Aren’t bathtubs great? They’re like hot tubs…in your house. Throw in some bubble bath (because really, you never grow out of bubbles) and things are looking quite good. Or, you could really treat yourself and give bath salts a whirl. And the ladies behind Swim Club Bath Salts know a thing or two about how to properly relax, with a therapeutic touch to boot. They set out to create a product that is completely natural and pretty enough to stand front and center on the bathroom shelf. And folks, they succeeded with flying colors.
NAMES Michelle Pauly & Natalia Trawkowski
AGE 29 & 25
LOCATION Chicago, Illinois
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND Bachelor’s in Marketing & Graphic Design
COMPANY Swim Club
Tell me about Swim Club Bath Salts & how you conceived the idea. Natalia and I work in the natural health industry (Michelle in Marketing and Natalia in Graphic Design). We saw A LOT of products come in and out and we felt there was a major gap in the bath salts department- either they were really therapeutic and not pleasing on the eye or they were adorable and full of chemicals/synthetic ingredients. We decided to create a product that would fill that gap- a bath salt that you would want on display in your bathroom and/or give it as a gift while being completely natural.
Let’s talk about salt. How are the different varieties sourced and chosen? We did a lot of research on both our salts and essential oils. After trying many we decided to start our line with three (Epsom, Dead Sea and Himalayan). We choose these three because each salt has different benefits for the body. We work with a salt source we trust. Our Dead Sea and Himalayan Salt is harvested in good practice and is completely pure and natural. Epsom is not “created” in nature but we use high quality, pharmaceutical grade Epsom and it is is known for its exceptional purity and therapeutic value.
Your branding is immaculate – truly something pretty enough to give or receive (or just stare at). What was most important to you when deciding on the look & feel of your brand? Thank you so much! We really wanted it be a great gift or something you would want on display in your bathroom. After we chose a name, we ran through a lot of logos that Natalia created and built off that. It wasn’t a quick process but we are really happy with the outcome.
What inspires the different scents in your collection? We really wanted each one to be different fit into a specific mood. The salts have more of a therapeutic property so we wanted each scent blend to focus on the aromatherapy aspect. We have a blend to help lift your spirits/energize (uplift), another one to help you relax (unwind), and our last one is warm and comforting (comfort).
Did you face many challenges as you were preparing to launch Swim Club Bath Salts? How did you learn the ins and outs of running your own company? I think we’ve been pretty lucky with how things started but we are definitely still learning as we go. New things come up all the time and it is a huge help that we get to work together to figure out whatever problems/questions that arise.
How did you get the word out about your company when you first launched? Did a particular press opportunity help to jumpstart the marketing effort? In the very beginning we reached out to a few different blogs and were able to get a pretty good response. We were really fortunate to be featured in Daily Candy last fall, that seemed to start off the holiday season for us. Our salts were also featured in the Etsy email newsletter during the holidays, which also probably gave us a good boost. It seems like a lot of bloggers found us through Etsy.
What is one pearl of wisdom you would share with someone considering starting their own business? Never give up! There will always be unforeseen frustrating situations, but keep a positive attitude and make the best of whatever comes your way. It will only make you stronger and more resilient.
What has been the highlight for Swim Club Bath Salts to date? I (Natalia) love doing markets. Getting to actually meet with potential customers and get positive feedback makes all the work so much more worth it!
Guilty pleasure? Michelle: Romantic comedies | Natalia: Late night deep dish pizza delivery.
Favorite animated movie? Michelle: Aladdin. I probably made my babysitter take me to the theater to see that movie like 12 times | Natalia: The Lion King. Still makes me tear up!
Cake or pie? Michelle: Pie | Natalia: Pie!
Favorite Chicago eatery? Michelle: I mean, I have a lot but I will go with Lula Cafe | Natalia: It’s almost impossible to choose, but our go-to neighborhood restaurant is Northdown Taproom. A delicious selection for carnivores and vegans alike : )
And of course, sugar or salt? Michelle: Salt. Totally salt. | Natalia: Salt, of course! (Gotta sneak some sweet in there once in a while, too)