I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I spent a couple hours of my 35th birthday walking down 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, from Barclays Center to my apartment, checking out the many adorable shops I've somehow neglected to visit in my two years living in Park Slope. I gave myself a birthday budget of about $150 so I could give myself a couple gifts, and I think I did pretty well!
I picked a couple of cute blouses from Habit and a vintage, short-sleeve, V-neck Iowa Western College sweatshirt from Beacon's Closet. But it was in the very first store I visited last Saturday, IOI (Items of Interest), that I got my favorite inexpensive find of the day.
At the register was a bowl of Pelle Soap Stones in a variety of sizes and colors, and I suddenly felt mesmerized in way not unlike when, as a child, I'd watch that one Pinwheel segment with the puffy-faced produce-stand puppet, and he had giant, colorful jellybeans instead of his usual anthropomorphic vegetable puppets, and I SWEAR I didn't fever-dream that even though I can't find it anywhere on YouTube.
I went for the $9 "nugget" size in Crystal/Unscented, because it looks like a giant, cloudy diamond, and my birthstone is diamond, therefore making it the perfect self-inflicted birthday gift, right?
At this point, I have no intention of actually bathing with it. It's too pretty, and I want to buy a few more of these glycerin soaps to display them. But should I eventually choose to use it for its more practical purpose, my skin will be treated to a cleansing and conditioning blend of coconut oil, palm and safflower oils, as well as soybean protein.
And when it melts away in admirable cleansing service, there are more where it came from--which is Red Hook, Brooklyn, by the way. (I told you there'd be more indie products coming from Brooklyn!)
There are seriously hundreds of indie companies making natural soaps, so it's rare when a brand really stands out in that category; but with a design so beautiful it can serve both a decorative and functional object, these Pelle soaps are impossible to ignore.
Have you ever bought a soap that you didn't actually plan to get wet? Which color/scent would you get of these? There's Aquamarine/Camphor, Citrine/Lemon Basil, Crystal/Unscented, Onyx/Cassia, and Rose Quartz/Grapefruit.