When COVID-19 put Tara Smith’s culinary career on hold, she decided to put her creativity and passion into a new form of nourishment.

“Soap making is a lot like being in the kitchen for me,” Smith said. “It’s trading your sense of taste with sense of smell, but it still makes you feel good.”

Smith was with her partner, John Larkin, when the idea to start her own business came to her.

“I found a soap mold at his house one day [in 2020], and I have been doing it ever since,” Smith said.

Because her products do not use chemicals commonly used in soap making, Smith is able to use a hot process, allowing the soaps to be mixed, set and ready to use in about 24 hours.

Smith said her products use natural ingredients such as grapeseed oil, coconut oil and goat’s milk, which are beneficial for skin. Larkin said after one time using GTX Soapshop’s products, people notice a difference in the softness of their skin.

The base of her soaps can be combined and customized depending on what each customer wants.

“Being able to customize and be creative with your product will help us stand out,” Smith said.

The couple is in the process of moving and hopefully expanding their soap-making undertaking. Smith said with the help of her website and social media, GTX Soapshop does orders nationwide. However, she hopes to gain support from her local community.

“We are named GTX Soapshop for a reason,” Smith said. “I really want to embrace this community and support like-minded small businesses.”

GTX Soapshop’s products, including bath bombs, bar soap, lip balms and salt scrubs, are available for purchase at Sugar Mommy’s Bakery in downtown Georgetown.

Additionally, local customers can order online but opt for pickup at Sugar Mommy’s instead of shipping.

“Sugar Mommy’s has been very supportive in our journey, and I hope we can continue to work together,” Smith said.

Smith said her favorite scent is Beach Hippie.

“It has the earthy smell of patchouli mixed with the fresh scent of the sand and saltwater,” Smith said.

Smith and Larkin are exploring the possibility of offering soap- making classes; selling natural deodorant; and having Smith’s daughters, Chloe and Brinley, contribute with their own “bath salt art.”

“This is more than a hobby; this is what I want to do full time,” Smith said.

GTX Soapshop

1215 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown (inside Sugar Mommy’s)

512-704-5942 | [email protected]