We call it Compromise.
As I established the participating small business construct of Merchant’s Mrkt for the 2022 operation at Legacy Village, individual phonecalls were placed to cement commitments. That particular January day, I sat on a stool in the backroom, before the store opened for operation. Particularly, it was my phonecall to both Paula and Dan of Storehouse Tea. I’ve loved our relationship from day one, our communication and transparency always deeply honored and shared. Paula put it on the table, and told me that she would like BARR’s Bars to make tea soap for Storehouse Tea. This request had been exchanged over the years, my uncertain commitment always dominating. But this was business, and with compromise, there is always give and take. I agreed. I had to stick to my word, as her and Dan had always upheld theirs. We worked together to envision a pragmatic solution for the product, integrated my sole supplier of essential oils, MaryEllen of Aroma de Terra, and phenomenal soap became established. Storehouse Tea now offers the sale of these soaps, alongside their teas, and I highly encourage consumers to patron and experience these radiant products. The established variety of scented soaps include an Indian Masala Chai, Rose Medley, Earl Grey Lavender, and Bright Mint.
Currently, I am completing a request for more tea soaps. It is the Indian Masala Chai that possesses me. I will patron a café, called Luna, for a cup when the desire strikes. It’s like two birds with one stone.. but is that an outdated saying? Two small businesses benefit from that sale of Hot Chai tea. I take it with almond milk and honey. Paula has nailed this recipe of chai down, and I feel honored.. humbled, to create this soap for her. The profile of scent is impeccable. It’s a perfect balance of spice and warmth, and like Dan had told me years ago, who wouldn’t want to bath in chai? Even though I had my personal skepticism, he was right. That soap is an absolute experience.
It is also the experience that collided into my life this past spring. I took on a kitchen project, painting walls, cabinet faces, all while listening to an audiobook trilogy. What was this thread that kept bubbling to the surface? Chai. I discovered an author by the name of Alka Joshi, who appeared as a guest on Après Midi with Adrian Leeds via YouTube at that time. Adrian Leeds is a favorite of mine, shares a birthday with my oldest daughter, is a guest realtor on House Hunters International, and has a fascinating story about her life in France. She integrates French culture into her monthly luncheons that she records.. and entertains the world with foreign culture to those who may not be current French residents. I recall my excitement about author Alka Joshi presenting during a particular luncheon, and her introduction about the Jaipur Trilogy. Alka was going to thread her Indian-based trilogy with this French culture. And then she presented her book, the conclusion of her Jaipur trilogy, The Perfumist of Paris. Alka was on a press tour for this book, following the success of her first two, The Henna Artist and The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, which were both based in India. It felt like every two pages, some character was drinking chai tea, and my palette was in demand. But then, it was that third book, when it just overtook me. Alka Joshi submerged me, as a reader, into all the feels. Her marketing background activated my engagement from my olfactory sense in my nose, to my desire of taste, to the descriptive colors you envision. And of course, what marketing success would there be without a collaboration of The Perfumist of Paris with LilaNur, a fine fragrance brand out of India, to embody the threads of literary reference to the nose of the reader? Do you think I bought that perfume pack…??
Why, what soapest wouldn’t have? And shared in the experience with a dear friend?
Be it recipes or scents or textiles, it is the things we create that activate connections between each other. Maybe our creations unearth the past through old recipes, perfumes, fashions, architecture, or maybe they invoke new. But they bring us together, somehow. And from my friendship with Paula and Dan, I can create something for them.