Get to Know...Nina Madsen Puckett of Jersey Girl Bath Co.
Jersey Girl Bath Co. was launched in 2019 after Nina Madsen Puckett accidentally ordered 55 pounds of Himalayan Salt for a small project she was working on for her massage therapy clients. We asked Nina to tell us a little bit about herself and about what it's like to own & operate a small business:
Name: Nina Madsen Puckett
Business: Jersey Girl Bath Co.
Title: Owner + Maker
How would you describe Jersey Girl Bath Co. to someone who hasn't had the chance to try your products yet?
Jersey Girl Bath Co. offers Handmade, Natural and Organic Salt Scrubs + Bath Soaks with a Jersey Flair. Our best selling products are our Himalayan Salt Scrubs with Dead Sea Salt, our first products we started out with. We are based in Tulsa, OK and sell on our website online (www.jerseygirlbathco.com). We also sell gift boxes.
How did your business get started?
Jersey Girl Bath Co. started out of an accidental order of 55lbs. of Himalayan Salt. I thought I was ordering 5.5 lbs and ended up with, instead, 55lbs. So, with all of that extra salt and a mentorship my old NYC roommate (owner and maker for The Soapranos based in Manila, Philippines), Jersey Girl Bath Co. was born. I started in 2019 with my first line of Himalayan Salt Scrubs with Dead Sea Salt, and during the pandemic formulated the Clay Collection and Soaking Salts.
What do you love about operating a small business in Tulsa, OK?
I love the vibrance of the city and it's people. Especially their willingness to try new products, even if they have a "Jersey Flair." I love everything about Tulsa, OK and feel it is a perfect place to grow a small business because of the enthusiasm of Tulsan's to try new things. I will always hold a piece of NJ in my heart, as I grew up in Sussex County, N.J. and wanted to bring some of my experiences and passions from living there and in Brooklyn, NY to the city that I love and have called home for the past 12 years - Tulsa.
What challenges or risks have you faced operating a local business?
The challenges I face operating a local business include educating the public on the benefits of self care, but with social media and the enthusiasm of Tulsans to learn, it has been a challenge, but one that can be overcome.
What advice would you give to someone who dreams of starting their own business someday?
To always reach for your dreams. People always say to keep things in perspective, and "be realistic." I like to say, "We sent someone to the moon. So if we could send someone to the moon, with keeping things in that perspective," your small business can thrive with determination, perseverance and dedication."
What are the most popular items that you sell? What are your favorite items?
The Himalayan Salt Scrubs with Dead Sea Salt (On the Boardwalk and Wildwood Waves are our best sellers), the Stillness and Submerge Soaking Salts and Dead Sea Salt Clay Scrubs, and the Down the Shore Sea Salt Peppermint Foot Scrub.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Participating in markets, meeting new maker friends and locals, and making scrubs. I have an anxiety disorder, and making scrubs has been a part of my therapy and healing process.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
The spring and summer markets, as I have found, are very hard on my products. So keeping them in a cool, dry place in the summer and not participating in markets in the summertime is something I realized I had to do so that the products' expiration date of 6 months is not less than that. Also, educating the public on the benefits of a salt scrub and that includes exfoliation to help slough off dead skin cells in addition to stimulating blood and lymphatic system for overall health, self care and wellness.
Who do you admire in your line of work? Do you have any professional heroes?
Mary Pilares, my mentor, and owner of The Soapranos in Manila, Philippines. She and I are actually collaborating on a new line of facial scrubs set to be revealed late this summer.
Do you have any favorite moments or milestones since opening your business?
I recently was accepted to Faire.com online wholesale marketplace and was so excited to have my first wholesale orders this year, and my having my products in Queen City Oils and Vinegars in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about your business?
That I started the business out of a mistake of a ridiculous amount of Pink Himalayan Salt.
What motivates you to keep doing what you're doing?
I absolutely love making scrubs, and love helping people with self care. I am also a dancer, somatic movement therapist and owner of Madsen Massage Therapy, so my life long goal is to help people with self care and achieve relaxation and rest. I also care a great deal about mental health, and recently started a 501(c)3 mental health nonprofit called Erase the Stigma Through Dance, and my mission with that is to help others not feel so alone, and to change perceptions on mental illness, as I suffered from schizoaffective disorder for many years. Making scrubs, because I am facilitating the use of both of my hands, both sides of my brain are working, as my psychiatrist told me, and that, along with dancing helps with my condition. It is all very healing for me, and I am deeply passionate about other's well-being.
In your opinion, why is it important for people to support locally-owned businesses?
When people support other local business within their community that they live, the local community thrives, and thus people's lives are, in turn, better and they can thrive financially, which will allow for less stress, and more time to do the things that they are also passionate about in addition to work, whether that is spending more time with their family, volunteering or simply living a fulfilled life in whatever way they imagine.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional modern dancer. I'm happy to say, I reached my goal and was a professional modern dancer in NYC, and still dance and choreograph and Co-Direct for Oklahoma Movement, a local Tulsa-based dance company focused on outreach, education and performance to empower the community through movement for well being.
What was your first job?
I was a roller skating waitress at a place called Sonny's Drive Inn, in Augusta, NJ for 3 years in high school growing up in NJ. It was fun, and yes, I fell a ton, but dancing at least helped me with my balance, but those trays were heavy!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Dance, spend time with my rescue dogs, hang out with my husband Craig, spend time with friends, volunteer, and do whatever I can as a mental health advocate. I sincerely enjoy the work I do and the things I'm involved in, so typically if I have time off and am not hanging out with my husband or friends, you can find me working on any one of my businesses or non profit.
Jersey Girl Bath Co. is on online business based in Tulsa, OK. Use code: KEEPITLOCALOK when you shop at jerseygirlbathco.com to receive 15% off your purchase.