BooBooz and PupSudz
Goat's milk soaps at FarmSudz
by Shelley Daily
Published in September, 2019
Handmade soap and skin care business FarmSudz opened last summer in the alleyway near the Common Grill. Customers enter the basement shop through a green door and follow the scents of cherry almond, Kentucky bourbon, "Sugar Magnolia," and lemongrass to purchase the goat's milk-based soaps that owner Julie Konkle makes on site.
Six years ago, Konkle, a former U-M clinical research nurse, checked out a book on soapmaking from the Chelsea library when her husband was ordering handcrafted soap from Arizona. He was impressed with her concoctions, and she got hooked--sharing them with friends and coworkers, and whipping up recipes that she says have helped people's skin conditions. She uses herbs from her garden and goat's milk and beeswax from local farms.
Konkle retired a couple years ago to focus full-time on her new passion. At FarmSudz she's partnering with her niece, Erin Valkuchak, a former infusion oncology pharmacy tech.
Customers can often find the duo, as well as employee Lisa Lahti--Konkle's friend and neighbor--mixing a new product behind the counter. One of their best sellers is BooBooz, Konkle's natural take on Neosporin, which she recommends for bugbites, scrapes, and itchy skin. Other customer favorites include a natural deodorant called Happy Pits, a pumpkin face wash, and Pup Sudz, a bar soap for dogs. When we visited, she was testing a new lip gloss on a customer. "We are mad scientists down here," Konkle laughs.
FarmSudz Underground, 104 S. Main St. #2 (downstairs), Chelsea. (734) 593-7030. Tues.-Sat. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Sun. & Mon. Facebook: FarmSudz
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