Things Get Hot In The Kitchen
I began making our handmade soaps after strolling through our many gift and antique shops and noticing that there were quite a few 'imported' soaps, but not many of our 'own'. Being somewhat of a nut for bath and body products, I thought to myself, after all of my research, "I can do this!", and I did! Starting in my kitchen, making gifts for Christmas and other occasions, things quickly changed. After my loving Husband decided that he had more than enough soap "enhanced" coffee, and reviewing my business strategy, he said it was time to go....Out of the house (With the business that is!). Taking my Mother on as my partner (to her retirement dismay) The Pass Christian Soap Co. was born.
My Mother and I quickly realized that we couldn't handle the influx of orders on our own, and hired a small staff. While I design and develop products and packaging, my mother kept the cogs turning. We soon reveled in our new come success.
Along Comes Katrina
August of 2005, we were planning our 'Big Move'. We had just carved out a spot in Gulfport, MS that would give us easy access to the interstate to make it easier for the big shipments that were now coming and going from our little operation.
Soon it was apparent that there was trouble brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. Because I always evacuate, I never feared for my safety or my family's. However, I couldn't help but feel a heavy weight on my chest. After watching the storm closely, I soon realized our lives were about to change. We packed what we could fit in our vehicle, (children, pets, and a couple pairs of shorts and tee shirts, and most family photos) and headed to safety.
August 29th, 2005
Life Will Never Be The Same
My family and I sat in a hotel lobby with countless other families in our same position. We didn't hear much news about home. Communications were down. Periodically we would get calls from people who were stranded in attics and needed help. There was nothing any of us could do but pray. Later that night, my two children, Husband, Mother and three pets in a cramped little hotel room, we tried to sleep. For me it never came.
At the first sign of light, I knew the news crews would be out. I quickly turned on the news. I am shocked! Still no real word! The choppers and planes weren't cleared for flight yet.
Soon, we see footage. What was that? Where is that? We cannot make out what we were seeing. We have lived here our entire lives and still cannot make out a landmark! Everything, we have known our entire lives was gone. No familiar places to re-visit. Nothing. Still, no news on Pass Christian, MS.
Suddenly we see Robin Roberts from Good Morning America (our home town girl!) making her way to our home town. When we see her tears, we are so saddened. We know, it's bad at this point.
It will be three weeks before we are allowed to return to our home.
We Return Home Post Katrina
Okay...when you imagine the worse and it really isn't that bad...well, it was that bad. There was nothing left of our home town, Pass Christian. We lost our home, our business and our community. The worst...the community. We were so saddened that friends, neighbors and family were separated by states.
Volunteers were abundant. I don't know how we will ever thank these people. They have sacrificed time with families and jobs to help the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I hope one day we can repay them.
Eight long months after Katrina's Wrath and nearly as many moves, our family settled in a town in Daphne, AL. Since my husband still commutes to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to work we tried to find the nearest town to the Coast as well as convenient to the interstate.
We have since opened up our new operation and have a wonderful staff that has pulled us through the roughest of times and put a bright spot in our day. Thank you, Chris, Pat, and Shane. You will be forever in our hearts. We still do not know what the future will bring, but we do know that our little business is growing stronger day by day. We hope to return home one day and we will keep you posted!
Back in Mississippi!
We are finally home! August 29th of 2008 we moved into our new home in beautiful Pass Christian , MS and shortly after into our new Flagship Factory and Store in the Prime Outlets Mall in Gulfport, MS. We are truly ecxcited about our beautiful 3600 sq ft facilty on I-10 and Hwy 49. We not only make all of our products onsite daily, we offer a full retail store and soapmaking parties!
We would like to give a special thanks to the people who have taken part in helping us recover.
The Chemistry Store, Southern Breeze Magazine, The Beau Rivage and MGM/Mirage Group ,Coastal Living Magazine
Robin Roberts and Good Morning America, Mississippi Magazine ,Travel Girl Magazine, WLOX/Biloxi
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