Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Features No. 19 -- Featuring Barcelona Bath & Body

Happy Friday! This week, sadly, has flown by. Sadly, because my mom and little sister came out to the Bay Area for their very first visit since I have lived out here...since I got married 4 years ago next week!!! I haven't seen them in 2-1/2 years because finances just haven't allowed either of us to fly out to the others' homes. What a wonderful 5 days it was! We took them to some of our favorite places, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Monterey. I only wish they could have stayed longer. I cried when I dropped them off at the airport. My son wouldn't talk to me after we dropped them off, because he is 14 and "doesn't want to talk about it". It's fine. I understand completely.

I hope that you will indulge me by allowing me to post a photo of our ventures.
Yes, that is me, holding on to our new little guy who was screaming the WHOLE time his feet were in the water. (He has some tactile issues.)
The two further back are my 14 year old, and his aunt, my little sister.
Yes, my parents adopted her. They're foster parents just like us!!
We had SUCH a wonderful time in Monterey, and of course capped it off with a sourdough bread bowl of steaming clam chowder before we wearily headed home.


Ok, on to the Friday Feature! By the way, congratulations to Valerie from The Contest Blog, who won the 8x10 Silhouette Portrait from Le Papier Designs! Thanks Vana, for a wonderful feature and giveaway!
Today, we are featuring a wonderfully scrumptious online shop, Barcelona Bath & Body. Rachel Lane has 18 years of experience in sales and marketing, which has helped her immensely in her bath and body business.

Here's more about Rachel and Barcelona Bath & Body:

TDB: How did you get started in the Bath & Body business?

Rachel: In my 18 years experience in sales and marketing, my favorite job was Director of Marketing for a company in Dallas called Mood Spa where I was very involved in the product development of a line of candles and spa body products.

Sadly I was laid off along with the entire corporate staff and moved on to my next job in another industry and I truly missed being involved in developing candles and body products. I caught a midnight rerun of Oprah in June of 2002. Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter was featured that show about "mompreneurs" changed my life. I had never even thought to dream that I could own my own body product and candle business and handcraft the products myself! And so Barcelona Bath & Body was born.

I was able to build on the research about how fragrance affects mood and emotions that I had done at Mood Spa to create products that are different from all the others on the market. Scientific research has proven that the sense of smell affects mood. This phenomenon called aromachology is the scientifically observable influence of smell on emotions and moods. I used these principles when I formulated our 5 fragrances (Cinnamon Sandalwood, Grapefruit Ylang Ylang, Vanilla Lavender, Lemongrass Fennel and Coconut Bay Rum). I made sure that each contains components that calm as wells as components that energize. You take from it what you need at the time! This concept is very effective in a group dynamic like families, offices or spas where one person may feel exhausted and need a pick me up and another may be keyed up and need to relax—everyone gets what they need from the same product. I specialize in empowering our customers to choose their mood.

TDB: Your photos are you take them, or do you get your product professionally photographed?

Rachel: Thank you! They have been professionally shot, but I have done all the styling which I really enjoy.

TDB: What is your favorite thing to create?
Rachel: I love creating new products period! It’s addictive. There’s something about the experimentation/trial & error that is so fascinating. I have to stay really disciplined to not want to do just that part of my business full time! Right now I’m working on a body lotion, scrub, liquid shower soap and bath salts that I hope to introduce this year.

TDB: How do you balance your business and family?

Rachel: Hmm. That’s a great one! My mood is more balanced than my schedule J I’m married and we don’t yet have children so that allows me freedom to spend more time on work in this phase of my life. I work lots of hours, but because I’m doing something I’m passionate about, it’s a different quality of “work.” I’m making a concerted effort to add more husband, friend and family time into my schedule and have set a goal to do more leisure travel which my husband and I enjoyed when I had a corporate job.

TDB: What has having your own business allowed you to do, that you wouldn't be able to if you worked in the "corporate world"?

Rachel: Flexibility! I make a point to allow myself to get out and do things in the daytime that a traditional corporate job didn’t allow—for example, run errands during off-peak traffic hours which is a time and energy saver. I was really honored to be able to spend time with 2 of my best friends from high school when they lost loved ones in the past year. Corporations typically don’t recognize the need to attend funerals for people outside the immediate family, but these are my friends for life and I was so grateful to have this freedom.

TDB: How did you come up with the name for your business? (I actually read it, but I'd love to share it with the readers.)

