Just in time for Independence Day, Richmond-based natural bath and body brand Apothec can now be found nationally in select Urban Outfitters stores and on their website, where a 4-ounce bottle is $17.
Its natural bug spray contains ingredients such as vegetable glycerin, distilled water and castor oil, and essential oils including lemongrass, lavender and peppermint add a pleasing scent. Owner Tricia Boor created the formula herself, looking for an alternative to the sticky, harsher ingredient sprays.
She received an email from Urban Outfitters on Dec. 23, 2015, and she says she has no idea how they found her. “It was my Christmas present.”
Beginning with a small-batch trial run, the sprays can be found at Urban Outfitters locations including four in New York and others in Chicago, Texas, Miami and San Francisco.
While not available at the local outpost of Urban Outfitters, the sprays can be found at Stella’s Grocery, Whole Foods, Little House Green Grocery and Boor’s studio at 412 Libbie Ave. There, she runs MEbyDesign Studio, offering massage and skin-care services, in the same building above Apothec. She is a master aesthetician and certified massage therapist who developed the Apothec products herself with input from customers and clients.
As someone who’s allergic to bug bites, she was determined to create her own bug spray; she perfected the formula over the span of about a year and began selling it in 2014.
“I did my due diligence. I made sure I created a bug spray that not only works, but that smells good and is easy to put on,” Boor says.
She also made sure that the formula was safe for children, pets and pregnant women.
Boor says she has expanded her product business organically, often taking requests from clients of her former Metamorphosis spa, which she closed. The growth process has been slow, but steady, and she expects the success she receives through Urban Outfitters will continue to get her business’s name out to the public.
“Because [the bug spray is] working so well and people are loving it so much, I’m going to be expanding the line,” Boor says. She is planning to add bug repellant lotions and healing salves.
So before you go to that Fourth of July picnic, be sure to remember basic skin protection. “Bugs are actually really bad this year, because of the wetness we’ve had, and bug spray needs to be in everyone’s hand,” Boor says.