GIRL 28: A BATH LINE FROM A BARMAID

Byline: Cassandra Chiacchio

NEW YORK — The next time a bartender named Mimi serves you a drink at Club Abyss in Sayerville, N.J., you might want to ask her about her day job.
Mimi Betancourt, of Bayonne, N.J., a bartender for nine years and mother of a four-year-old daughter, is the creator of Girl 28, a line of all-natural bath and body products designed to inspire the working woman.
Betancourt, who for three years ran a bath and body boutique in Montclair, N.J., saw plenty of all-natural lines on the market, but they all seemed to have an old-fashioned country look to them. “I wanted to give my products a new spin, something with an edge,” she explained.
Her smartly packaged collection, aimed at women in their late 20s and early 30s, is slated to hit counters exclusively in Henri Bendel this month.
While Girl 28 is Betancourt’s first bath line, she is no stranger to that particular market. Besides her store experience, she had also briefly manufactured candles and soaps before moving on to her first love, bath products.
After years surveying the industry and taking classes to become an aesthetician, she started experimenting with her own bath and body products. While she regretfully shakes her head at her disarrayed kitchen, Betancourt, who started working on the line last April, is more than pleased with the final results.
The Girl 28 line currently includes quirkily named body lotions, body scrubs, milk baths and body spritzers in three scents — ylang-ylang, lemon-lime and lavender. The collection also includes three massage oils scented with lavender, sweet orange and geranium.
Each product, which contains oils such as avocado, jojoba, sweet almond and grape seed, is represented by its own cartoon girl. “The body-lotion girl was inspired by Jennifer Lopez,” Betancourt said with a laugh. The inspiration was carried down to the names of the body lotions — Supa Fly, Sexy Thang and Spunky Diva.
Prices in the line range from $10 for Squirt body spritzer to $28 for Frantic body scrub. Industry sources expect the line will meet first-year retail sales of $500,000.
Betancourt will be showing her line at this month’s Extracts show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, an event she is looking forward to.
Between bartending four nights a week, tending to her daughter and creating a bath line, Betancourt doesn’t have much free time these days. “I’ll eventually hire someone to do this for me, but right now, it’s me in my kitchen,” she said.
While there are no immediate plans to expand the line, Betancourt said she might add candles to the line at a later date and is currently at work on a pampering kit that a man and woman can use together.
Betancourt’s line has an informational Web site, Girl28.com, but shoppers are directed to Spacadet.com if they would like to make a purchase online.
So what’s next for the girl behind Girl 28? “The possibilities are endless,” she noted. “I would love to create a Guy 30 line or maybe Woman 45.”