NEW YORK — Bath Bloomers, a three-year-old brand of spa products, is hoping tangerines — or at least the scent of the fruits — will help it blossom into a more far-ranging business.
This story first appeared in the October 11, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Since launching at New York’s semiannual Extracts show in 1998, Bath Bloomers has developed into a line of eight fragranced assortments comprised of soaps, bath salts and scrubs, moisturizers and candles. Inspiration for each assortment came from world geography — such as Lavender Sachet Spa (France) and Citrus Sento (Japan).
Tangerine Yin Yang, as the ninth assortment is called, was inspired by the development of mandarin oranges in China. It will launch at U.S. specialty stores and spa retail in November, as well as Harvey Nichols in the U.K., where it will remain exclusive in Europe for nine months. Prices range from $10 to $25. Industry sources estimate Tangerine Yin Yang could do $250,000 at wholesale in its first year. Total Bath Bloomers distribution includes about 200 doors worldwide.
Additionally, Bath Bloomers launched a massage-and-body oil under each of its eight existing assortments last month. But product launches are not the only avenue toward expansion, according to founder Mary Feldman.
“The growth of the brand comes, in large part, from servicing destination spas and hotel and resort spas,” said Feldman. These include Canyon Ranch in Arizona and Vail Marriott Resort in Colorado. Events and demonstrations at retail are also seen driving growth, as is increased international distribution, including in China and in France.
Bath Bloomers, the only holding of Charleston, S.C.-based parent Mix It Smooth LLC, surpassed the $1 million mark in wholesale volume this year, according to sources, who estimated that half of company revenue comes from retail and the other half comes from supplying the back-bar area of the spa. Sources project the brand is on a growth track that could take it to $6 million in wholesale volume by 2005.
Before Bath Bloomers, Feldman partly owned a concert venue in Charleston, S.C., called the King Street Palace. But when that business became difficult — big promoters were squeezing out the little guy, she said — the self-described beauty junkie left it behind.
She took with her, however, the Palace’s ovens used to make pizzas for hungry B.B. King and Allman Brothers concertgoers. After transplanting the pizza ovens to her garage, Feldman used them to cook up her own bath products, effectively Bath Bloomers predecessors. When the King Street Palace was sold in 1999, Feldman put her funding toward her new beauty line.