Story by: Mallory Pace
Taking care of our skin means more than wearing sunscreen and moisturizer — it starts in the shower, and for Nicole Boshell, it means using recognizable ingredients that can be pronounced. Boshell is the sole founder of Natural Desires Soap Company, a local business that hand makes a variety of skincare products specifically curated for different desires.
At her last job, Boshell needed to research and gather ingredients to make bars of soap and bath bombs to teach to a kid’s club. Just a few Google searches led her to an Internet deep dive as she uncovered the long, unnatural lists of ingredients that went into these products, many of which she couldn’t bring to a group of children.
The gears started turning and she wondered if these unusual ingredients used in “natural” products were causing her itchy, eczema-like skin rashes that frequently occurred after a shower. Going further down the rabbit hole, Boshell realized she could make her own batches of soap with just a few ingredients right inside her home. One batch turned into two and two turned into selling bars of soap to friends and family, who immediately saw changes in their skin.
“I ended up making an oatmeal, milk and honey soap that served my skin very, very well,” Boshell said. “I did know that I was passionate about creating something that was healthy for myself, and it grew into a need that everybody else needed more than I thought.”
With the help and support of her husband and family, Boshell launched her online business and the orders started flowing. That was seven years ago, and by March 2022, Natural Desires Soap Company opened its doors at the Avenues Mall.
Boshell crowned herself as “messy soap maker” when she first began her business and discovered she made a much bigger mess than her fellow soap makers. But she embraces that mess and continues to make products in-store. Outside of selling soap, body oils, bath bombs, salt scrubs and more, the store offers soap-making classes each month that are perfect for date nights and group outings.
Boshell and her employees are dedicated to providing their customers with high-quality products and transparency about what’s inside them.
“We don’t just throw something together,” she said. “We always think about it, it always has an intention, and we always listen to what people need.”
Natural Desires was recognized as the winner of the 2023 Best of Bold Cities Specialty Shop Award, which was voted on by the community. Boshell said the feedback, love and support from her customers is what helps her keep going, even when it got stressful. In the beginning, Boshell spent most of her days at home making soap and managing her business. As a social and outgoing person, being alone all day, every day, started to get to her. But she knew it wouldn’t always be that way, which kept her motivated to keep going.
“It got sad at points… but I knew in my heart and soul that this was not always going to be this way,” Boshell said. “I knew one day I would have too many employees and too many customers to deal with, so I just held onto that.”
It might seem like a simple, mundane product, but one good bar of soap can do much more than what meets the eye, of course it helps that each bar is so beautifully designed it makes you want to eat it.