Winter Haven’s Home Remedy, More than a Soap Shop
By Elizabeth Morrisey
Home Remedy in Winter Haven is helping customers in a world where good personal health counts more than ever.
Making all natural soaps was just a hobby for Marilyn Lacey Amaral back in 2015. But now she’s turned it into a successful business selling much more than soaps and lotions. Amaral recently moved her shop, Home Remedy, to a larger space in the heart of downtown Winter Haven to accommodate her growing product line of bath and body items, Lavender & Lilac, and added highly sought-after CBD products.
Home Remedy, at 220 W. Central Avenue, has something for everybody, says Amaral. And around every corner is a delightful display featuring body care, unique gifts, CBD oils and gummies and even an Apothecary with herbs and teas. “We have lots of repeat business and we foster relationships,” she says, adding that she was able to give back to the community when COVID-19 struck the United States.
Fortunately, while most businesses shut down, Amaral’s business was considered essential so they focused on manufacturing one of the items the community needed the most – hand sanitizer. “We scoured the state to find what we needed. From mid-March to May all I did was make hand sanitizer,” she says. “The rest took a back seat.”
She donated it to the local post office, nursing homes, clinics and rehabilitation centers. “We used any bottle we could find for hand sanitizer. It brought in a lot of new customers.”
Winter Haven resident Sharon Ashby recently attended a healing stone class at Home Remedy and has been a regular customer for two years. “I absolutely adore her new shop. I can’t say enough good about them. They are very knowledgeable about everything they sell,” she says, adding that she’s been pleased with everything she has purchased.
After spending thousands of dollars on treatment for her acne, Amaral found an all-natural soap that finally offered her some relief. She decided there was something special about all natural products and decided to research how to make soaps. By 2018, she left her full-time job and was licensed to manufacture cosmetics in early 2019.
She started out selling her Lavender & Lilac product line at Country Primitives Vintage Market in Winter Haven then moved to a small shop on Third Street. Her bath and body line includes anything and everything from facial polish to makeup remover, shampoo bars and hair rinse. Ashby says she stopped buying hand and dish soap at the grocery store and now buys it from Home Remedy.
Amaral tries to support local artisans by carrying their products. Poppy Blossom Bleu, in Dundee, makes soy candles; Lucy Minerals is a local company selling their makeup; a Plant City company sells their wine mixes at Home Remedy; and local artists Cathy Hall and Stephanie Lang have artwork for sale on the walls of the shop.
“Small businesses give back to their communities,” Amaral says. “Everything starts in your hometown. Help the locals. They are putting money back into the economy.”
Amaral enjoys incorporating repurposed, recycled and reusable gift items. Her shop carries Bee’s Wraps – reusable food wraps, Vintage Addiction bags made from recycled military tents, up-cycled leather products, and scarves made from clothing scraps.
“It’s very important to be downtown,” she says. “I needed a bigger space. Now that I am here I understand supporting local businesses and our downtown.”
She also features spa days at the store, healing stone classes and soap making. Customers can pay a fee and make a reservation.
Along with classes, bath and body and gift items, adding CBD products to her shop has catapulted her business even further. It accounts for 50 percent of her sales, which is mostly word of mouth. Her biggest seller is gummies used for anxiety and pain relief. She also keeps oils in stock and other CBD components that are proven to help with epilepsy, glaucoma and mental health.
“We work with a group in Colorado to make sure we have a quality product,” says Amaral. “Our shop is for those looking for all natural alternatives in health and home care regimens. People come from all over.”
Ashby mainly purchases CBD products and has seen great results. “I won’t buy CBD products anywhere else. They actually do work,” she says. “It really does minimize the aches and pains.” Ashby and her son visit the store about once per week. “The number one thing is Marilyn’s customer service.”
Amaral didn’t doubt that her business would be successful. “God is directing me and He’s blessed it.”