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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Scrubbing into eco-friendly cleanliness

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Photo by Abbey Santoro

Buff City Soaps opened its College Station location on Thursday, June 24. 

Offering a variety of over 50 scents across a wide range of products, Buff City Soaps at Jones Crossing opened its doors on June 24 to bring affordable, plant-based and customizable creations to the Brazos Valley.

For regional manager Billy Perkins, investing in Buff City Soaps was a way to seize the opportunities of a franchise business while also providing unique experiences and products to customers. He said the transparent approach of the store separates it from similar franchises. 

“We call ourselves an affordable experience. We handmake everything in the store and we allow our customers to co-make with us, so that was a cool concept,” Perkins said. “Being plant-based, having clean plant-based products that are made fresh daily and having our customer interact with us at the making level, so we stand out from any other franchise out there.”

Though Perkins oversees multiple store locations, he said the College Station store is particularly special to him because of his connections to Texas A&M. 

“I’m Class of [19]84, and three of my kids went to A&M. We were just excited to come back to College Station, and this was just a natural fit,” Perkins said. “It was the second store I put in and it was high on my list. It’s a great town and I love getting to come back there often.”

Jaime Bellamy, Class of 2001, is the College Station location’s store manager. Bellamy said for her, plant-based products are not just a part of the job, but rather a personal passion. 

“I had developed a skin allergy myself that I was really battling with and I was trying to figure out how to remedy that,” Bellamy said. “I started making my own soap at home, and makeup and hair products… I told [Perkins] about my ailment and how I’m on this life-long journey to find the healthiest soaps for my body and my children.”

A unique offering of the store is a group of local scents, available only at the College Station location and inspired by A&M traditions. Currently the store offers “Ring Dance,” “Bonfire,” “Howdy,” “Boot Chaser” and “Clean to the Corps.” Bellamy said she thinks these local scents will be particularly exciting for students, current and former. 

“I think students are really going to like our local line. I was around when the tragedy of Bonfire [collapse] occurred, so I made that soap. I think it’s going to be meaningful to a lot of people,” Bellamy said. “The local line is going to be super special, especially for old Ags coming in, and it’s unique to our store, you won’t see it in any other Buff City.”

Bellamy said she loves how hands-on her position at the store is and how it allows customers to participate as well. Bellamy also said she is fortunate to have an incredible team. 

“If you come in during the morning you’ll see a lot of soap pours and auxiliary products being made. You may even see kids being hands-on, especially with the bath bombs,” Bellamy said. “My goal is to train everybody to be able to open a Buff City store of their own someday. I have a great team, a very creative team and a very responsible team.”

One member of the team is Maggie Willis, Class of 2020 and current nutrition graduate student. Willis greatly enjoys creating the products with her coworkers, and said the best part of her job is how welcoming the store is to all people. 

“I love working here because of the community and the atmosphere,” Willis said. “It really is a place where everyone belongs and everyone can find something they like and enjoy.”

Customers can also set up parties at the store to make any of the store’s products and students can enjoy a 12 percent discount on all their purchases. The store regularly hosts giveaways and special events, all of which can be found on their Facebook and Instagram pages. 

Bellamy said the mission of the store overall is to help customers create products that suit them, while also remaining honest about the production process.

“We want to be fully transparent to the customer walking in, so they can see what we’re doing, what we’re making, what goes into our products,” Bellamy said. “Other than that, our store is so much different from our competitors. We make everything here, we’re fully transparent, and we want to customize for you and make you happy with the product.”

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