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The beauty and skin care industry is known to be a billion dollar business. Product names like Dove, Ivory, Oil of Olay, Aveeno and Mary Kay have been dominating the market throughout the years. Lately Carol’s Daughter and on a local level, Third Day Luxury Soaps have been making a dent in the market.

“What makes me unique compared to other beauty and bath products is that my merchandise is 87 percent organically based,” described owner Cynthia Hill. Not trying to compete or compare herself to the market giants, she says her five-year goal is to have her company financially stable, to gain a strong Internet presence and to develop a Third Day sales staff.

LUXURY IN A HEALTHY WAY—Cynthia Hill, owner of Third Day Luxury Soaps displays one of many items she sells at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

Located at the Pittsburgh Public Market, Smallman at 17th Street in the Strip District Friday through Sunday, Hill relishes the fact that she is able to not only sell her products but to share skin and body care techniques with her customers.

“People are interested in learning what natural herbs are good for what;” she said pointing out that shea butter is good for the skin. “My Shea Oil Body Mist infused with lavender and peppermint is especially good for dry skin, helping with wrinkle prevention and even blocking the sun’s UVA rays.”

The manufacturer of her own products except the shea butter which is imported from West and Central Africa, her newest item is a soy and bees wax candle called Junoon, meaning a state of positive energy. Combined with some of her other products, she says the candles add to the comfort and relaxation of using natural and herbal products. She noted that the candle can also be used as a moisturizer.

In addition to the candles and shea butter, Third Day Luxury Soaps carries organic soap bars infused with herbal botanicals with a shea butter and olive oil base, three fragrances of luxury shea butter lotion, shea oil mist and liquid sheen oil consisting of two scents and milk baths with an herbal blend.

Her skin care line for the face called Honey Face includes a honey turmeric cleanser, moisturizer and an organic sugar scrub.

The Third Day bath and body wash line encompasses a black soap body wash infused with banana skins, coconut milk and lime. She carries a peppermint and tea tree, and patchouli body washes and bath balm fizzers. She pointed out that the men’s line of body wash called the Marakesh Man has a powerful unique scent.

Other popular Third Day goods are the hair pomade which is infused with 13 different botanicals that stimulate the scalp, a regular and cherry lip balm, and a deep muscle and joint cream made to reduce muscle and joint pain due to sports related injuries and arthritis.

“Boy that is a lot of stuff,” she said after thinking of what she sells at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip, her major selling source since February, not realizing that she carried so many items.

Celebrating its first year anniversary, the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip located in the Produce Terminal Building is an indoor, year-round public market. It promotes the growth of new businesses, allows for the expansion of local businesses and features groups of vendors with local products to enhance what already exists in the Strip District. Items include locally grown food, fresh-baked goods and handmade crafts.

Hill’s products are also available at Harts Consignment on the South Side and Urban Gypsy in Polish Hill.

Before operating in the Public Market, Hill vended at various Citiparks Farmers Market sites, local craft shows, community festivals, special events and corporate events. Reflecting, she remembers first starting out vending at a National Association of Women Business Owners conference. Placing soaps in the ladies rooms drew customers to her booth, “That helped me gain confidence,” she recalled.

The concept of Third Day Luxury Soaps began while serving as a care giver for her ill mother. “I had been reading books on how to make soaps. On my first try the batch came out perfectly,” said Hill. She began making and giving the soaps to friends and family who encouraged her to go into business. In 2005 she said she began the business development process, attended training programs at Robert Morris University and the YW Enterprising Women Program. Six years later she grows her own herbs, flowers and plants that are used in the different soaps, shampoos and beauty and bath products and pledges not to use any chemicals in her products. She also uses gel-organic gift boxes and biodegradable tissue paper to package her soaps.

As a certified Women and Disadvantage Business Enterprise with Allegheny County she hopes to expand her business by selling corporate gift baskets and conducting workshops and seminars on the usage of eco-friendly products. She has plans of conducting home spa parties and a desire to continuously capture the science of formulating a natural skin care business by developing a natural beauty mineral makeup line. “In the mean time I plan to continue dreaming big for my business and having fun doing what I am doing,” she says.

(The Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip is open Fridays 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Hill also can be reached through the Internet at http://www.thirdday­luxurysoaps.zoomshare.com.)

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