13 Feb Recipe for Success: Breezy Quarters in Abbeville
Wandering into Breezy Quarters in downtown Abbeville, a mix of citrus-y, sweet, and floral scents waft from bright displays of soaps, lotions, and scrubs that invite you to sample and sniff. As you explore, you can glimpse the back of the shop that serves as owner Paige Bowser’s handcrafted workshop, sparking curiosity as to what her latest experiment might be.
Just glancing at her products, you sense the personal touch infusing each creation. The name of the business itself carries special meaning: Breezy Quarters was named after her serene family home on a farm that was built in 1935, so-called by her aunts because “the wind seemed to always blow through the pecan orchards there.”
In the beginning, soapmaking was inspired by Paige’s interest in an eco-friendlier lifestyle: “I was reading food labels and very interested in eliminating bad chemicals from our household.” That interest eventually led to a soapmaking hobby, most of which has been self-taught. She credits her former career as a history teacher for her love of diving into the technical research when she started making soap 12 years ago. In the beginning, it was mostly a solo venture without a person-to-person online community. Now, with the rise of social media, Paige appreciates the dialogue she has as a member of the Handcrafted Soapmaking and Cosmetics Guild, who mostly communicates via a Facebook group. “It’s like having a giant pool of mentors.”
Many of her scents are inspired by food with her own spin on it—the cornbread candle, for example, contains honey as a special ingredient because that’s how her grandmother always baked it. But Paige really draws inspiration from everywhere. The name, label, and color of the fragrance “Front Porch Sippin’” is inspired by Southern porches, the ceilings of which are often painted haint blue to “ward off evil spirits.” She also wants to make a scent inspired by the neighboring Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville, with notes of magnolia and boxwood.
Paige brings a fresh business perspective to Abbeville and is eager to help others grow their businesses to help the whole community prosper. She especially believes in pointing young entrepreneurs towards available resources, whether that’s encouraging them to come to the Abbeville Merchant’s Meeting or educating them about grant programs that provide financial assistance. As for her own successful journey through owning a small business, Paige offers a simple answer: “Any time you give a personal touch to your product, and pair that with great customer service and loving your customers, that’s a recipe for success.”