Inspired by the beauty of her surroundings, master soap artisan, Lynn Rodenroth decided to found Great Lakes Bath and Body. Lynn wanted to take the beauty and simplicity of nature, and deliver that in soaps and other bath products. In 2008, Great Lakes Bath and Body began to sell their hand-made soaps wholesale. In July of 2012, Rodenroth opened a retail store on the corner of Front and Cass Streets in downtown Traverse City. The shop, which is located right next to their kitchen, sells all of their products, including their artisan soaps, premium body butters, lotions and soaking salts.

Their products contain simple ingredients that can be found in nature. “We don’t believe that everything synthetic is bad and everything that is natural is good,” Rodenroth said. “But we do believe in simple formulas and using more plant derived ingredients when possible.” Great Lakes Bath and Body is known for their soaps, which are entirely handmade in small batches of roughly 80 pounds.

Rodenroth believes that the soap’s natural, plant-derived ingredients make this some of the best soap available on the market.

Rodenroth credits the beautiful area surrounding Traverse City for inspiring her craft, as well as the crafts of other artisans in the area. “There are a lot of artisans here and I think that Northern Michigan inspires those individuals to create the products that they do.  I know it does for me, I’m definitely inspired by my surroundings to create soap.” She is also thankful for the people who come to visit who appreciate the area and the products derived from it. “The people that come and visit here love to see that selection of products that are inspired by the natural beauty that we have here.”