The Sudz Company, of Lincoln, is providing area residents with small-batch, high-quality bath and body items.
Amanda Lutjen, owner of the Sudz Company, began making her own bath products with recipes found online after moving back to her hometown of Lincoln 18 months ago and eventually moved on to making her own recipes and products.
“About a year ago I was just making my own products for myself at home and I’d been to several places like Lush or Bath Junkie,” Lutjen explained. “I just wanted to be able to bring that to myself and know what ingredients are in the products. So I was doing that and would randomly give samples and things like that to my girlfriends and they’re like, ‘You need to start selling this stuff.’ It just expanded from there. It’s something I always wanted to do and I’m just at a place now where I can do it.”
Lutjen runs her company by herself and makes all of her own products. She also works full-time from home as a risk manager for a large credit union out of Overland Park, Kansas.
“I was looking for more of a creative outlet to express myself,” Lutjen said. “So that’s kind of how that started. My ultimate goal was to be able to give back to my community. I try to as much as I can. I would love to get to the point where I can have a couple of full-time employees that I could provide full benefits...Just being able to give back to people who have given to me is really important to me.”
The Sudz Company officially opened in Fall 2019 and offers a variety of bath and body products including bath bombs, whipped body washes, sugar scrubs, lotions, bubbling bath salts and more. She also offers seasonal items like Halloween and Christmas products. Lutjen said there has been a lot of trial and error in getting started.
“I just always tell myself I would never sell a product that I wouldn’t purchase myself and I have pretty high standards so that’s important to me,” she said. “I spend a lot of time just experimenting on different recipes and things like that.”
Lutjen’s products contain ingredients like Epsom salts, baking soda, fragrance oils and mica. Lutjen explained it is important to try to shop locally and do research on all of the companies she works with, which use ethically sourced products.
The Sudz Company’s most popular products are the bubbling bath salts and sugar scrubs. For those unsure which scent to try first, Lutjen suggested her oatmeal, milk and honey which is “very clean and very light” and is “not overpowering.”
Lutjen’s clientele has been pretty local so far with her main base being Benton and Pettis counties. She’s also had orders go out to places like California, Oregon and Florida.
“I’ve kind of got to branch out some but I would say definitely my main base is here,” she said. “Which that’s my agenda anyways is to be a smaller business here in the midwest and give people that experience that they would have to go to the eastern or western coasts to receive that type of product.”
Lutjen’s best memory so far was making custom gift boxes for a woman who was sending them to her children and their spouses for their anniversaries.
“That was really fun, getting to build that deep relationship with her...” Lutjen explained. “I love when people are so excited about the product they receive. That’s super gratifying for me for someone else to be that excited about it. Her kids were so excited when they received them. Just knowing that was their anniversary gift and I was the one that got to provide that. That was really fun for me.”
Lutjen said making her products can take a varying amount of time. Some can be made quickly while others can take days to finish. Lutjen said her family will pitch in and help her with products and doing vendor shows. Her next vendor show will be the sixth snnual RiOak Fall Market on Sept. 19 in Cole Camp.
“I feel like I try to make the products as original to me as possible,” Lutjen said. “I hope that people feel the love in the products I make because they’re all hand made by me.”