Artisan Spotlight: Katiebug's Handmade Bath & Body

As the mother of an infant child with eczema, Danielle was extremely concerned with the ingredients in the products she was using at home and on her children’s skin. She’d had an interest in herbology since she was a child and dreamed of putting what she’d learned to use in creating products of her own, that she could feel really good about using and sharing with others.

She directed that focus into Katiebug’s Handmade Bath & Body Products—named for the daughter which inspired her efforts.

Back then she was living on a farm out in the country, and selling her produce at the farmer’s market. She brought along some of her handmade soaps and, a few sellouts later, the veggies took a back seat to her bath and body nourishment.

Five years later, her business is bustling: she still sells at (and runs!) the Cuyahoga Falls farmers’ market, and has wholesale accounts with several area stores, including a children’s boutique called “Katiebug’s Closet”. “My friends were asking ‘did you open a store?’, so I went to check it out! Now they are carrying my entire line, with a focus on the kid stuff. It was a great partnership: two local, single moms both out to better our kids!” One of her most popular items is her bath “crayons”, which Katie helped to discover when she grabbed a colored soap and began to draw in the bathtub!

Danielle is mindful of keeping her costs down to maintain a fairly-priced product for the many young families who shop with her. Saving shipping costs on her supplies surely helps: just 20 minutes away from Wholesale Supplies Plus, she’s a frequent pick-up customer. “I love her pigments.” She has help keeping up with orders from her mom, a candle maker, who turned her on to WSP in the first place.

Two products she’s especially proud of? Boomer’s Butt Cream –her own natural version of the popular commercial diaper ointment. “Not only is it great for diaper rash but it also helps take the ouchy out of cuts, scrapes, burns, sunburn, and other boo boos.” Her Make My Skin Clear line is her hottest seller. “It’s never been surpassed”, she beams. “It’s my personal recipe, and folks order 10 and 20 at a time just to have it on hand.”

Something else she’s very proud of: her unscented Calendula Bar is given out as samples to patients at the Akron Children's Asthma and Allergy Center!

ROBIN M LENHARD is a freelance business writer and craft artisan, based in Buffalo, New York, and is a board member of Artists in Buffalo, Inc.. Robin wrote this feature article exclusively for Debbie (, an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.