Soak marketplace sells locally-crafted items

Kristy Lotzien opened up Soak Essentials Marketplace in Parksville this year. - LISSA ALEXANDER PHOTO
Kristy Lotzien opened up Soak Essentials Marketplace in Parksville this year.

Since May of this year Kristy Lotzien has been busy stocking her new Parksville store with striking work from local artists, but on any given day customers can also catch her making body products behind the counter.

“I think that people like to see that things are made right here in the store,” said the owner of Soak Essentials Marketplace. “They come in and they get to try things right out of the whipper,” she laughed, adding, “want to try some whipped body butter?”

Lotzien has been dabbling in body products for about seven years. She grew up in Cowichan Lake and then moved to Calgary for a number of years before moving to Parksville in 2008.  After having her son in 2009 she decided to sell some of her bath salts and shower bombs at an island Christmas market and they went off really well.

“People loved it and I did really well I thought, there’s a business here.”

Lotzien said people were attracted to her products because they were quality made items at affordable prices. Selling at markets gave her the opportunity to stay home with her son, but this year she felt it was the next logical step for her to open a business, and it has always been a dream of hers. Plus she would get to feature all the products of the talented artists she had met at all the island markets.

Lotzien makes all the body products in the store, including soaps, salts, mists, whipped body butters, scrubs and shower bombs. She uses the highest grade food oils and butters, plant-based essential oils, phthalate‐free fragrance oils and organic ingredients when possible. But Lotzien’s products only represent a small portion of what she carries in her marketplace.

There is locally made jewelry,  pottery, knitting, children’s tooth fairy pillows, handbags,  cards, artwork, locally refinished furniture, home decor and home accent items.

“It’s a really nice collection of pretty things you can find for your home, and for gifts,” she said.

For people looking to get crafty themselves, Lotzien sells do-it-yourself kits including soaps, bath bomb and lip balms. And Lotzien also teaches soap making classes.

“They’re affordable,” she said. “It’s $75 and you take away three pounds of soap. That’s about 14 to 16 bars of soap, and you have all the knowledge.”

Soak Essentials Marketplace is located at 4-155 Morrison Ave. in Parksville. Find the store on Facebook at, where you can sign up for classes or sign up in the store. For more information visit or call 250-586-3403.

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