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2020 POWER WOMEN OF ARKANSAS: AMP MAGAZINE

WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS?
Mindset. I consciously expect that the best outcome will prevail, no matter what the current reality looks like. How far a person can go or how great a success a person can have, depends on the thoughts you choose to believe.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO YOUR CAREER?
Soaps and cosmetics are beautiful to me. Fragrance, aesthetic and the sensory bliss that come from enjoying luxury self-care items bring so much to your alone time.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG WOMAN STARTING HER CAREER?
You are powerful. Your power can be used for creation or destruction. You’ll know you’re using it for creation when you follow your intuition, despite contrary voices. You’re using it for destruction when you listen to people who don’t know your truth.

HOW DID YOUR EDUCATION PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
I became a mother at 15, so a formal education wasn’t part of the unfolding towards a career. Soapmaking began as a hobby for me at my kitchen table, and I began self-educating in the chemistry of soapmaking at the local library. The internet was not in vogue like it is now. I appreciate the good struggles I went through to teach myself the science of soapmaking via library resources vs. digital teachings that seem to contain discrepancies these days.

WHICH OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD?
I am most proud of taking a kitchen-table hobby of soap and cosmetic crafting and turning it into a career and business that spans four states and has nearly 100 employees. The success of Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium has been a catalyst to launch several other nationally recognized brands.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
I used to feel guilty when I’d hear someone say, “Don’t work your life away; family first,” or “You need to take time off.” While I felt guilty hearing those things, something inside me would say, “But that’s not what’s happening with me.” I found my work to be my life and to be a creative vehicle for not only my children but for my work family and the hundreds of thousands of customers we share our products with. It’s been amazing watching my children’s entrepreneurial spirits thrive because of the work environment I created for myself.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE?
Don’t undermine what you know for the acceptance of others, because their acceptance is plagued with ignorance and doubt of your true creative potential.


Charlene Simon, owner of Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium, is a self-taught soapmaker and cosmetic formulator. Simon earned a GED and started making soap and cosmetics at age 19 before starting Bathhouse Soapery in 2000. In 2009, Bathhouse opened its first location in downtown Hot Springs and now has three locations and a thriving online cyber boutique. In the last decade, it has made nearly 1 million pounds of soap.

Simon also has worked hard in her efforts to revitalize the downtown area. After opening Bathhouse, she acquired Villainess Soaps and Plenty Mystic Beauty Emporium. Her culinary affections led her to launch Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe, the first of its kind in Hot Springs (which her daughter now runs), and Evilo Oils and Vinegars. To date, the Simon family now helms seven stores in downtown Hot Springs. “I don’t believe in getting a big break,” Simon explains. “I feel that you can’t wait around for something big to happen to you; you must make it happen.”

Full Article Here: ARKANSAS MONEY & POLITICS

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