Meet the Local Maker: Kelly Perkins of Spinster Sisters

Meet Kelly Perkins, the dynamo behind the Colorado-based all-natural, handcrafted bath and beauty products that have quickly become a local favorite. In just the last year Spinster Sisters has expanded from a single store in Golden to include both RiNo and Cherry Creek locations. 

Years ago I learned to travel light. I am a one-carry-on, no-checked-bags kind-of girl. With kids this has proven to be a bit more challenging, so I’ve had to adjust my standards slightly. Now one carry-on bag carries all of the clothes and essentials for me and the 1-year-old, and one largish tote bag brimming with snacks, diapers and kid distractions functions as my personal item. But even this is no easy feat and I constantly find myself packing and repacking. So not only am I always on the look-out for the perfect bag  (my current favorite is the Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior from Colorado company eBags) but I’m also always looking for travel-friendly products to make this process easier. What does any of this have to do with Spinster Sisters soaps, lotions and other bath and beauty products? Stay with me, people…I promise I’m getting to that.

Since I never check a bag, I have to adhere to the 3-ounce rule for all liquids, which is never, ever enough body lotion. Especially for those of us fighting the dry, itchy skin which may be one of the only drawbacks of Colorado living. Plus, I have sensitive skin and I’m very particular about the products I use so I can’t always just pick up something at my destination. It was a puzzle I’d tried solving for years. And then a few years ago I discovered Spinster Sisters at The Denver Flea. Specifically I discovered Spinster Sisters Solid Lotion, and it immediately became one of my travel staples.

Spinster Sisters travel essential

Now I had experimented with solid lotions before, but it’s really hard to find one that has the right consistency. The ones I tried were always either too greasy or not moisturizing enough. But, Spinster Sisters has just the right texture…it glides on easily and is quickly absorbed by my skin but doesn’t leave me feeling greasy afterwards. And, like all Spinster Sisters products, it is handcrafted with all-natural ingredients…perfect for my sensitive skin.

But, I couldn’t stop at solid lotion…I had to play with the many other Spinster Sisters products, too. And, so many products there are…soaps, body butters, scrubs, soaks, bath bombs, deodorants, even men’s shaving products. Each one featuring scents tantalizing enough to eat (Anise Orange with Sea Salt, Strawberry Champagne, Beer Soap with Hops and Barley) or at least transform your bathroom into a spa-like escape (Eucalyptus Lime with Pumice, Rosemary Mint, Black Pepper and Rose, and Lemongrass Sage…my personal favorite so far).

But, it didn’t start that way. Spinster Sisters beginnings were a bit more humble. In fact, it all started with soap. Founder Kelly Perkins first debuted her all-natural soaps at local Colorado markets in 2011. Through the years she has continually added products to satisfy her ever-growing customer following. Just this year, Kelly expanded her “microsoapery” and apothecary empire, opening first a RiNo location in the summer and then a Cherry Creek location just a few months later.

A Colorado native, Kelly shares a little about how Spinster Sisters came to be more than just a fun thing she did on weekends…

1.) How do you describe your products?
Spinster Sisters products are handcrafted in small batches in Golden, Colorado. We use only the finest natural ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. Our collection of products consists of 30+ fragrances of handcrafted bar soaps, moisturizers, scrubs, lotion candles, bath soaks, salves, lip, face & hair care, men’s shaving and grooming products, and even products for pets.

Rich with essential oils and botanicals, the products are safe, gentle, sulfate-, phthalate- and paraben-free, and are hypoallergenic. The manufacturing facility, fondly referred to as a microsoapery, is powered by renewable energy for the lowest possible impact on the environment.

2) What drove you to start your business?

My business just kind of happened, honestly. I made a batch of soap for Christmas presents one year. Friends and family started asking for more scents, and pretty soon I had 20+ different scents of soap. I did my first market, and thought, “This would be really fun to do on weekends…something different from my day job.” I was in business analysis and project/operations management prior to starting the company. I started doing more markets, and at the same time, started getting wholesale requests. Pretty soon it was no longer just a hobby, but something where I had to make a choice between the “day job” and Spinster Sisters. Of course I chose Spinster Sisters! It is fun every day – and I feel so grateful that I get to work in a job that I love so much!

