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Buff City Soap co-owners Candie Hedge (left) and Payson Burkett have fun making the products for their Dickson store. They were more fortunate than most business owners during the pandemic because customers were looking for cleaning products. RANDY MOOMAW

Buff City Soap co-owner Candie Hedge said that the pandemic has not had a negative effect on sales because the store sells so many products that reinforce cleaning. She cited laundry detergent as one of the business’ top selling products.

The Dickson store recently celebrated its one-year anniversary and quickly established a loyal base of customers.

“Since it was our first year operating, we did not have much to compare it to, but our loyal customers warmly welcomed changes we implemented such as curbside pickup,” she said. “We are very fortunate that we were able to stay open, with the exception of one week at our discretion, during COVID.  We’re happy to be able to offer a product that customers need during these times.”

Co-owner Kara Bandy agreed, citing the support from the community and customers as being overwhelming.

“I am constantly amazed by the support of our local community and customers,” said Hedge. “Our customers are so loyal, some travel from the other side of Nashville or Murfreesboro. I think it is a testament to not only our products but also our amazing team. We are so fortunate to have a group of employees that value customer service as much as Kara and I do. They always come to work with a smile on their face and make the job even more amazing than it already is. They have created an extra family here at the store.”

Hedge credits the customers for inspiring the creativity for new products.

“Whether it is a customer who asks for a combination of scents mixed in their laundry that smells wonderful, to suggestions of new products,” said Hedge. “We always strive to create what our customers want.  I love the feeling of a customer’s excitement when they come in the store and see something new that excites them.” 

Carol Talley is a regular customer who lives in Centerville and said she looks forward to her time at the store looking for new products to try.

“I come here a lot, and I love it,” said Talley. “I try a different flavor almost every time I’m in here. The bath soaps and the laundry detergents are my favorites.”

Bandy said she believes that the quality of the products is one of the keys to their first year of success.

“Our products are simple and good,” Bandy said. “There’s nothing bad in our products, and when you walk in, you get to see exactly what’s going in everything from soap to bath bombs to laundry soap. That level of transparency is so important for the trust we want our customers to feel for us.”

Hedge said she is excited about plans to bring new items to the store.

“We have a lot of things up our sleeve planned,” she said. “We recently released a new product called Soap Whip which is in between a bar of soap and a body wash. It’s almost like a thick mousse. We are also offering pre-packaged holiday gift sets this year for customers. They can either buy pre-made or mix and match their scents. We are also planning to release a customizable scented car freshener. That’s just to name a few.”

Hedge said that both co-owners have may have found the biggest impact of the business’ first year.

“I think the biggest surprise is finding out me and Kara’s friendship can survive anything,” she said.

BUFF CITY SOAP

Location: 124 South Main St., Suite D in Dickson.

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

Phone: (615) 375-1562

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