Barbara Drobnick, 50
Owner, Honey Grove Botanicals
74 Mill St., Gahanna
So what do you carry?
Nature-inspired bath and body products, and soy candles.
The soy candles are your best sellers. Would you tell us about them?
The candles are 100-percent soy. We make them here in the shop. Our goal is to be as close as we can to the name of the scent. I've gone through five lilacs before I got the perfect lilac.... Now, I have customers coming in and going, "Now, this is lilac!" So that's my reward.
How many scents do you offer?
Right now, there's 70.
You're an aromatherapist by trade. What does that mean?
I did study formally in aromatherapy. It's actually the use of essential oils, which are plant-based oils, to create an aromatheraputic value. So you use the smell to get a physical benefit.
Some people actually tell you they come in the store for that reason, yes?
It's a respite, a place to relax and be calm. That's aromatherapy.
Let's talk about your bath and body products. What do you offer?
That was where it began bath salts, bath oils and lip balms. And then went into soap. With aromatherapy seems to come the study of herbs, and so I was looking for a more natural alternative to chemically-laden bath-care products and skin-care products.
Why are those products better?
Because the less processed, the better. Many are close to our own naturally-produced oils, like skin oils.
Can you talk about your soaps?
All of them are beneficial to the skin. They're high in vegetable oil.... I scent then myself.
You call them "fresh cut." How often are they made?
The Oats Milk and Honey, I make about two batches twice a week, because that's the most popular scent. So that's 300 to 400 bars of soap per week.
Your make-and-take area - where people can mix bath salts in jars and scent their own lotions, among other things - is popular. Why do customers like it?
The first thing they see is that this is like doing sand art! No matter the age, kids will come in for Mother's Day and make a bath salt for mom. Or it can be 40-year-old kids saying, "My mom will love this!"