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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Denton couple turns hobby into business with Frannie’s Apawthecary

Article Originally Published by Maria Lawson on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Maria Lawson on North Texas Daily

Two Denton residents can be found in their home pouring goat’s milk, lavender, honey, cocoa butter and other ingredients into a variety of molds. After they harden, they remove them from the silicon, revealing soaps shaped like unicorns, pride flags, cats or other figures. This hobby then turned into a business, and Frannie’s Apawthecary was born.

Frannie’s Apawthecary is a Denton soap business owned by Denton residents and couple Eric Gonzales and Garry Wright. It started in February during Winter Storm Uri when the couple looked into soap making as a distraction from the cold.

The name of the business came from the couple’s tortoiseshell cat, Frannie.

“As we thought of a shop name, I wanteed to include apothecary, probably because of Schitt’s Creek, but my partner was firmly against it,” Gonzales said. “He came up with the idea of Frannie’s Apawthecary to appease my and throw a cat pun in the mix.”

The soaps sold by the couple are created using silicon molds from Gonzales’ brother in El Paso who helps them create three-dimensional silicone molds, allowing for customization options.

To learn how to make soap, the pair turned to YouTube to learn techniques then implemented them through trial and error.Their early soaps were functional but not shaped how they wanted them to be, so they gifted them to friends and family and continued to work to improvee their craft.

“I have a better grasp on coloring and fragrance than I did at the start,” Gonzales said. “Our packaging is also much more upgraded than it was just two months ago. The biggest thing I’ve learned is how much I enjoy using a heat gun and shrink wrap.”

Since its start, Frannie’s Apawthecary has worked to improve its aesthetics to entice customers.

“Frannie’s Apawthecary’s overall branding and packaging has become more visually appealing and streamlined while not losing any of its origninal authenticity and uniqueness,” Wright said. “[The business] initially atarted with sales solely from friends and family by word of mouth and has grown to include customers from across the nation using Etsy.”

Amid COVID-19, the two have used the business as a way to stay busy while also remaining productive.

“During the pandemic, we’ve looked for ways to keep busy and keep our hands clean,” Gonzales said. “This hobby-turned-business has provided an artistic outlet to create custom objects while we’ve been doing our part to stay inside and stay safe. Everyone uses soap, or should, so it might as well be a fun experience.”

Gonzales said customers can expect “fun, nerdy, great-smelling products made by a local, LGBT family.” In the future, the couple plans on moving to a small town in Indiana while continuing to grow their customer base and put out products.

Denton resident and customer Marissa Marmolejo said she first purchased from Frannie’s Apawthecary because she is good friends with Gonzales and was sold after her first use of the products.

“People should support this business because they sell quality products with scents better than Bath & Body Works, and at half the price,” Marmolejo said. “Not to mention it’s a queer-owned business, so if you’re looking for a way to support members of the LGBTQ+ community, this is a great way to do so.”

Gonzales said he has seen Denton’s queer community come together to support each other and small businesses during the pandemic.

“Local businesses are the lifeblood of a city like Denton,” Gonzales said. “Denton is full of so many fantastic small businesses, and we are happy to have had our start in such a cool, artistic place.”

Individuals interested in learning more or making a purchase can visit the business’s Instagram, @frannies.apawthecary.

Courtesy Frannie’s Apawthecary

Source: North Texas Daily

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