3) Which local stores sell Spinster Sisters?

I have over 500 wholesale customers around the country, three of our own Spinster Sisters stores (Golden, Cherry Creek North, and RiNo), and we participate and sell at all the Denver Flea pop-up markets!

4) Do you have a favorite Spinster Sisters product?
The Sugar Scrub has always been my favorite. Growing up in Colorado, I have always had very dry skin. The Sugar Scrub does such a wonderful job of moisturizing, that it just naturally became my favorite. However, we just launched our new Hair Conditioner Bar, which is the most amazing hair conditioner I have ever used, if I do say so myself. And, I love that it is all natural, biodegradable, and literally has zero waste. When you hit on the exact right formula on a product, it is so gratifying, and I feel like I hit a homerun with this one. I have the same feeling about Muscle Stuff, our sore muscle rub. So, I have a few favorites, I guess, for different reasons.

5) What is your favorite thing about your Colorado neighborhood?

I grew up in Boulder (a loooong time ago), and it was absolutely the best place to grow up. So many wonderful experiences. I moved to Golden when I met my husband, and I love it because it reminds me of how Boulder was when I was growing up. Small, great sense of community, and absolutely breathtaking. I feel like you can’t really lose when you live in Colorado. How lucky are we that we get to wake up every morning and see these beautiful mountains?

6) What’s your favorite local business?

I guess I have several favorites. Genghis Kern does all of our letterpress printing, and I am a letterpress fanatic. So, I love that we get to work with them on a regular basis. They do an amazing job, have absolutely the coolest equipment in the universe, and are just super fun people in general.

Hike Doggie, in Golden, is a new company that quickly won my heart. On those days where I have meetings, or am running around, I can hire them to come take my dog on a 4-hour hike, and know the dogs are being well cared for, and that they will be worn out, tired, and happy when I get home.

And the amazing team at Two Parts – I love them! They put on a bunch of beer and food festivals around Colorado, as well as the Denver Flea. They are such a fun, organized and professional group of people, and I like that their full-time job is to bring people together to have a great time. And they are so good at doing just that! If you have a chance to attend one of their events, you will not regret it.

7) What’s your favorite local hangout?

Pangea Coffee and Mountain Toad Brewing. Because, coffee and beer. YUM!

8) What is on the horizon for Spinster Sisters? 

We have a store in Golden, opened our 3rd store in Cherry Creek North this fall, and earlier this summer we opened doors in RiNo. Each store is gorgeously designed and carries our full collection of skincare, but each one is a bit unique given the neighborhood and area. I love the quaintness in Golden, the vibrancy of Cherry Creek North, and the urban vibe of our RiNo Store. We love being part of Colorado’s community of makers and are so excited to have 3 stores now. Our all natural skincare product line is always growing too – we’re always handcrafting something new!

9) What do you love most about living/working in the Denver area?

Gosh, so many things. It is so beautiful here – so peaceful, so breathtaking, so inspiring. I feel like there is a real sense of community here, a sense of pride, a focus on local business, small business, and sustainability. That makes it much easier for a new business like Spinster Sisters to grow and thrive. It is so nice to have the support of our community, and so many amazing, talented local makers, to keep you on track, feeling positive, and looking forward to all the adventures to come while growing our businesses.

Spinster Sisters stickers Spinster Sisters Solid Lotion

 

Visit Spinster Sisters at one of their 3 Denver area locations: Original Store: 908 12th Street, Golden, Colorado 80401; RiNo: 3070 Blake Street, Denver, Colorado 80205; and Cherry Creek: 2628 E. Third Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80206. Check out the Cherry Creek store’s “Insidewalk Sale” on January 23rd through 28th. You can also order all products online or you can usually find them at The Denver Flea.

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