Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Local Talent Tuesday with Samantha Hlavaty

Hello there! Hope you've all had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. I'm back in Blogland today bringing you an interview with Samantha of Nepenthe's Bathtime. Sam makes wonderful bath products from the highest quality essential oils, fragrance oils, colourants & botanicals - all vegan-friendly & not tested on animals. Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind her products (and that wacky name!). My personal favorite scent she makes is Ginger Lime - if only this blog post was in Smell-o-vision...

Beth: First, please give us a little background on your studio.

Sam: My studio is our kitchen, which is also deemed the soap lab half the time. Creating soap and bath products began about 5 years ago as a hobby and a way to diffuse after a stressful day of work, and has managed to morph over the years into a full time business, especially within the last year. Last summer I decided to put more focus on it and set up a few shows to see where it would take me. Three shows became seven, invitations to sell at Feats of Clay and show at the East Austin Studio Tours, and I was filling orders until Christmas Eve. It was an amazingly busy few months! I continue to sell my creations at shows, on Etsy, and [through] my website.

Beth: Why soap and bath products & what's with the name?

Sam: As a child, I loved to raid my mom's gardens and make little concoctions out of the flowers and herbs. Unfortunately for her, at that age I had absolutely no clue what preservatives were. To this day, I am uncertain of how many moldy jars of mush she discovered throughout our home. I’m afraid to ask! Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot over the years. In general though, I have always loved bath products, aromatherapy and botanicals. Mixing with this a passion for art, design, and colour ... it was a natural fit!

Nepenthe is actually the name of my dog who was adopted from the Town Lake Animal Shelter in 2000, and she still manages to keep me on my toes with her mischievous antics. The word “nepenthe” loosely means a Greek mythological potion which washes away pain and sorrow and creates happiness. As well as a fitting name for her, it was an appropriate name for my bath line.

Beth: Where do you find the inspiration &/or motivation for your creative work?

Sam: Anywhere and everywhere... in nature, architecture, traditional art, fashion, food, music, design, and the list can go on. I love looking at the foundation of objects & colour combinations, figuring out what attracts me to them and then seeing if I can replicate that feeling or concept in soap. I continuously challenge myself to push the limit of design in my medium without compromising the products' quality.

Beth: What are your big-picture goals for yourself as an artist & your art-related business?

Sam: I envision Nepenthe's Bathtime as a storefront cottage, filled floor to ceiling with bath products & botanicals, nestled in a cozy tourist town. I would absolutely love that! For now, my goals are to find my way into more stores, do even more custom work for showers, parties, corporate, etc, and provide private labels.

I will be teaching some soap & spa classes this summer at Marmalade Skies, which I am really excited about. I am also currently working on DIY soap & spa kits which I plan to release this Fall.


  1. It's nice to see Samantha featured here.

    I'm a huge fan of her lemon-grass soap and always try to grab a bar or two when I see Sam at a show. She is very friendly and her products are great!

  2. My favorite are the soaps for the grandchildren, that have the frogs or butterflies inside them. Of course, they were never alive, but they look so cute in a soap dish, and encourages the little guy to wash his hands.

  3. Hurray Samantha! I think I might have "helped" with a few of the garden botanical experiments back in the day... These days, I think Samantha's sea shell embedded soaps are lovely. They bring a bit of the sea shore into any soap dish or powder room. And, her natural fragrances are wonderful!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin