Curiosity doesn’t always kill the cat. For Hazelwood Soap Company owners, John and Diana Laursen, a little curiosity is what started it all.

They embarked on a little do-it-yourself bar of soap project back in 2001 and since then, they’ve started a successful business in 2007 and have attended three daytime Emmy Awards shows. Now, their affinity for creating the freshest and cleanest soaps around has brought them to another big adventure. The family business is moving on up. Well, rather, moving across the street.

The store will go from being roughly 1,500 square feet to 3,700 square feet at the new spot at 435 Hazelwood Avenue. They are consolidating their warehouse into the new space so everything will be happening under one roof.

“We are gaining some square footage but working more efficiently with this move. Our kids are growing up and we need more space for everyone. They are a huge part of the company. They come in to help out after school,” said Diana Laursen.

Doors will open Oct.1 . During the first month of opening, the business hours will be extended to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., rather than opening at 10 a.m. The store will keep the same phone number and website.

There will be a wide array of new products the Laursen family has added to the shelves. They will now sell home entertainment decor, such as lanterns, as well as more “feeling dirty?” shirts.

“We still offer all of our products, but we have been able to expand upon them. We do gift sets, and we are really excited about our men’s line,” said Laursen.

Laursen and her husband are anticipating a lot of feedback on the traditional old school razors they will be selling.

“The men’s line has been a huge thing for us to incorporate, but we wanted to make sure we got the right line. It is high quality, and we’ve listened to all the men to make sure we got what they wanted. We will sell soaps, shave creams and razors as part of our men’s line. When we first started we didn’t have a huge male following, now we do,” said Laursen.

Listening to feedback and ensuring a top quality product is what has kept the Hazelwood Soap Company at the top of its game.

Laursen said the company is extremely picky about the ingredients.

"We have our hands in everything during every step of the process. Whatever is ordered, we look into the ingredients and make everything by hand," she said. "We hand pour everything, label and then stock the shelves ourselves. So nothing is coming through the door we don’t know about or haven’t researched."

Ready for opening day, Laursen explained the intricacies of choosing the look of the new place.

“John’s background is in science, so everything in the back is kind of lab-like. It’s nice, crisp, clean and very efficient. We wanted a similar feel in the front of the store where the customers visit. We wanted nice, clean Scandinavian lines but a nice, warm homey feel, too. So when you come in you know that it’s a hard working family, ready to get you a good product that doesn’t have to be over-the-top expensive. I think  life’s too short, you should have a nice robe, nice sheets and a nice bar of soap,” she said.

As far as what’s moving in to the old Hazelwood Soap Company location, artist Suzanne Gernandt is excited to be coming “back home.” She owned the store “Textures” for eight years on Waynesville's Main Street until it closed in 2011. Since then, she has been working out of a studio in the River Arts District in Asheville.

“I haven’t decided on a name yet, but I’m ready to come home. I’m really excited that Hazelwood seems to have had such a growth surge in all the right ways,” said Gernandt.

She added that she hopes to have a soft opening of the business by Dec. 1. She will be selling her own art as well as work from other artists in the area. She will also offer workshops and classes.

 

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