Carla Foster’s CARSON BRYCE TRADING CO is this month’s Business Spotlight: a series interviewing makers and designers who use and love our products.
One day a surprise parcel arrived for us filled with samples of Carla’s wonderful bath and home products. What a fun box that was to open and explore! Each item was a feast of fresh scents, beautiful colors and textures. We were instantly smitten with the quality of Carla’s handmade soaps, bath salts, bath bombs and candles. Her presentation, fun product names and the very joyful messages she includes on the labels show that this is truly a labor of love. After trying out these fabulous gifts, we were even more impressed so we contacted Carla to learn more about her process and inspiration.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how Carson Bryce Trading Co got started.
After many unsuccessful attempts for a healthy pregnancy, our son Carson Bryce Johnson was born…prematurely. Even though Carson was tiny, 2 pounds 3 ounces, he was the joy of my life. However, Carson passed away at only 30 days old. Having to say goodbye to such a sweet little soul was truly the saddest thing I have ever experienced. I cried every single day, all day long… for months. But through all of my sobbing, I heard God’s voice telling me that Carson’s life and passing was not to be in vain. I had stopped creating everything. No art. No soap. No candles. No nothing. I was in a dark, very dark place. Well, trouble doesn’t last always. One day I received another message: Start creating things again! Start now. Start a business and name it after the one who inspired it all… Carson Bryce 🙂
2. What inspired you to create handmade artisan soaps, bath salts & candles?
I love to make things. I am an artist and love beautiful things. I was taught many years ago how to make many things by my grandmother. She is the most amazing woman I know. I really enjoy bath products but what was on the market was chock-full of nasty ingredients. There had to be a better, natural way of making them so I studied, I experimented, and just fell in love with the process.
3. Describe a normal work day for you. What part of it do you enjoy most?
I actually make most of my products at night, when the house is quiet and my son is asleep. Oh yeah, after the heartbreak of Carson and then four more miscarriages, we eventually had a successful pregnancy. We call our son Chance for short. Get it. Our last CHANCE baby and he is the love of my life! Whenever I start making, I begin by retrieving all of my supplies and then I sit with everything and ask myself these questions: Am I happy in this moment? (If not. I don’t make a thing! I’m a true believer of energy.) Will this be the best batch of (soap, candles, salts, bath bombs) I’ve ever made? Am I thankful for this moment to be able to create something out of simple ingredients. If all the answers are yes. I begin and I am the most joyful in these moments
4. What is your favorite product and/or scent and what do you love about it?
OMGosh, I get asked this a lot. I am way biased and make too many things to choose a favorite, however my newest scent, “Sea Island Grapefruit” is glorious, yet Lemongrass or Sweet Tea Lemonade are also big favorites. I love a good citrus scent. Naming my products is my favorite part. I love the unique. I love the whimsical. Here are few names of soaps I’m really proud of: Orange You Awesome, Atlanta’s Finest (white peach-vanilla), Sweet Tea Lemonade (combination of honey and lemon), Great Gatsby, Sherlock Holmz, Clean and Sober (PBR beer soap), Tree Hugger, Brown Sugar Bliss, my newest and cheekier scents Coal Minerz Daughter (activated Charcoal Soap). LOVE LOVE LOVE naming them. Oh, and there is Love Actually. -Yep named after the movie.
5. How do you gather inspiration for new products, special scents, etc?
I love life. I am inspired by nature, food, art. Lots of things. Case in point: I have a scent “Ginger Lime Margarita” that came purely about after my husband and I ordered the drink from our favorite Mexican restaurant. I was like, babe – this would make a great soap. So, that very night I created my first batch using real organic ginger and fresh lime peels to make the essential oil and Wallah!! It’s heaven on Earth!!! Inspired about everything.
6. What would you especially like us to know about your business?
Carson Bryce Trading Company is more than an Apothecary. That is only a part of it. We are curators of fine found objects, goods, and furniture. Think Anthropologie. Take a gander at my FB page and you can see what I’m talking about. I love to treasure hunt. When people come in to my shop, they are floored. I have found objects from all across the globe and I only select things I absolutely love. I am often complimented on what a good eye I have. My taste is impeccable! I love design. I LOVE furniture. I really honestly have an affinity for beautiful things. Gets me in trouble with the hubs though. LOL.
7. Where can people purchase your products?
People can come into my physical location located at 485 Flat Shoals Ave. Atlanta, GA, 30316. There I have all my goods. I’m working on website now! Woohoo. And I can always be reached on Facebook or Instagram for mail orders: https://www.facebook.com/Carson-Bryce-Trading-Company-190635130954696/ https://www.instagram.com/therealcarsonbryce/
8. Why did you choose Evermine?
Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways. Packaging. Let me explain my love affair with packaging. Ever since I was a little girl I have always been drawn to packaging. Oh the typography, the layout, the design, the flourishes, swirls, swoops, banners, typeface. I love it all. So when I found out there was a company that offered ‘self-service of designs using beautifully made design templates I found my heaven. Evermine has been an amazing resource in communicating how I want my products to be received. The selection of design ideas are simply unmatched, user-friendly and just plain lovely. The customer service has been excellent and I do mean excellent. I have communicated with designers to tweak things and the end product always exceeds my expectations. I’ve spoken with Travis pretty frequently, can you say Awesome!! Yes, you can and I just did. He has been amazing. I love that there is a short turn around from idea to end product. Affordable!!!!! I love Evermine. Ever yours! Everyone!!!
Thank you so much to Carla for sharing her story. We always enjoy seeing our labels in action but we’re thrilled to have them play a role in such a sweet business and displayed on these wonderful self-care products. We wish her all the best for continued success!
Do you use Evermine for your business? We want to hear from you! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT and include your name, business, and website.