Buff City Soap Continuing Southern Expansion into South Carolina
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Buff City Soap Continuing Southern Expansion into South Carolina

Handmade soap experiential retail franchise concept opening first South Carolina Soap Makery

March 02, 2021 // Franchising.com // Clemson, South Carolina - Buff City Soap is continuing its rapid growth throughout the South. The new Buff City Soap store is slated to open in early March and will be located at 13480 Clemson Blvd. in Hartwell Village. This store will be operated by longtime friends Rick & Joni Hayes and Tammy Swinney.

The Hayes’ currently have four Buff City Soap locations in Alabama including three stores in the Birmingham area and one in Montgomery. Since the Hayes and Swinney families have been close for many years, working together on new stores throughout the Upstate of South Carolina seemed like a perfect opportunity. The Clemson/Seneca store will almost be in the shadow of Clemson’s Death Valley and is an exciting first step for Rick, Joni and Tammy. This team is planning to open at least 20 additional Buff City Soap locations throughout the Upstate of South Carolina, the State of Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and Southwest Georgia.

This is certainly not the Hayes’ first experience as entrepreneurs and business owners. Rick is the founder of Ingenuity, Inc. based in Pelham, Alabama, which is the hometown of both the Hayes and Swinney families and where Rick served as city council president for the previous eight years.  Ingenuity, Inc. is an information technology and energy/telecommunications optimization company.  Tammy’s brother-in-law, Dabo Swinney, has been a member of the Ingenuity board of directors with Rick since the founding of the company almost twenty years ago.

Ingenuity has helped with Dabo’s ALL IN TEAM Foundation and the Clemson Football Camps for many years, but Rick’s ties to Clemson go all of the way back to his childhood when he started attending Alabama-Auburn football games every year with Clemson legendary football coach Frank Howard. “Coach Howard became good friends with my father via the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and I always felt blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with him. Naturally it was surreal when Dabo accepted the offer to come to Clemson, and I can’t tell you how excited we are to be opening our first business here with Tammy,” stated Rick.

When Rick and Joni first tried the Buff City Soap products and started considering opening a number of stores, they took samples of the soaps, laundry soaps, and body butters to the Swinneys to try. Since everyone loved the handmade products crafted in-store daily, Rick and Joni acquired two stores and started making plans with Tammy to open the stores in South Carolina.  

“After using Buff City Soap products and seeing how everything is made right in front of customers, it became very clear that this is a truly unique concept,” stated Rick Hayes. “All of our friends and family could not stop talking about how good the products made their skin feel and how wonderful everything smelled,” added Joni.

Founded in 2013, Buff City Soap has created a high quality alternative to commercial soap products full of harsh chemicals, detergents, animal fats, and sulfates. By giving customers the chance to see the entire making process in each Soap Makery, Buff City Soap is shaking up the consumer goods industry by focusing on transparency of ingredients and process. 

Buff City Soap Makeries also host many parties that include the creation of customized soaps and bath bombs for both children and adults. Buff City Soap is also very involved in all of their communities and offer unique fundraisers for many school, civic, and church groups.   

“Our customers’ reactions are always so amazing when they visit our Soap Makeries,” added Tammy. “It never gets old watching a customer personalize their own Buff City products for the first time and seeing the joy they have after creating their unique scents is a very satisfying feeling. The Clemson market is perfect for Buff City Soap, and we cannot wait to open our doors and begin serving customers.”

The Swinney and Hayes families are excited to help expand Buff City Soap throughout the South. “To be able to share in this experience with my family and lifelong friends is really special,” said Rick. “We grew up together and have remained friends for many years so it is unbelievable that we now get the opportunity to work so closely together.”

Each Buff City Soap store offers more than 30 unique and customizable scents across dozens of handcrafted soap products; including its handcrafted soap bars, bath bombs, foaming hand soap, body butter, and even laundry soap! The brand’s products are crafted by local artisans at the in-store Makeries, which allow guests to customize the ingredients used in the process to create unique scents made especially for them.

SOURCE Buff City Soap


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