For Debbie Hills of Lakewood, this is a chance to expand her market, develop a retail presence and find new customers for her necklaces, bracelets, earrings and such.
“I’m looking for another option,” she said recently.
She otherwise works as a hairdresser, and this is option beyond selling to friends and customers. “I think it’s going to be very exciting,” she said. “If I could make this a full-time business, that would be great. Everything I’ve sold, people have liked it.”
Before hearing about Pip & Lola’s Everything Homemade, she had never been to Freighthouse Square.
Allegra Wilson of Puyallup will be offering barbecue sauce and a special rub. She already sells her sauces and rubs at a few specialty markets in the South Sound, and now she’s ready for another retail store.
“This is awesome,” she said.
Like Debbie Hills with her jewelry, Wilson has found a new venue at Pip & Lola’s.
Thanks to Samantha Camp.
Along with foodstuffs and jewelry, Camp’s new store at the Dome District Freighthouse Square shopping center will offer a variety of goods produced in and around Pierce County – all homemade and hand-crafted – goods including clothing, framed art, glass art, metalwork, pottery, flutes, yarn, handbags, shadowboxes, accessories, cosmetics and, because this is how it all started, soap.
Lots of soap.
That’s Camp’s forte.
She lives in Fircrest and Pip is her son Perrin, 4; and Lola, short for Lorelai, is her daughter, 6.
“The name just flowed so nicely,” she said.
When younger, Pip had topical allergies, Camp said, and so she started making soap.
Lots of soap, using palm oil, castor oil, olive oil and a dozen or so other oils. Add other ingredients, many other, all-natural ingredients.
She makes maybe 70 varieties of soap, she said.
Including soap for dogs. The soap for dogs offers a different pH balance than soap for humans, because, Camp said, “Dogs are more alkaline than people are.”
The dog soap might include citronella, lavender or eucalyptus.
Some of her soap is theater-themed. Camp is an actress, and, for instance, her Sweeney Todd (“The demon barber of Fleet Street”) variety is a shaved soap that includes bay, as mentioned in the play.
Camp first sold her soap online and at flea markets. She manufacturers about 1,000 bars a month, she said. All are vegetarian, and along with the oils might include such ingredients as oats, honey, goat’s milk, spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon, coffee, paprika, even chocolate.
All soaps, she said, “are Pip- tested and Lola-approved.”
The soaps have names including “Himalayan Pink Salt,” “Porter Beer,” “Kali’s Conundrum” and “Philip, the Queen’s Rogue.”
Camp is also a real estate agent.
And now she is a shopkeeper.
She and her partner were looking for a storefront and happened upon Freighthouse Square.
“I love this building,” she said.
Originally, it was just going to be soaps. Then one day she went home and posted a question on Facebook. What would people be interested in buying, what handicrafts, besides soap?
“In an hour I had 20 responses,” she said.
People wrote to tell her what they made, and that they’d like an outlet where they could sell their wares.
She had thought about opening in a single space. Now she has two, side-by-side.
She charges local artisans a 30 percent commission, she said, or else they can work that down by helping to staff the store.
Along with paying Freighthouse management, she figures she has spent about $100 in reclaimed fixtures and furniture, some of which has been donated by friends.
Now in a period of soft opening, she expects to celebrate a grand opening the week of Aug. 1.
Coming back to life
Since falling into receivership last year, Freighthouse Square has experienced something of a renaissance, said onsite manager Lonee Peschon.
“I believe we’ve signed almost two dozen tenants in the last four months,” she said Thursday.
Along with Pip & Lola’s, new stores and businesses include those selling pet supplies, ladies’ clothing and gifts, used and discount books, antiques, electronics and metal jewelry.
Other tenants include a new restaurant, Boxcar Grill; a grocery; and the National Historical Railway Society.email@example.com 253-597-8535 For more information, visit www.freighthousesquare.com.