Heaven has soap for you

Many people suffer from dry hands, but few would consider the problem a business opportunity.

Sue Nielsen sets out jewelry in her Heaven Scent Soap Bar shop on 54th Avenue Tuesday.

Sue Nielsen sets out jewelry in her Heaven Scent Soap Bar shop on 54th Avenue Tuesday.

Many people suffer from dry hands, but few would consider the problem a business opportunity.

Sue Nielsen did, and her recently opened Heaven Scent Soap Bar is the result.

Located in Red Deer at No. 3, 4940 54th Ave. — in front of Bikram Yoga — the family business carries soaps, scrubs, moisturizers, bath crystals and other products. All are handmade at Nielsen’s Delburne home.

“They’re all mostly natural ingredients,” she said. “I try to stay away from any of the preservatives and chemicals.”

Nielsen’s original motivation for manufacturing skin care products was self-serving. Working in the lab and X-ray department at St. Mary’s Health Care Centre in Trochu, she was constantly coping with dry hands.

“I wash my hands like 50 or 60 times a day.”

In search of relief, Nielsen began researching and concocting moisturizing creams, which she shared with others.

“All the ladies that I work with had the same issue.”

Demand grew, and Nielsen began selling her products. She also diversified into other skin care items.

“It really took off, especially the hand moisturizers. They’re really popular.”

Nielsen opened Heaven Scent Soap Bar earlier this month, an ambitious step she concedes caused her a few nervous moments. But she has the support of daughters Sharie, 22, and Danie, 16, who help at the store and with manufacturing. Her other children, Jeana and Travis, who both attend the University of Calgary, are working on a website and catalogue for the business.

Nielsen is confident there’s a market for her natural products.

“I find that a lot of people are interested in the handmade products, something local, and also something that’s really good for the skin.”

They’re encouraged to sample Heaven Scent Soap Bar products at the store, and Nielsen has also been showcasing her goods at product parties in people’s homes.

Heaven Scent Soap Bar also carries jewelry made by Nielsen’s niece, as well as handbags and scarves.

“It’s been a lot of work but it’s fun too,” she said.

Heaven Scent Soap Bar is open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

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