Nina Quatrino | Staff Writer
You get home from what felt like the longest day ever. You take your shoes off, pour yourself a glass of wine and drop your bath bomb in the hot tub. The water changes from color to color as the bomb spins and fizzes. Bubbles fill the tub, and you finally settle in to relax. Sounds amazing, right?
Bath bombs have been an ongoing trend since the 1980s, after originally being used by doctors as aromatherapy techniques. According to an article from Cosmopolitan in 2016, bath bombs have made a major comeback. Considering the health and wellness-minded world we live in today, people are more obsessed with organic products now more than ever before.
It’s no question that when the Wolf family, creators of Bubbly & Co. Bath Bombs, decided to open a Denton location business would be booming.
“We have three locations now [in] Wichita Falls, Denton and Lawton, Oklahoma,” manager Chloe Wolf, 19, said. “We try and target areas that don’t have bath bombs.”
The kiosk inside Golden Triangle Mall has generated returning customers and positive feedback since opening a little over a month ago.
“March 15 was our first day here in Denton, and we have been doing extremely well,” Wolf said. “We figured this would be a good location because of the universities and college kids; this is the age that people want [bath bombs] the most.”
Fairly new, the whole business has been around since Christmas time last year. What had started as a fun hobby between daughter and step-mother became a new way of life for the Wolf family.
“My step daughter Chloe and I started making bath bombs for ourselves for fun,” Bubbly & Co. founder Shelby Readen, 31, said. “We started making them for friends as gifts, then some friends of started wanting to buy them. Finally, my fiancé [and Chloe’s dad], Chris Wolf, was like ‘why don’t you set up a little store?’ The rest is history.”
Initially, the family planned on staying around just for the holidays. But after seeing that they couldn’t keep shelves stocked fast enough, they realized they had something bigger in the works.
“Every two days I sell out,” Wolf said. “They have to drive down from Wichita Falls and restock my cart.”
“We opened with a small weekly goal and we made that in two days, and we had tripled that [goal] by the weekend,” Readen added.
What makes Bubbly & Co.’s bath bombs different than other bath bomb distributors is not only what they look like, but what’s inside.
“There is coconut oil in them, that’s the number one thing,” Wolf said. “We don’t use corn starch, and I believe Lush uses corn starch and some other different things in their products. Ours have Dr. Teal Epsom salt, so you’re getting the pain relief therapy from it [and] sensual oils, so you’re getting aroma therapy from it as well. The coconut oil is where the softness comes in, it’s like having lotion applied on without having to apply lotion.”
Wolf and her step-mother, father and a handful of close family friends are the only ones who make the bath bombs. Each product is constructed organically by hand.
The unicorn bomb and mermaid bomb are their best sellers. They also have a ring bomb that reveals a ring inside the bomb after it fizzles in the bath. The gold bar bath bombs leave a shimmer on the skin when you get out of the bath.
“We make what our customers ask for,” Readen said. “Since we’re small and local, I get a few suggestions for a certain bomb, so I head to the shop to try it out.”
Reagan Souder, 21, is a regular customer of Bubbly & Co. and said that they are comparable to and just as good as Lush.
“In my opinion, you should always support your local businesses,” Souder said.
In comparison to Lush, the main noticeable difference is their prices.
The variety of different bath bombs is another factor as to how the company manages to stay in business with big name competitors.
Bubbly & Co. breaks the barrier and opens the doors to gender neutrality when it comes to their products. They try and make bombs that anyone could enjoy, regardless of gender or age.
“We have a bath bomb called the Pokébomb, it has a little Pokémon figurine inside,” Wolf said. “That one I love because it breaks the barrier between little boys wanting bath bombs and girls wanting bath bombs. I feel like that is something that’s important, even at a young age, to get that exposure. To say that only little girls take baths and use bath bombs is not true.”
As for the future, Bubbly & Co. seems to be going big places. “We have social media, like Facebook, and sales online are in the works!” Readen said.
“My goal is to start a store in a different state, like maybe a ski town in Colorado. I already presented the idea to my dad. It’s just a matter of getting the funds.” Wolf said. Wolf and her boyfriend, who is also on board, moved out to Denton together to manage the Denton location.
Wolf says that throughout the whole process, she has gained a stronger relationship with her father and step-mother.
According to Wolf, the business wouldn’t be the same without the support of her family.
“We [have been] through a lot as a family, and I love seeing my [parents] happy,” Wolf said. “That is very important to me. The family bond is what keeps it together.”
Featured image: Chloe Wolf is the manager of the Denton, Texas location of Bubbly & Co. She and her step-mother make all of their products by hand. Jake King