It all started when Old Lake Highlands neighbor Mark Fuentes purchased a book on soap making from Gecko Hardware and gave it to his son, Cameron, for Christmas in 2013. They along with Mark’s partner, Keith Bailey, began experimenting with soap recipes that eventually launched into a business, White Rock Soap Gallery. The gallery’s handcrafted natural soap, candles and body care products became a mainstay at Good Local Markets and also were picked up by Lakewood Shopping Center’s The T Shop and, appropriately, Gecko.
Fast forward two years and the gallery’s products have become popular enough that the three men outgrew their original manufacturing space — their home — and recently began renting manufacturing space in Northlake Shopping Center at Northwest Highway and Ferndale. The space, shared with Gecko Hardware, is fronted by a retail shop that opened this week.
The shop allows White Rock Soap Gallery to showcase not only their own products but also other local makers — currently, Sissy’s Soaps, Deep Soaps out of Deep Ellum and Koke Gardens, which Bailey describes as “a japanese art form of growing plants in a moss ball.”
“We’re trying to be a springboard for these little companies for them to grow and to get their name out there, too,” Bailey says. “We wanted to be a gallery of local artisans, all-natural body care and soaps, and good stuff for people.”
The shop is now open Mondays through Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and closed on Sundays, when White Rock Soap Gallery will still sell their soaps, lotions, lip balms and such at Good Local Markets in Half Price Books‘ parking lot.