Fall inspiration at Handmade Studio

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At Handmade Studio in Independence, you can make your own soaps, lotions, bath bombs and more. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)

By Laura Briedis

Everything seems to be paying homage to the bright orange gourd this time of year, from coffee roasters making pumpkin lattes to brew masters concocting a pumpkin-spiced craft beer. 

And now you can make something pumpkin scented to lather and wash yourself at Handmade Studio, where you’ll find the scents of the fall harvest wafting through the air.

“Fall is not just a change of seasons, but is also a transition between summer fun and starting to nest and getting warm and cozy,” says store owner Debbie May.

“There are things you can bring into your home to enhance that experience, like using natural ingredients to make your own soaps and lotions, which delight your sense of smell.”

“Smell triggers memories, so when people smell pumpkin pie they often think of dinners with the family, or the smell of burning leaves makes them think of fun campfires,” she adds. 

“We have all of those fragrances here, such as fall leaves, crackling firewood, apple cider and pumpkin puree.” 

Among the other 700 fragrance options are gingersnap, honey, cedar and fun scents for children like bubble gum and chocolate drizzle. These fragrances and essential oils can be used in diffusers to make your home smell delightful, or mixed into handmade soaps and lotions.


“These make fun Halloween crafts for kids, too,” says Jill Zumack, event manager. “And Girl Scout troops can come in and make their own products and get a soap making patch.

Opened last fall, Handmade Studio is 5,000 square feet of pure goodness, featuring everything from bar soaps to bath bombs, body scrubs, lotions, lip balms, shower gels and perfumes, as well as beard oils and balms for men and shampoos and spritzes for your canine companion. 

Part retail store, part classroom, Handmade Studio is also party central. From girls’ nights out to birthday parties to corporate team building events, Handmade Studio helps you celebrate creatively.

“We are finding that people want control of their ingredients and the experience of making products themselves,” says Debbie. “We provide good, clean fun. Our process allows customers to eliminate ingredients they don’t like, and add specialty butters and fun fragrances. That is the beauty of handmade lotions and soaps.” 

Handmade Studio is located at 7820 E. Pleasant Valley Road in Independence. Store hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call 216-503-9396 or visit HandmadeStudio.com.