Melissa Peters knows that COVID-19 has changed the way many of us work within Greene County. But she also knows that the bonds that tie the community together have made it possible for everyone to grow stronger and make the most of a stressful time. She and her husband Matt own and operate What.The.Soap. at 14520 Main Street in Prattsville, and now they’re doing their best to give back to Greene.
Though Melissa and her family are originally from Long Island, they’ve had a strong connection to Greene for many years. By 2018, they decided to make the move up to Schoharie and expand their already successful soap-making business to the area.
Matt had long been the full-time partner in their business, but the move upstate and away from her 9-5 office job meant that Melissa could focus her efforts on the business. Online sales were booming, but she knew that expansion into a physical storefront would help boost sales and give them the opportunity to highlight other local vendors as well.
She soon got in contact with Jim Eisel Jr., owner of Jim’s Great American in Prattsville, to discuss some available retail space he had for rent. She and her husband loved the storefront and immediately went to work creating a cozy and creative space for all things soap.
Nowadays, What.The.Soap. is one of the most eclectic and enchanting stores within Greene! Melissa and Matt have both been very pleased with how quickly the community has embraced them and their locally-made products. She feels that though it can be tricky to explain, people love to support local businesses and understand how it all goes back towards improving Greene for everybody.
You can find plenty of delightful soaps, body lotions, shampoos, deodorants, and even some homemade jams and jellies at the Prattsville store. They never shy away from featuring other locally-made soaps and jams as well. Having come from a home that ran 100% green and sustainable, they bring that same accountability to their products. All their current packaging is recyclable, and nearly all of it is made from recycled materials.
They bring that same care into the community as well. In the past, they’ve donated 120 bars of soap to the local food pantry, and have a $1500 local Raise The Bar Scholarship set up through the Zadock Pratt Museum.
What does the future hold for What.The.Soap.? Melissa sees a lot of opportunity to grow the business to the point where they can be financially independent, and maybe even expand their jam and jelly-making business! Like everyone else, Melissa and Matt eagerly await the end of COVID-19 so they can continue to meet new people within Greene and keep giving back to the community that accepted them so quickly. They also want more people to get involved in Prattsville – right now they’re in talks with Jim Eisel to organize a weekly Friday Night Market downtown, with food trucks and vendor stalls galore!
Greene County is already where we all can do what we love in a place we love doing it – and there’s nothing more important for us all than to support local and grow together.
To find more stories on great Greene County businesses, follow our blog on BuyInGreene.com.