Rachel: In the very beginning stages of conceptualizing the product line and naming it, I kicked around hundreds of names. I bounced many of them off my favorite sounding board—my husband Barry. Many of the names included the word “spa,” but knowing that I desired a concept completely unique from her spa background, Barry voted against all of them. Finally, at the end of my brainstorming rope, I threw out a reference to an inside joke*— Barcelona Bath & Body. We gaped at each other and agreed it really had a ring to it, we really liked it and after all, alliteration was on our side. Combined with my long-standing admiration for the Mediterranean olive oil-centered beauty tradition, a passion for Mediterranean cuisine and a love of travel, it was the perfect name! *Fellow British comedy fans may be familiar with Fawlty Towers , a sitcom that originally aired in 1975 and continues to run frequently on PBS and BBCA. John Cleese’s character continually explains the English-as-second-language foibles of waiter Manuel to hotel guests with the one-size-fits-all exasperated phrase, “He’s from Barcelona .”

TDB: If you could go on vacation for a month, anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Rachel: Well, this can come as no surprise, but Barcelona and the surrounding Mediterranean area is at the top of my list.


Now for the fun...the giveaway! Rachel is giving away a Vanilla Lavender Grande Candle, valued at $24.00. The Vanilla Lavender candle is, of course, the center one shown...the purple candle.

All you have to do to win one is go to Barcelona Bath & Body and then come back here and let us know what your favorite product or scent is.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, July 17th at Midnight PST.

Only one comment per person please. If you would like to earn a second entry, you can blog about our giveaway on your blog. Be SURE to let me know in your ONE comment, where I can find your post about it.

Have a wonderful weekend!


UPDATE: Oh, my goodness! I almost forgot!!! Rachel has generously included this offer, only for The Downtown Boutique readers!:

In celebration of Barcelona Bath & Body’s 6 year anniversary, we’re offering Downtown Boutique readers a Buy 6 Products, Get 1 Product Free special for the month of July 2008. The free product should be of equal or lesser value than the least expensive product purchased and there is a limit of 6 free products per order. Type DB and the free item(s) in the comments box at checkout on OR call 800-801-1937 to order.


windycindy said...

Greetings! I love her site! I love soaps, candles, sachets and room sprays! I really like the "Grande Candle" in Vanilla Lavender or Cinnamon Sandalwood. The "Guest Soap Sets" are too adorable. They would make wonderful favors. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks, Cindi

misty said...

I love the Guest Soap Sets. And I love Lavendar. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

planetmisty at gmail dot com

julie king said...

your new little guy is cute! thanks for the intro to the b&b products!!!!

Grateful Gramma said...

After vanilla lavender, cinnamon sandalwood would probably be my favorite.

Bunny B said...

I'm interested in Lemongrass Fennel! Sounds heavenly! Thanks!
bunnybox9 at gmail . com

Cute & Sweet said...

Oooh, I love just the thought of the Coconut Bay Rum scent! Sounds very exotic and relaxing! :)

Anonymous said...

I like the looks of the room refresh in Vanilla lavender. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Michele said...

Thanks for the reference to a GREAT site!!! The scent I'd love to try is the Vanilla Lavender! It sounds devine!!!

Thanks for the chance to win a great prize!!


Tanya said...

I love your site. It's like eye candy! Your products look wonderful. Please check out my blog at

Karin said...

Coconut Bay Rum sounds like a yummy fragrance!

judygr64 said...

The votive tapas set looks great. My favorite scent would be the cinnamon sandalwood. All the products look great. I can't wait to try some.

Toystory said...

Grapefruit ylang ylang sounds like a great fragrance.

MoonMaidenSoap said...


I really like the Votive Tapas Set ... all of her products look just fabulous. :)

Very nice feature. :)


Renee of Guiding Light Candles said...

I love the sachets, they are so pretty! The Lemongrass Fennel scent sounds intriguing.

Betsy said...

The Coconut Bay Rum candle sounds great!

3boyzmom said...

Yummy scents! I can smell them already!! "Coconut Bay Rum" sounds amazing!!! I almost think I can smell it right now:) Great giveaway, I listed it on my latest best of the best blog giveaways post!!

kananee said...

I like the Grapefruit Ylang Ylang Sachets!

katy said...

I think the Cinnamon Sandalwood Grande Bath Bar Soap sounds heavenly.

Anonymous said...

Coconut Bay Rum or Cinnamon Sandlewood sound like great scents to me!


Kelli said...

Mmm...thanks for letting me know about this site. I'd have to say any of the soaps in Grapefruit Ylang Ylang would be a great morning wake-me-up.

Alyson, the 3 P's Mama said...

Oh my...I could almost smell the fragrances! I totally wanted to do scratch and sniff for them all! If I had to select a favorite scent, I'd say the Lemongrass Fennel - it sounds so clean and reminds me a this great place I stayed in Europe!

Thanks for teaching me about their delicious looking products!

Alyson, the 3 P's Mama

Stacey Moore said...

would love to try the Vanilla Lavender Room Refresh®
moore. g at

Reeva said...

wow great giveaway! I'd most like the room refresh and probably some guest soaps..but i might use those for myself! :)

Great giveaway! I hope i'm the lucky winner

and thanks for the downtownboutique reader special!!!

Anonymous said...

The grapefruit ylang ylang is made for me. I love that!