March 23, 2023

FarmSudz moves to new Chelsea location
CHELSEA, MI – A natural body care store has moved its downtown Chelsea storefront just across the street from its former location.
FarmSudz recently moved from its basement location at 104 S. Main St. to its new storefront at 109 S. Main St. The shop sells a variety of natural products made in the store for body care, skin care, hair care, men and dogs.
The store’s new location had a soft opening, but is planning a grand opening at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31. FarmSudz currently has one other location in Jackson.
“The beauty of this space is that we get to see customers who maybe weren’t (able to visit the former location because) it wasn’t accessible to come to the basement,” Jan Richards, business manager, said. “We see a lot more families, babies and older people and it’s amazing.”
Moving to this new location has been owner Julie Konkle’s dream. With the store’s added accessibility, she said there have been some people from the area that have discovered the store for the first time.
FarmSudz has had a retail spot in the Chelsea community since 2018, but Konkle started the business in 2013 after being set on proving her husband wrong.
Konkle said her husband is a “goat milk soap fiend” that once doubted that she would be able to make the soap herself. To prove him wrong, she checked out a book from the library and learned what she needed to do.
With her newly learned skills and interest in holistic medicine, Konkle soon decided to pursue creating natural products full-time and left her job of working as a clinical trials manager at the University of Michigan.
Since then, Konkle has enlisted the help of relatives to not only create and sell the shop’s products, but to listen to what customers want.
“So much of what we do is in response to our customers and our customers bring us fabulous ideas,” Richards said.
Right now, Konkle said the shop’s biggest challenge has been keeping up with the new location’s increased business. She said the company is also continuing to look for “new innovative ways to formulate skincare”
“It’s luxury skincare at a really reasonable price because we don’t have a middleman and we know the ingredients we put in,” she said.
While the shop has two locations, both Richards and Konkle are content with the size of FarmSudz. The two want to keep responding to customer needs and fear expanding might impact that.
Right now, Richards said FarmSudz works to be more of an experience as opposed to just a product. She said the company works to keep a personal connection with its customers and be a “home of mandatory joy.”
“If this is a place where you can come and have a break and be uplifted, then we’re doing what it is we set out to do,” she said.
Read more from The Ann Arbor News:
Heydlauff’s, longtime family-owned Chelsea appliance store, changes hands
Ann Arbor residents fed up with ‘deafening’ M-14 highway noise
Construction closing 2 more Ann Arbor streets
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