Liberty Station’s Public Market hosts a variety of businesses from restaurants and apparel to skin care. The Old Town Soap Company, which has operated in Liberty for the last three years, stands out relative to its competition in that it not only aims to rejuvenate the skin but also the mind.
Founded in 2012 by Navy veteran Ernestine Brown, The Old Town Soap Company seeks to provide its customers with a therapeutic touch to naturally sourced beauty products. “Transparency, Trust and Teamwork” are, according to Brown, the driving forces behind the customer experience the staff provides.
The Old Town Soap Company’s operations are a product of Brown’s experience in the Navy.
“I enrolled in the military when I was 19 and it was there where I learned to develop my discipline, leadership and sourcing techniques,” Brown said.
While Brown found the work rewarding and is proud of her time in the military, she also voiced that her time serving was not without stress. Brown turned to a creative outlet, making soap, to find a reprieve from her day-to-day duties.While the Navy provided her with stress it also gave her the opportunity to work as a logistics specialist.
Brown was a logistics specialist for the Navy, which provided a skillset that fit well into business. With this knowledge in mind, Brown was eager to use her skills and develop her artistic outlet into a business.
Whether it was “collecting ingredients” or “cooking them,” the whole process of soap creation was something she became passionate about. Hoping to grow that enthusiasm and extend the therapeutic qualities of the soap-making process to others, Brown developed The Old Town Soap Company in 2012 before retiring from the military in 2019.
The Old Town Soap Company began as a pair of foldable tables that offered skin-care products along with the soap-making experience. Brown said that Liberty Public Market is a fun and bustling environment to cultivate a new business; the market’s managers push for participating businesses’ growth by promoting the businesses through local events. The environment of Liberty Station back then was conducive to the initial versions of the company as it focused more on the relaxing experience of making soap.
Sourcing from various places, notably Ghana and South America, Brown has picked effective and ethical business partners. She takes great care not to source any unethical ingredients such as palm oil; palm oil sourcing drives a demand that cannot be met by the surrounding environment in territories such as Ghana, according to World Wildlife Fund.
Brown’s suppliers work with her to ensure that her business is sustainable, while also providing an avenue to care for a variety of skin types of consumers. To Brown, this quality in materials and sourcing is important as it provides the customer with peace of mind.
During her first three years in Liberty Public Station, Brown has worked with some Point Loma Nazarene University students by offering a space rental program in her store. “[It] can be offered to your classmates at a later time,” answered Brown regarding the space rental program, which will allow select shelves, details on this offer can students to display their products on
be found on site. The Old Town Soap Company is moving to a larger space next month within Liberty Public Market allowing for this business expansion to become a large area of growth for Brown, and those interested in partnering with her.
The Old Town Soap Company is a great option for addressing everyday personal care and wellness needs, backed by more than 70 five-star reviews on Yelp and Google combined. Brown and her team are ready to guide customers through the store and customize a skincare routine tailored specifically to their needs.
The Old Town Soap Company is located at 2820 Historic Decatur Rd Open from 11 am-8pm. Stay updated on their latest promotions and events by following them on Instagram @theoldtownsoapcompany.