By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications
As the calendar inches closer to the June 2 grand opening, Jessica Gallardo’s excitement continues to build for her new store, SageHouse Soaps.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business. That’s been a dream since I was younger and finally I was able to make it happen,” Gallardo said.
SageHouse Soaps, located at 312 N. Main St. in Downtown Garden City, will offer a variety of bath and body products with names like Lavender Bath Salt; Oatmeal, Milk and Honey soap; Black Raspberry Vanilla Bubble Bath; Apple Cinnamon soap and Manly Musk soap to name a few.
Gallardo hand makes those products out of natural ingredients such as butters, oils, lye. makes bath salts, lotions, bath bombs and scrubs, essential oils, diffusers, salt lamps and intends to start offering candles.
“I’m adding all kinds of stuff for opening,” she said.
Gallardo, a first-time business owner, started out making soaps out of her home.
“I’ve been making it for a few years now, and just started with soap. But then everybody I’ve been making it for wanted more. I was making it as gifts. Then last September is when I actually launched everything. We’ve got a shop at the house where I made everything out of,” she said.
Gallardo learned to make soap and other bath and body products through books and reading material online before putting it into practice. She got interested in trying it after seeing a YouTube video.
“I’m kind of one of those people who sees something and goes, ‘Oh, I could do that!'” she said. “I enjoy the creativity. I can do whatever I want to and do my own scents and colors. I’ll see something and like the colors, so that gives me an idea, or different smells.”
To prepare for the June 2 grand opening, Gallardo has been busy making some minor changes to the storefront and will be setting up displays and setting up her in-store work area. She said she specifically wanted to be open downtown rather than in a strip mall-type setting because she loves the “small town, comfortable feel.”
Gallardo acquires beeswax locally and looks for other ingredients locally as much as she can, but most materials she needs to order in bulk through online vendors. She said the time it takes to make different products varies.
“Soap is definitely the hardest thing,” she said. “From start to finish, to make a five pound loaf, it takes about two-and-a-half hours. From that point, it has to dry 24 hours and then I can cut it. And then it has to sit for six weeks before I can sell it. It’s definitely the longest process and I have to plan ahead for it. Everything else takes a couple of hours and it’s done.”
Gallardo graduated from Scott City High School in 2001 and has lived in Garden City for several years. This Friday, she will graduate from Fort Hays State University with a degree in business.
In addition to providing an outlet for creativity, Gallardo said making soaps and other products is a way to help people who, like herself, who are dealing with skin issues like eczema.
“I could never find products that work or don’t cause me to break out. A lot of my stuff is all natural using essential oils without the fragrance in it allowing a lot of people to use it and not be allergic or break out,” she said.
After opening, the store’s regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For more information about the store and Gallardo’s products, visit the SageHouse Soaps page on Facebook, or go to her website www.sagehousesoaps.com.