Artesana Soaps Has a New Home in Camden

October 17th, 2017 by Kristen Cribb

Cecilia and Liz Davorens of Artesana SoapsCecilia Davoren and her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth “Liz” Davoren, have turned a hobby into a thriving business.

On Sept. 29, they opened Artesana Soaps in historic downtown Camden, just in time for the annual Camden BPW Barn Sale.

Cecilia became interested in soap-making after discovering handmade soaps at a fall festival a few years ago. At first, she was only making soaps because she loved the feel compared to store-bought products and to raise money for Courts Appointed Special Advocates of the 13th Judicial District.

After people began requesting more of the handmade soaps from the fundraisers, Liz encouraged Cecilia to start a business. She launched Artesana in August 2015.

While selling the handmade soap and bath products in the Camden area, the Davorens began dreaming about a brick-and-mortar location where they could produce products outside of Cecilia’s home.

In January, Cecilia approached the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center for advice. Based at Southern Arkansas University, the center sends consultants to Camden once a week through a partnership with Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development.

“The personnel at ASBTDC have shown to be very knowledgeable, and their input and suggestions have been invaluable,” said Cecilia.

Along with consulting on their business plan, the center provided pivotal market research that helped the Davorens decide the layout of their store. The location they chose fit their needs and had the added bonus of having enough space for a storefront.

Cecilia’s advice to other entrepreneurs is, “They definitely have to try it [the ASBTDC] as it would make the road to opening a business easier to travel.”

As their website says, the in-laws actually like each other and enjoy working together on a daily basis.

All Artesana products are made from scratch with high-quality ingredients. In addition to bar soaps, they also offer lotions, body butters, bath salts, liquid soap, foaming soap, puppy soap, shaving soap, bath bombs, and bubbles.

They have plans for new products including an after shave for men, shaving cream for women, hair conditioner, and facial masks.

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