Natasha Byrd-Gaylon and Jennifer Peets, the Orlandoans behind Naked Bar Soap Co., say they feel more like sisters than coworkers. They met in a mom’s group ten years ago and became fast friends.
Fast forward a few months, and Jennifer joined Natasha as a co-owner of what would eventually become Naked Bar Soap Co., an all-natural, handmade soap and gift shop in College Park’s Main Street District.
What spurred Naked Bar Soap Co. and where did the name come from?
Natasha: My first son was born in 2006 with severe cradle cap, which is a pretty common skin condition in babies that causes scaling and scabbing on the head. My doctor suggested a product that didn’t end up working. I began researching alternatives and found that warm olive oil did the trick. This a-ha moment led me to research other products that I could create from natural ingredients found in my kitchen pantry. I began experimenting with soaps and other bath and body products. In 2011, I formed The Naked Bar. Creating products that were completely obvious, devoid of concealment, naked. Jennifer joined me in 2013 and at that point, we changed the name to Naked Bar Soap Co.
Why is it so important to you to sell “naked” products?
Natasha: Creating soaps, experimenting with new recipes, and making something wonderful out of a few ingredients is therapeutic. When left on our own, we can make a minimum of 100 bars of soaps and other body products a day in complete, comfortable silence. “Naked” because less is more. One doesn’t need 15 unpronounceable ingredients to feel, smell, or look good.
What is your favorite product in the store?
Natasha: Pit Cream, our natural deodorant. It is the best selling item and it is amazing. Any deodorant that can withstand the Florida heat and doesn’t make you stink, must and should be purchased.
Jennifer: Salt bars. Made with coconut milk, coconut water, and/or sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, or black sea salt. It is a true in-home spa experience.
What has been the most surprising pain point to owning a business here?
Jennifer: The biggest pain point is being in close proximity to the theme parks. Orlando, to outsiders, could be synonymous with tourist attractions.
What has been the highlight?
Jennifer and Natasha: The highlight is the respect, love, support of the local community. It has been word-of-mouth that has helped our business grow.
You can only make five stops in College Park — where do you go?
Jennifer: Gratitude Coffee, Gabriel’s Subs, Grounding Roots Juice, New Moon Market, Infusion Tea
What are your favorite local IG accounts you think Orlandoans should follow?
Jennifer: @bwrightart, @piante_design, @misc.market
Natasha: @worthyragsco, @butterflyblissnaturals, @brightlightpaper
Naked Bar Soap Co. is located at 1520 Edgewater Drive in College Park and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s the perfect spot for holiday shopping. 😉 We’re a size 2 oz. in the lavender ylang ylang body oil and a small in the patchouli citrus soap. When you visit, be sure to tell the girls we sent you.
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Guys, it’s December, a month of giving (we hope) and we are giving you a new playlist. Katie has been curating these for you since April, only a few weeks after our launch. She’d love to hear your feedback on how she’s doing on her Pulptown playlists so far. Send her the tunes you’re listening to at email@example.com, with a subject line of LISTEN TO THIS and maybe she’ll add ‘em to the list.
Now what? Amendment 4 goes into effect in less than two months, and officials around Florida say they still don’t understand the process for restoring voting rights to felons. The ACLU says the amendment’s concise language is “self-executing” — meaning people should just be able to show up at their county elections site and register — but many election officials are expecting the state legislature to issue guidelines. (WLRN Miami)
Room for all. Orlando City Hall debuted a new “multi-stall, all-user restroom” last week, making it the first government building in Florida to provide such a facility. Mayor Buddy Dyer said the city added the new restrooms to make city hall more accessible for transgender people and those with disabilities. (Orlando Weekly)
A boost for skills training. Valencia College has announced it will open a new manufacturing training center in downtown Orlando sometime next spring. The 4,500-square-foot facility will offer 12- to 22-week training programs in in-demand skills like welding, robotics and electronics. (Orlando Business Journal)
Krampus is coming. Who needs holiday cheer when you can dress up like a medieval half-goat, half-demon creature and scare the bejesus out of those around you? Several Orlando-area establishments have upcoming events honoring Krampus, best described as St. Nick’s alter ego. (Bungalower)
Hold on to your flower crowns. The four-day Okeechobee Fest is taking a break next spring, despite drawing sell-out crowds the last two years. The parent company behind the event, Soundslinger LLC, hasn’t revealed the reasoning behind the hiatus but says Okeechobee will be back in 2020. (Miami New Times)
🎭 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, DEC. 8 and 9: Check out the operatic re-telling of the Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel” (Downtown)
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🎅 Mondays can’t suck when Christmas Movies are playing (East Colonial)
🤣 Check out this fun show at The Venue (Ivanhoe)
🎄 Through Dec. 10 It’s a Charlie Brown kind of Christmas (Winter Park)
⛸ Ice-skate for a good cause (UCF)
🌽 Take a tour of Second Harvest Food Bank (West Colonial)
🎄 Go on a hayride and holiday lights tour (Avalon Park)
🗣 Join in the conversation on racism and policing in America (East Colonial)
❓ Get your trivia on at The Hammered Lamb (Ivanhoe)
🎨 Get creative at paint night at World of Beer (Downtown)
🍻 Grab a pint at Hollerbach with Krampus (Sanford) 🆕
🎅 Or compete in a Krampus contest for prizes (Ivanhoe) 🆕
🚲 Go on a holiday bike crawl of some favorite spots (Milk District) 🆕
📖 Get lit at this poetry night (Milk District) 🆕
🕺 Party like it’s Britney’s birthday because it is (Parramore) 🆕
♠️ What’s better than bingo? Dirty bingo (Lake Nona) 🆕
🍷 Check out this wine and art night benefitting the Mills 50 District (Mills 50) 🆕
🍷 Get your mingle on at this yoga studio (Thornton Park) 🆕
🖼 Shop til’ you drop at this under $200 art show (Loch Haven) 🆕
🚂 All aboard The Polar Express (Lake Eola) 🆕
🍻 Go on a 12 Bars of Christmas crawl (Downtown) 🆕
🎟 Through Dec. 15 Check out this twisted take on The Nutcracker (Ivanhoe) 🆕
🖼 Explore Frida-inspired works of art by 30+ artists (Parramore) 🆕
🍿 Grab a blanket and cozy up under the stars for this holiday classic (Wekiva) 🆕
🤺 Through Sunday Head back in time to the Renaissance (Dr. Phillips) 🆕
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag #pulptown on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and COMING SOON add your own events with a Pulptown membership.
If ever you were thinking of adopting a furry four-legged friend, now is the time. During the month of December, adoption fees at local shelters have dropped to $12 as part of a region-wide “Home for the Holidays” promotion.
Go get yourself a pet, Orlando,