Holly's Lotion Bar Legacy Lives On

about us family holly port lotion bar cafe Ownership update

Josh, Bree, and Lexi hope to keep Lotion Bar Cafe alive and true to Holly. If you visit us in the shop, you will most likely run into one of us three, so we will start there!

 

Josh & Bree (and Baby Lotion Bar)

Josh-

Keeping Lotion Bar Cafe going was never a question to me. I know realistically that plumbing may be the safer option, but I want to see my moms dream continue on and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

 I used to go to the farmers markets with her during the summer and I loved everything about it, especially watching her when she was in her element of selling and chatting with people. I have always been there to help when she needed something for Lotion Bar. My dad, Cody, and I would sit in the ‘soap dungeon’ all night long and help make lotions and soaps and bath bombs. Every craft show my mom went to, we were there to be the muscles and get all of her displays set up. Her business has always been a part of my life, and I hope to keep it running with my family! 

Bree and I recently welcomed our first baby, Elias, on June 8th, 2020. We are excited to share this soapy world with him and have him be a part of this awesome business his Mimi created.

 

Bree-

As Holly’s daughter-in-law I had the privilege of getting to know her over the years since I was just a freshman in high school. I met Josh when I was 14, and at 21 years old, I’m realizing just how much Holly taught me- in business and in life. She was an out of this world individual- truly a 1 in a million. I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am to have had her in my life. 


I remember walking into their house for the first time and seeing a storefront in the living room. She gave me a lip balm and a goat’s milk lotion to take home! Christmas time was right around the corner, and she had her big craft show at Rampart high school coming up. Josh was going with her to help out, and he asked if I could tag along. What a mistake that was. She liked to joke after the fact, that we were no help, and, actually scared customers away by kissing in the back. 

Fast forward to the present, I never imagined life to play out this way-in more ways than one. Back then I didn’t picture myself working with Holly at her business. I helped with craft shows once in a while, but not much more. Then when she opened the store/studio I offered her more help during the days. That’s when I started getting serious about Lotion Bar Cafe. She taught me how to make candles, and lotion bars, and lotion. Eventually she showed me how to make our lovely handcrafted cold process soaps. It was so interesting! 


I found myself in love with making different products with her and trying new recipes. Not to mention the added part of running a store front! Everyone who stopped by the shop just loved her. I always noticed that. It was so natural for her to make conversation and get to know the person who walked in. This was one of the biggest things I admired about her. I realize now, that it was so natural to her because she cared so deeply about people and wanted to make genuine connections with everyone who walked through that door. 


I hope to always do that as we keep Lotion Bar Cafe going and growing in the years to come. 


Some other things I learned from Holly that I hope shine through in every Lotion Bar Cafe experience:

-Going the extra mile for you- the customers. I want to continue to provide everything you may need when you stop by the Lotion Bar Cafe. Whether it be cute gift wrap for your gift, a hot tea on a cold day, or someone to chat with and just listen. 

-Providing an atmosphere that is “like going to your best friend's house.” Holly once told me that that was her vision for the customer experience. Going forward with it,  I hope to keep that in mind when we set up spaces in the store. Long term goals would be to actually have a place for people to come and sit and relax and enjoy an iced almond milk latte, one of Holly’s favorites. 

 

Lexi-

I think I was 10 years old when I first met Holly and her family. As very distantly related cousins, it was kind of awkward getting to know these new family members in the beginning. Of course, anyone who knew Holly knows that she was one of the most welcoming people in the world and didn’t let anyone feel left out, so very soon I got to know the family. Lotion Bar Cafe was still in its early stages at this point, but I could already see how special this business was to her. 

 

My family was eager to help Holly make products, and so started our family dinners. We would all get together to make and package soaps and bath bombs, and then we would eat dinner and play games. These nights are so memorable because even while we were working hard, we were having fun while doing it. This shows that even from the beginning, Holly lived by one of her favorite mottos that she always liked to remind us of: Work Hard, Play Hard. Moving forward, I will never forget that even though this is a job, I should have fun doing it!

 

As some of you may know, I have been living with the Ports for about six years now. Holly and Chris gave me a home when my family could no longer provide one anymore, and that has been the greatest blessing of my life. Holly never hesitated to help those who needed it, and she never refused to share her knowledge with anyone. As a business, we are dedicated to keeping that value alive. We will always be open and honest with our customers about our products, and if anyone has questions or needs help, we will do our best to share our knowledge with them.

 

Though none of us can ever replace Holly, we can use the tools and knowledge she gave us to continue serving you all in the best way we know how! If you ever stop by the shop, please don’t feel afraid to ask us anything. If you want to share a story about Holly and how she impacted you, please feel free to do so. It’s through these memories that we are able to keep Holly’s vision alive!

 

Chris & Cody-

Chris, also known as the F-Bomber  is Holly’s husband and the irreplaceable fizzy maker. He has supported Holly’s dream since day one and wants nothing more than to see her vision and legacy live on. He is always working hard in the background to make sure we have all of our fizzy needs (and more) taken care of. 

Holly’s first born son, Cody, has been there since day one, helping his mom with whatever Lotion Bar needed. He is a journeyman plumber full-time but always makes time to help us out at the shop. Whether it be making lotions, decorating the shop, or helping us set up for craft shows, he is always there and willing to help!

 

 

It takes all of us combined to be able to accomplish what Holly did so easily (with just the help of a little coffee), but we know Holly is guiding us through it all. We will keep her at the center of the business and always stay true to her. Thank you to all of our Lotion Bar Cafe friends and family for all of your support and reassurance. We appreciate each and every one of you and hope to keep Lotion Bar Cafe going and growing in the years to come. 



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  • Jeff Bracken on

    I’m a high school chemistry teacher in Ohio. I attended my first national soap conference in 2015, where I purchased a copy of Holly’s book about making bath bombs. Later that fall, I sent Holly a “I bought your book and I have questions” email message. She responded and we soon texted after that.

    In no time, my students and I went from using grocery store food coloring in our bath bombs to vibrant colors because of Holly’s assistance. Later, I got to meet Holly at the Wholesale Supplies Plus conference in June. You could not find a more positive, encouraging person who truly cared about others. We kept in touch, and I’m so happy that I was able to share how far our school’s soapmaking program has grown, largely due to her helpful hints. In fact, I sent her some pictures of our latest ventures last December. I wish all of you the very best in carrying on her passion. May you and her family know her impact on hundreds of my chemistry student with her unwavering willingness to help our program.

  • Reta on

    I remember the first time I met Holly. She was still working at Applebee’s and my husband went weekly for lunch whilE I was in Korea. I heard so much about her and how she took such good care Of him while I was gone. Then when I came home, she became my bath and body expert. I was so excited when she opened her store and frequently purchased gifts from her because the merchandise was truly remarkable. Thank you for keeping her legacy alive.

  • Michelle Butler on

    I had the privilege to meet Holly last year in July when me and my husband was on vacation (we are from Arkansas). We stopped by the store and she just left, so we made a point to stop by the next day to meet her. She was the nicest person and so friendly. I just wished I got a picture with her. She is definitely an inspiration to all of us in the soaping world.

  • Tammy Armstrong on

    A beautiful tribute to Holly. She was an amazing person. You will all keep her dream alive. You are all awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  • Roberta on

    Family love and dedication. It is embodied in every bar and fizzy. Great sharing. TY



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