand and why they are important to you.
“Three things will always be true about Oil + Salt products:
Simple ingredients – no harsh chemicals. If products contain harsh chemicals, I wouldn’t be able to use my own products!
High quality – no shortcuts. Using inferior ingredients produces a bad product and consequently, a bad customer experience.
Great value – an affordable luxury for all. Something that anyone that wants to have a great experience can afford.”
What are some new products you are working on, What are your plans for the coming future?
“The Shower Soother line is fairly new, and we’ll be expanding on the two variations we have in stock now: mint and lemon scent. People love the strong scent and the fact that they can use this product in the shower as opposed to the bath. We’ll also be working on new Bath Soaks in 2018 – another product line where we’ve seen a lot of interest.
Three business development goals for this coming year are continuing to increase brand awareness, improving our manufacturing processes, and expanding existing and new product lines.
In the next three years, I would like to see Oil + Salt become a regionally recognized brand and establish a physical storefront in the Philadelphia area.
My long-term vision is to get product distribution of at least one product line through two – five national retailers.”