The Sweet Story of Bathtub Bakery
Photo Design credit: Homebody Handmade
How this crazy thing all started:
Hey! My name is Brianne, or Bri (depending on how long you've known me for). Back in 2015 I had the idea to start a business of my own. I wasn't quite sure on what that business was going to be, but when my friend suggested bath products, I knew that was going to be my main focus. #ILoveBaths
I started to experiment, learn, and create. It was so fun to put all of my focus and energy into something I loved. I quickly realized how customizable the industry is and eventually I began to sell to friends & family. Plot Twist- It was under the name 'Balance.' Bathtub Bakery actually started as an all natural product biz. That meant no fragrance oils, or colours. If you know me, I love art. I love colours, fun shapes, and trying to think outside-the-box. Balance didn't allow me to do that. I decided to call it quits and rebrand in 2016.
One day, and I don't remember how, I got the idea for a bakery theme. This was most likely because I love baked goods so much. Being allergic to peanut butter, I never thought of opening a real bakery, but having the opportunity to trick the human eye into thinking bath/shower products were edible? That was my jam. I was able to feed my creative side that was lacking and see what crazy ideas I could come up with.
Bathtub Bakery began to blossom end of 2016-2017. I started hustling at vendor events, and selling in local stores while working my full-time job. I knew I was on the right track because making my customers' orders felt like a break to me. It was and still is a great creative outlet. I can't thank the people enough who purchased from me when I was still selling through home. It changed my life and gave me confidence to make a big decision. On July 1st, 2018, just two years after registering my business, I made the decision to open up my own small storefront in Downtown Brantford (just to see what would happen). It was a decision that has shaped my life to where I am now. During the two years I ran the store, I met so many fantastic people, and made tons of connections. Brantford has always kinda been there for me with my business, and it is a truly special feeling.
What a year, #AmIRight.
On March 1st I was excited, optimistic, and ready! I launched Bathtub Bakery's first e-commerce website. On March 17th, 2020 I was forced to close the store due to Covid-19. It just goes to show how quickly things can happen in the world. I was nervous, just like everyone else, with no set path to follow, I really had to contemplate what my next steps were. The support I received through the website was so unbelievable. I knew by April that I needed to take this as an opportunity to grow. I started doing free deliveries in the city, signed a new lease at a bigger location, started to build a brand new website with a better company, found new suppliers, and created tons of new products. I had the opportunity to finally have time to focus on big moves, and I'm excited to say that Bathtub Bakery is only getting bigger, and stronger. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read to this point and thank you to all of the people who have shown any type of support in the past 4 years! Cheers to the next 4 at our new location!
14B-111 Sherwood Drive, Brantford, Ontario.
Q&A about BTB!
1) What was your inspiration for Bathtub Bakery?
I simply needed more creativity in my life. When I realized combining food products with bath products was what I was interested in, the name quickly came and so did all of my crazy ideas. It's been 4 years and I'm not even close to fulfilling all of my product ideas.
3) What made you take the plunge to start your business?
In 2014 I realized a lot of people I surrounded myself with owned a small business on the side of some sort and I was jealous. The fact that they could go home and make money and I had to wait to clock into a shift to make money was my motivator. I wanted to change the way I looked at my life. Once I realized it was possible to create your own hours and love what you do at the same time I was sold. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I love a good challenge, and I love to prove to people (specifically the people who told me I couldn't do something) that I can do it.
4) What helps you work?
Lots of things! I have tons of supportive people that keep me motivated and accountable. Working the store by myself keeps me focussed and it also helps me brainstorm when I'm not talking a customer's ear off.
The best combo is a full stomach, caffeine, and music. If none of that works this sounds weird but I'll watch the Willy Wonka movies, or listen to pure imagination, that always makes me feel inspired.
5) What’s your studio like?
For the first 4 years of Bathtub Bakery I had two full rooms in my home dedicated to it. With the new space I finally can separate work and home life, but I imagine my work room will stay the same.
It gets messy, it gets cleaned, it gets messy, it gets cleaned. That's basically the story of my life. In my main workspace I have 3 tables to work on, a window I can look out and greet customers, and tons of shelving units for drying, and storing raw materials.
6) Best thing about your job?
I seriously get to be creative all day. If you ask anyone I know, my brain does not shut off with ideas of collabs, or the next new product I want to bring in the store.
My job is to problem solve and continue designing something I've created and I love it. I am so thankful that I continuously get to grow and evolve. Once I gain momentum I am pretty unstoppable, and I get overwhelmed with positivity.
7) Do customers think your products are edible?
I get this question a lot. and yes. I love it. Not so much now that I have a store and a lot of people know what they are walking into, but when I was hustling at vendor events I always laughed at the children and adults wanting to buy shower cupcakes for snacks. 🤣