It’s a Soap Opera in Five Points
Tzima’s Working Up a Lather
By Jackie Perrone Photos by Jay Browne
Tzima Brown is out to convert the world to a happy bath experience and has created the products she thinks will do the trick. Anyone can run some water and shed the grime: what Tzima, and her brain-child Sunrise Artisan Bath and Body, offers is an experience with natural products to improve your well-being and give yourself a new lease on life. She’s making the most of Mother Nature.
Many in the community recognize Tzima’s name and voice from her many appearances on local radio station The Point, found at 100.7 FM, 1470 AM and on the TuneIn app. She regularly co-hosts with radio legend Keven Cohen and hosts her own show on Saturday nights. Her passion for the community is evident in her commitment to bringing a voice to those who wouldn’t otherwise have an outlet for discussion. By choosing to open her soap store in the heart of Columbia, she’s decided to make the most of her creative talents in a brick and mortar location.
If the fragrance and color of this Five Points shop don’t win you over, the enthusiasm of the entrepreneur in charge may turn the tide. She’s an ardent believer in all-natural products. A self-taught one-woman factory, she has created a line of cleansers and cosmetics with no additional chemicals, to pamper the skin and lift the spirits. Fragrance and color play their part, and her imagination has created fanciful designs such as smiley faces, polka dots, popsicles and cupcakes (not for consumption, of course).
It’s hard to think of a bath as a humdrum routine of daily life after a visit with Tzima. She found her passion when, on a whim, she stocked up on supplies at a Hobby Lobby sale 14 years ago. “I had never tried making soap,” she recalls. “It just looked like something fun to learn. My first efforts were so terrible, I knew there was a lot more that I needed to master. Research, trial and error finally brought me to the point where I knew I was able to make something that other people could enjoy. By 2016, I was ready to launch my own business.
“This shop is the factory AND the showroom. I am closed two days a week so that I can make the products to stock, right here in the store. The first Christmas kind of caught me by surprise; things were flying off the shelf faster than I could replace them. The second Christmas, I did better planning – and the volume of sales more than doubled, so I was still racing to keep supplied. Now I am very busy getting ready for Sunrise’s third Christmas season.” That means Christmas colors of red and green, and holiday fragrances such as cinnamon and pumpkin spice are on the agenda.
Tzima Brown moved to Columbia from Washington D.C. 25 years ago, fleeing the high crime of D.C. and seeking a better life for her children. She worked at various jobs, including running a yoga studio for a while, and gave away her handmade soap until her friends persuaded her it could be marketed. “Sunrise” came about because she fell in love with a painting of the rising sun, marking new beginnings for everyone. And “Artisan” is a nod to her creativity. The plaque on the wall describes it: “Every artist has a story. Sunrise is the place where art meets life, where artists gather to inspire us, to refresh us, and to connect us.”
In a nod to the gathering of artists, Sunrise Artisan has created an event for that special connection. On the first Friday of every month, Sunrise Artisan celebrates with their very own Soap Opera. Buy a ticket for the event, and you’ll join your neighbors in learning to make soap, bubble bath or bath oil items, hand paint it to your own design, and take it home in a special gift bag. Each month features a different theme.
Tzima also offers a Sunrise Artisan Soap Club. For $15 a month, which includes shipping, you’ll receive a gift box with two bath bombs, one soap and one artisan surprise.
What was that, you say? A “bath bomb?” Sounds dangerous! (Only if eaten, which is a strict no-no.) A bath bomb is a playful unit of bath oils, which dissolves on contact in warm bath water. There are several bath bomb options, with choices like: Aloe and Green Tea, Jasmine and Pineapple, Lavender and Vanilla, and Queen of the Nile. (Tzima is an ardent disciple of Egyptian history. Note the King Tut cabinet on the wall.)
Sunrise Artisan’s merchandise is divided into specialty areas. The children’s items can really be fun for everyone; there’s no rule against buying them as gifts for all. The line of men’s products includes shaving items as well as for the bath. Shampoo and deodorant for all is available as well. The beard oil is a big seller.
As you may realize by now, Tzima doesn’t think small. So sold is she on these wholesome products, she dreams of enlarging, expanding, and even franchising. Sunrise Artisan may become a household name in other communities. She believes it can change lives financially, and she wants the world to join her in a movement of “Don’t marginalize your gifts!” Believe in yourself and go for the brass ring.
Sunrise Artisan Bath and Body
730 Santee Avenue
Columbia SC 29205
(803) 828 – 4755