This monthly blog from The Maker City features a look at some of the Knoxville area’s outstanding makers – artists, crafters, and custom builders. In the spirit of “April Showers…”, this month’s blog introduces three area makers who excel at bath, scent, and wellness products.
Name: Morgan Hendrieth
Business: WildlyLavish Soap Studio
How did you get started as a personal care product maker?
I was a new mom, and I started making body care products because my son was experiencing issues with eczema. I fell in love with saponification -- the process of turning water, oil and lye into soap. After several failed recipes and months of studying and perfecting the product, I finally landed on the creamiest and most nourishing version, with bubbly lather.
What do you make, and how?
Soaps -- all made in small batches, using only the finest oils and butters. We don't use any harsh chemicals or additives. Every batch is handmade and plant-based for the most nourishing and lavish experience. It’s all good for you and your body.
In addition to the soap, I have expanded my “Whole Body Collection" to include body oils and beaded jewelry. I make glass beaded bracelets, anklets and waist beads.
Where are your products offered for sale?
Several local shops including Jacks of Knoxville and Knoxville Soap, Candle & Gifts. Our goal is to have a storefront here in Knoxville very soon. Visit us online at
wildlylavishsoapstudio.bigcartel.com, facebook.com/wildlylavishsoap and instagram.com/wildlylavish865/
Originally from the Memphis area, Morgan Hendrieth moved to Knoxville in 2012 to pursue her BA in psychology at the University of Tennessee. In the summer of 2014 she began making body care products, distributing them to family and friends, one of whom suggested that she try a local craft fair. She was an immediate hit, and has been building her business ever since.
Name: Tina Drake and Alexia Frazier
Business: Fresh Kale Bath & Boutique
How did you get started as a bath and body product maker?
Frazier: I’ve always enjoyed doing things with my hands, always been into beauty. I made vegan nail polish in college. When I lived in Atlanta I would make products for my coworkers at Apple. I was having to take days off of work to fill the orders. That was when I knew what I was supposed to be doing.
Drake: My daughter and I wanted to be able to do something to feed back into the community and provide jobs. She sent me some products that she had been making for her team at Apple. I thought, “this is it!” She’s the maker; I’m the entrepreneur.
What do you make, and how do you do that?
Drake: Body butters, oils for body and hair, bath and shower bombs, sugar scrubs, a miracle salve with many uses. It’s helped people that had bad eczema, and it helps with dry skin.
Frazier: I make everything from scratch and it’s always been super important to me that our ingredients are pure and come from reliable sources. I spend so much time sourcing ingredients and creating formulations. I make everything at the kitchen table. Eight hours will go by and it seems like about an hour and a half.
Where are your products offered for sale? Frazier: Suite 1092 at West Town Mall and on our website, https://freshkalebathnboutique.com/. We have wholesale vendors in California, Kansas, Arizona, and Texas. That part of the business has really picked up during the pandemic, and that has given me the opportunity to dedicate myself to it.
Mother-daughter team, Tina Drake and Alexia Frazier are native Knoxvillians. Both lived in California -- Drake working for Bare Minerals and Frazier for Apple -- before eventually returning to Knoxville and starting Fresh Kale Bath & Boutique. Drake has extensive experience in the beauty industry, having also worked for Laura Mercier and Lancome. Frazier just loves to create. “I love having my mom on -- she does stuff like taxes -- yuck! She allows me to focus on what I’m truly passionate about.”
Name: Trisha Gantt
Business: Southern Porch Scents
How did you get started as a candlemaker?
In 2012, I was a working mom, carrying two part-time jobs in order to fit around my son’s activities when a virus attacked my heart, resulting in permanent damage. During my year-long, at-home time of recovery from an ICD implant, I began to wish for a paraffin-free candle to enjoy on the back porch. That led to the idea of pulling together all of the elements needed to create it. After hours of exploration and testing of fragrance and essential oils, plus finding the perfect wick and wax, the idea conceived on the porch became a small business in 2015.
What do you make and how?
Paraffin-free soy candles, scented with carefully chosen fragrance oils, in containers reminiscent of the classic mason jar. We have also added a recycled glass farm-style jar in a variety of colors topped with European agglomerated cork lids. We love a rustic look, but also like modern additions. All candles are hand-poured in small batches with wax made from American-grown soy-- a renewable resource -- and blended with premium, skin-safe fragrances and essential oils. We test the quality and performance of every scent. Our loyal customers say it’s sometimes hard to choose because we have a plethora of great smelling candles!
Where are your products offered for sale? www.southernporchscents.com In addition to the Tennessee businesses listed below, we also attend local craft shows and usually post a schedule online.
• The Southern Market, Knoxville
• Rocky Hill Pharmacy, Knoxville
• Urban Market Knoxville, West Town Mall
• The Tattered Peacock, Harriman, TN
• Markets On Broadway, Lenoir City, Tn
• Gentry Mercantile, Foothills Mall in Maryville, TN
• Smoky Mountain Art Gallery, Gatlinburg, TN
• Mountain Brothers General Store, Townsend, TN
• Loren Grace, Oliver Springs, TN
• Two Sisters Market, Rockwood, TN
• Mine & Yours Asheville ReSale, Asheville, NC
• Magnolia Wren Boutique, Burnsville, NC
• Primitives & Porringers, Gilman, Ilinois
Trisha Gantt has lived in Knoxville since moving here with her family at the age of two. Her large family enjoys good times outdoors, especially in the Great Smoky Mountains. She has been married to her husband Jeff for almost 25 years and they have one son. Gantt previously worked at Young-Williams Animal Center, where she developed a passion for rescuing animals. She lives in the foothills of East Tennessee with her family and a small menagerie of pets ranging from dogs, a small parrot, chickens, and even a bearded dragon!