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The sweet smell of success





Artistic Aromas & Boutique, a new store at The Mall at Hays, got its start a year ago in owner Bridget Wesley's basement.

Wesley began her retail venture making candles to sell at craft shows and at a kiosk at The Mall on Black Friday.

Now she's progressed to a boutique, which opened March 1.

"My parents own a boutique in Colorado," she said. "It's always been pretty much a dream to have my own retail business."

Besides the candles that started the business, Wesley makes wax melts, artistic aroma lotions and sugar scrubs that she sells in the store.

She followed in her aunt's footsteps in candle making and learned to make lotions and scrubs from the Internet and trial and error.

"It took awhile to get the right consistency and smells," she said of the lotions. "My kids got a lot of lotions."

With scents such as mango, peppermint and kiwi strawberry, the scrubs might smell good enough to eat, but have the consistency of wet sand. Because they are so moist and make hands and feet slippery, Wesley advises customers not to use them in the bath or shower.

Candle fragrances come in several scent categories -- floral, food, bakery, berries and men's such as oak moss and pine cone -- which women like, too, Wesley said.

The boutique also sells Olivella skin and face care products made from olive oil.

"A lot of people use olive oil in the kitchen, but you can use it in the bathroom," Wesley said.

She expects her bakery shop soaps featuring cake and cupcake bath bombs to be popular, as well.

Jewelry, some custom made one-of-a-kind pieces, accessories, slippers, a small selection of women's dresses and children's clothes also complete her current inventory list.

The Mall is a good location for the boutique because of the high traffic numbers and events that bring people in to shop, she said.

"You have to have a place people can afford to shop," said Wesley, a mother of five. "Anybody pretty much on any budget can come in and shop."