Jessica Colvin owns and operates Pure Suds Co. in Clarks Summit. The business, which opened in 2009, offers fine, handmade body goods, specialty bathing items and pure ingredients. Colvin is a native of Ransom Twp. and is a graduate of Abington Heights High School. Prior to opening her shop, she worked in the field of veterinary medicine and also operated Decoverly, a private breeding and exporting service of Ryman Irish setters. She lives in Ransom Twp.
Meet Jessica Colvin…
Can you tell us a little about the Pure Suds Co.?
We hand-make all of our goods using the finest raw ingredients. Most of them are organic kosher food grade, so ideally, it’s like food for your skin. It’s interesting, because we have what we call our “Raw Room,” so it’s basically an apothecary room where we sell nine different categories of goods that I use to formulate everything. We have clays, cosmetic additives, power botanicals, dried herbs, salts, sugars, exfoliates and butters. And we sell all of these goods to the public.
What first inspired you to open such a business?
I started making soap as a hobby in the summer of 2009, and I really enjoyed it. I started making larger batches, and it was somewhat therapeutic. I began gifting it to people, and at Christmastime, friends and family were ordering and wanting custom orders, which kind of let me play in different directions, learn from new suppliers, read books and — because (of) those custom orders — get a little more experience in areas that I wasn’t able to before.
What do you enjoy about it the most?
I still really love creating and the creation process. And at this point, we have a really great religious clientele, and I also have a really, really great team of employees. There are five people helping me right now, and I ended up creating custom positions for each of them, so they each have delegated responsibilities, and they’re all just so phenomenal. Our clients love them.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I visit my horse, Percy, at the barn he stays at in Clarks Summit. Lonestar Persuasion is his show name. And I like anything outdoors — hiking, being out in nature. … It really helps to enhance my creative end, with the company. I just let myself go, in a way, and even though I never completely detach from what’s going on, it’s nice to get outside and just live a little bit and just get out and let go. I also really love traveling.
Boulder, Colorado — the people there, the overall mentality, and the outdoor activities are endless.
Favorite place that you have vacationed?
Auckland, New Zealand.
Favorite thing about NEPA?
I love the diversity that the area has to offer, and the people here are truly amazing. I love connecting with the people here. I think our area has faced a lot of ups and downs, but we can really overcome anything as a community. And we’ve proven so. In my business in particular, since we focus on overall health and well-being, I seem to find that a lot of our clientele and people that I deal with on an intellectual basis are heading in the direction of being overall healthy. It’s almost more of a holistic and homeopathic option, and being open-minded to that. And that comes back to the diversity.
I’ve never really been into country music, but I recently got a Chris Stapleton CD, and I’m really into it.
“Eat Pray Love” with Julia Roberts.
Favorite quote of catchphrase?
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anais Nin
Biggest pet peeve?
When people don’t say “please” and “thank you.”
I can eat a half a tray of Revello’s (pizza) in one sitting. (Laughs)
Is there anything about you that might surprise people?
I will really try anything once. I love road trips. I would be open to jumping in the car and pretty much going anywhere at any time, especially in a western direction.
Have you had a moment in your life that’s really helped shape you into the person you are today?
I think who I am today is an accumulation of events, and not necessarily one thing. It’s all been life experiences. Travel has certainly affected the way that I think and how I perceive things on a more open and broad spectrum. I also have a group of mentors that influence me in certain directions, and without them being in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am or be able to network and connect the way I do.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with ALAN K. STOUT is a regular feature in electric city, profiling people from all walks of life throughout NEPA. Reach Alan at email@example.com.
Photos by Emma Black