Online Exclusives

Bathing Beauty

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | June 7, 2010

The creative waters are flowing at Bath Nation, a niche skin care company founded in 2002 by husband and wife team Curtis and Nicole Durham.

Curtis and Nicole Durham, founders of Bath Nation.
Curtis and Nicole Durham, founders of Bath Nation, have been handcrafting products in Golden, CO since 2002 under what they call their “Intelligent Organic Skincare” philosophy. That mantra has lead to a number of soaks, scrubs, lotions and shave creams that smell great, are fun to use and pamper the skin—from bourbon vanilla sugar scrub to wasabi lime bath gelée to cabernet crush red wine and silk skin conditioner, just to name a few.

Happi had a chance to talk to this busy husband and wife team about about the birth of Bath Nation, their formulation philosophy and what new products they have on tap.

Happi: Tell us how you got into the business—where was Bath Nation conceived?

Curtis: We got into the business when I realized my wife's bath and body habit was out of control. Every day, there was less space on our bathroom shelf and I figured if we started our own company Nicole could make exactly what she wanted because she obviously wasn't finding it in the marketplace.
Nicole: What a way to break a habit! We set out to fill a gap in the market for products that are good for you but still luxurious and fun to use. It's what brought about our Intelligent Organic Skincare philosophy.

Happi: Intelligent organic skin care—what does that mean?

Nicole: It seems that so many skin care lines fall into one of two categories: completely organic and/or natural and the other category of products synthesized from unpronounceable elements found on the far end of the periodic chart.
Curtis: There are some great plant-derived ingredients out there that when added to a lotion or scrub really enhance the performance.
Nicole: We try to find that balance where nature and science play nice together by using these ingredients coupled with as much all-natural and organic raw ingredients that we can source. By using the best of both worlds, we're creating safe yet highly effective products that also have a good dose of fun mixed in. And we make sure that everything smells fantastic! Some might say good enough to eat, but we most certainly do not recommend that.

Salt scrub, cleanser and skin conditioner in cabernet crush.
Happi: Is skin care or personal care in your background?

Curtis: As far as personal care being in our background, I think it's safe to say our parents taught us to use soap at a very early age. But my background is in engineering and Nicole's is in marketing, which has really made us a great team. We basically did tons of research over several years and tested and retested to create a product line that we're proud of.

Happi: Tell us about Bath Nation's production facility. While you have grown since 2002 to need this space, you still hand make products? Why?

Curtis: Space is great when you have to keep all those boxes of containers and raw ingredients on hand. As for hand-crafting, we're keeping it real! We have always liked the idea of small-batch, hands-on produced things.
Nicole: It's all a part of our dedication to producing the highest quality products possible. By staying true to our original processes, we're creating products that people can feel good about using and truly enjoy.

Happi: Your products are stocked at The Spa at the Inverness Hotel and other local spots. Can you tell us more about your spa presence?
Nicole: Not only are our products great for spas as a retail item that looks good on their shelves, but they are great for back bar and make for excellent treatments. We've made products that really speak for themselves and provide dedicated support to the spas that carry Bath Nation.

Happi: While it is probably hard to pick a favorite, what do you see as Bath Nation's signature SKU, or the product/range you are most proud of?
Nicole: Our scrubs are our signature product but the Cabernet line that includes a Salt Rub, Bath Gelee and Silk Skin Conditioner has been wildly popular. This is what I'm using at home right now and loving. All of our Cocoa-Mint foot care products are also best-sellers.

Happi: You're located in the same town as Coors. Ever kick back with a beer and ponder the next scrub or lotion?
Curtis: You should come for a visit! We'll take the short tour at Coors and talk lotion all day long! Or we can go hang out at the Golden City Brewery. It's located in someone's backyard and currently Golden's 2nd largest brewery, if you can believe it.

Happi: Keeping the beer theme going, what's on tap for Bath Nation?
Nicole: We've recently been on a product development bender and have some new, exciting products that we plan on releasing over the next year. We are releasing our new Cocoa-Mint Foot Butter on June 7th and will soon be coming out with a limited edition collection of products for the holidays in an amazing cranberry scent.
Curtis: Mmmm, can you make a lotion with beer? Carbonated body wash? I feel another development binge coming on!

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