When Gregory Curtis decided to open a shop, he knew he wanted it to celebrate the little things in life that make people happy, and so in 2010 he founded Cleanse Apothecary. The boutique features specialty beauty, body and bath products, their subtle and soothing smells blending to make each customer's visit a little break in their day, a chance to relax and indulge their senses.
Located on N Florida Avenue in Tampa, the shop's products are all free of sulfates and parabens. Many are vegan-friendly, such as Lipstick Queen's Frog Prince lipstick ($25) that's infused with avocado oil and looks bright green but once applied turns the perfect shade of pink for each wearer. Family-owned brands also are represented — like Primal Elements soaps ($9.95) and Lavanila natural deodorants.
Most customers come in looking for gifts so Curtis often helps them assemble a custom gift basket with the products that best fit the recipient's lifestyle. For the avid athlete, the Jack Black Turbo Wash ($50) organic body and hair wash relaxes muscles as it cleans with its natural eucalyptus and arnica formula. For a person in need of relaxation, Positano candle pillars ($26) are fragrant before they're even lit; a wick trimmer ($15.50) reduces soot emissions for a cleaner, more aromatic burn. For the passionate party host, a coffee-table book such as The Little Paris Kitchen ($35), which also serves as a French cuisine cookbook, and some Argan oil lotion ($20) to deeply moisturize overworked hands, make a good combination.
Starting in March, Curtis and his partner, Terry Bellamy, will be expanding the Cleanse Apothecary brand with its own line of products. The bath bombs or treats made with natural ingredients and oils are already among the store's best sellers and soon bath salts will be available as well.