Rinse Bath and Body in Monroe, Ga. is moving again, but it is not going far.
For the fourth time in little more than five years, the soap manufacturing company has outgrown its current digs and needs bigger accommodations. The company that began as a hobby for founder Heather Swanepoel in 2002, Rinse Bath & Body began serious production in a basement workshop in Between before moving into downtown Monroe in 2013. A year later, it moved into its current location on the corner of N. Broad and Spring Street and then last year the company purchased the building behind the old Walton Tribune offices at 127 Lumpkin Street that once housed the Newspaper’s circulation department. At that time, Swanepoel said, “I like to think we are like goldfish in a bowl. We grow to the size of our tank. It took less than two years for us to grow to the size we are in our current location and we just needed more space.”
Well, Rinse has again outgrown that fishbowl. The company has purchased a new location and in the fall will be moving across the road from the Historic Walton County Courthouse to 106 S. Broad Street, a building that once housed part of the Mike Cash business.
“We love our little town of Monroe and believe in it. We wanted to play an owner’s role and have a stake in its revitalization. We are especially excited to take the first steps in bringing life back to the 100 South Broad Street block,” Swanepoel said. “Believe it or not, we also needed space, which seems to be a recurring theme about every 18 months or so for us. Our new space will be able to expand our retail store footprint as well as our production area. We will finally be able to have all of our production back under one roof – and have space to grow.”
Swanepoel said plans are to open the new store Oct. 1, but hopefully “if a little magic happens,” they will be able to open sooner. In the meantime, Swanepoel and her husband, Damyn, have a lot going on, both in arranging for the move as well as keeping up with everything “Rinse.”
“We are participating in our 10th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Disney asked us to open our pop-up shop a month early (July 31). The festival runs through Nov. 13th. Our Florida-based crew is set-up and peddling Rinse 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Also, we are in the midst of the wholesale gift show season which began in Dallas in June and ends in New York in August (with stops in Atlanta and Las Vegas in between). And if that’s not enough, we’ve sprinkled in the REI Outessa Series (super fun outdoor weekends designed for women) which consists of events in Kirkwood, CA, Mt. Hood, Oregon and Waterville Valley, New Hampshire and the Camelback Pursuit Series (a summer camp for grown-ups) in Salt Lake City and San Fransisco, which will keep us busy through September,” Swanepoel said. “We are setting up and tearing down booths (actually little pop-up shops) in each location. For the outdoor events, we’re teaching classes and selling products. For the wholesale gift shows we are showing our line and writing orders for retail stores across the country, which we will then ship out over the next couple of months from our shop in Monroe. Logistics for the events is a business in and of itself. We have inventory and displays to coordinate and transport and travel to coordinate for our team members to make sure that we are staffed on the road as well as back in Monroe and down at Disney World.”
All that carries the Rinse emblem around the country with its, “Manufactured in Monroe, Ga.” signature. But home remains right in downtown Monroe where a dedicate work force is keeping manufacturing up and running while another is preparing the new location for a fall Grand Opening.