Artisan Spotlight: Salacia Salts
As I pass Forsyth Park with its famous fountain where Forrest Gump dropped notable one-liners, I admire the oak trees with Spanish moss swaying with the Spring Breeze. A businessman is walking down the sidewalk getting to his office, two friends are walking along a path chatting, and tourists are already filling the park to take pictures of this historic site. These individuals have been brought together by the city of Savannah where life never gets old.
Traveling down the cobblestone streets of Savannah, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of antiquity and history. I turn down West Hall Street in the historic district and find the cottage marked 208.
I ring the doorbell to the Salacia Salts Studio and the walking epitome of Southern sophistication wearing bright colors and pearls around her neck gracefully strolls up to greet me.
A woman of many talents, Cari Clark Phelps, is the owner and founder of Salacia Salts as well as her own design firm, Clark Creative.
She unlocks the front door and we’re transported to a place filled with the sound of seagulls and crashing waves.
As soon as you walk through the doors of the studio, you inhale the smell of relaxation and the sea, and exhale any worries you had before you walked through the door. The Salacia Salts Studio may be located in the heart of Savannah but the nautical décor and beach vibe makes the spot feel like you’re a few miles down the road on Tybee Island.
This small business is filled with bath and beauty products made from all-natural organic ingredients locally-sourced and inspired by scents of the South.
Like all other great prophecies, the idea for Salacia Salts came from a dream.
“I have helped brand companies and do packaging design for the past 15 years and in my dream I was helping someone find an economical way to package salt. I was also in the middle of a renovation with my husband in our historic downtown home. In the process, we were finding a lot of cool old things in our backyard including glass bottles. I think I kind of merged what was happening in my real life at work and at home and had this dream that I was packing salts in a reclaimed bottle. I woke up and told my husband about this crazy weird dream I was having and he said, ‘Did you know that Tybee Island, 20 minutes off of our coast, is the Native American word for salt?’”
After having the dream, Phelps began researching everything she needed to know about salt.
Although most of us view salt simply as a way to season our food, she discovered that there was much more to this mineral.
“Salt is a natural cleanser and can be used as a household cleanser and as an exfoliant. It extracts and helps get rid of different types of dirt from your body and your environment. It’s great to detox and soften your skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. I don’t know specifically how many uses there are for salt but I know there are hundreds.”
With that, Salacia Salts was born. Phelps used her knowledge of salt as well as insights from her travels and living in the South to begin experimenting with local ingredients to create her products.
“I find ingredients that are natural or native to this area and try to use anything that’s Georgia Grown. The grits are grown in Lakeland, Georgia. Our pecans are grown in Valdosta. Our rosemary comes from an organic farm in Florida. I always try to use things that you can find in our area so that ends up being the catalyst for everything we’re developing.”
However, sometimes products don’t go as planned but can still end up working out for the best. After much urging from customers, Phelps started trying to create a foot scrub that would not be as slippery as her moisturizing salt soaks or body scrubs. However, after realizing that all of the ingredients were edible, she ended up making a completely different product.
“I had pumice, grits, sugar, salt, and I tried a whole bunch of different things that would exfoliate gently and naturally. When I removed the pumice and I was blending everything, I realized that all of it was edible. Because I’m a foodie at heart, I tasted it and thought this has some potential if I added more sugar. As I did, I realized, ‘Kiss my Grits’ because it had grits in it, it was sugary and I was using it on my lips. No longer was it a foot scrub. Instead, it became our signature product and it’s our number one bestseller.”
From your lips to your toes, Phelps has created products filled with natural ingredients to make every inch of your body feel soft, exfoliated, and moisturized.
With inspiration from the South and the sea, Phelps wants anyone using her products to feel relaxed and comfortable like a day at the beach.
“I want them to have the feeling at the end of the day when you’ve been at the beach. You’re at peace with nature, relaxed, and calm, but there’s also a comfort side with the fragrances of the South.”
Much like the warmth of the sun on your back or the feeling of sand between your toes, using any of the Salacia Salts products specially crafted by Phelps and her team, from soaps to salt soaks to lip scrubs, you will feel like you’ve given yourself a short getaway if only for a few minutes.
To pamper yourself with a gift from the Roman goddess of the sea, Salacia, purchase the Salacia Salts Seaside Citrus Salt Soak, Kiss My Grits Lip Scrub, and Southern Pecan Soap in the Build a Gift Box section of our website. You will feel relaxed and lovely after treating yourself to a wonderful spa day with these products from Georgia’s historic city by the Atlantic.