Buff City Soap: Set To Clean Up In Elkhart!


Lauren Schulz, Staff Writer

Lather and Suds — A new adventure has just begun!

It’s generally no secret that a lot of brands committed to making body washes and soaps for society’s benefit often fall short of benefitting and helping people’s skin. Harmful chemicals, noxious scents, unethical treatment and testing of animals and people, and ingredients to make anyone with sensitive skin feel like their entire body or hands have been hit with the worst painful, flakiest, and itchiest sunburn of their lives—it’s safe to assume that quite a lot of people are done with it all. But, everyone needs to wash their hands and clean their bodies at some point, so who can one turn to now instead? A new, locally-opening chain store may just be the solution to this problem.

Buff City Soap aims to rectify these issues the current soap market faces, with their very own soaps. In an article from Dallas Innovates, it is stated that the brand was founded in 2013 and “got its start in a Tennessee firefighter paramedic’s garage. At the time, founder Brad Kellum was unhappy with store-bought soap filled with cow fat and synthetic materials. So, he and his girlfriend and co-founder Jennifer Ziemianin, a registered nurse, started experimenting with a plant-based alternative.” They had first started selling their soaps at farmer’s markets, as well as launching an online store, formerly under the name The Bartlett Soap Co., until in 2014, they opened their first, physical store, and rebranded as the Buff City Soap customers know and love today, becoming a home and personal care/hygiene brand franchise, sporting well over 100 stores across the country in 20 states. The franchise’s goal is to simply make a world where better products for cleaning one’s body are abundantly made, and customers can rest at ease knowing that these products are hand-crafted and hand-made daily, plant-based, free of harsh chemicals, free of animal fats, and cruelty free.

“I absolutely LOVE this idea!” Sstates Sarah Fisher, a junior Elkhart High Student, after researching and reading more about the business. “In Indiana, we don’t really see shops, or products, that are from the USA, hand-made, and easy to find. I find a large majority of the products I buy from TikTok, Facebook, and sometimes Twitter—and almost every time, these shops are from LA, Hollywood, or somewhere really far away and also heavily-populated.”

The reason why there is now a currently-placed focus on this franchise is, in upcoming months, another one of their stores will be opening in Elkhart. Located at 205 County Road 6, in the block shop building shared and inhabited with PetSmart, Five Below, and Ross Dress for Less, the local Buff City Shop store will be coming in sometime soon, with no specific date planned for its opening announced at this time.

Fisher seems highly excited about the prospect of a physical store being opened locally, and states, continuing from where she was before: “I love the idea of a new shop coming in, and one where I can simply drive to, shop in-person and not from just online pictures and descriptions, and buy the products I’m interested in or want to get immediately instead of having to wait 6-8 business days for the items to be shipped and mailed to me.”

Not only will this be an excellent opportunity for locals to buy some hand-crafted—and well made—soap, but as there are currently listings on job applying sites for retail associates, and soap maker/retail associates, this opening location will certainly give some of those that are hurting for a job, or are looking for a place to intern or get their first-ever job experiences, the opportunity to do such. After all, not many out there can say that they have had experience hand-crafting and hand-making soap!