Howdy folks!
Thanks for continuing to support my small business as we CONTINUE to navigate the pandemic and all its trickle-down impacts. In an effort towards self-care, I booked an artist’s retreat which will mean my shop is temporarily closed starting this Saturday, July 31st.  My shop will be in vacation mode and not accepting new orders again until Saturday, August 7th. I’ll continue accepting and shipping orders after that – but will remove local pickup options moving forward.

When I return, I’ll also start planning/packing for the Apothecary Muse studio relocation on September 1st, 2021. The new production studio will remain in Pittsburgh, yet continue to operate in a commercial facility. I will NOT be hosting local pickups to the public in the new location and I still haven’t decided if I will return to setting up a booth at public events, but I’m still leaning towards not, for now. Overhead costs have increased a bit over the last 16 months, so I’ll be recalculating prices before the holiday season. Full disclosure: prices were already calculated to increase just before the pandemic, but I decided to hold off considering the essential need for soap and even produced some smaller, affordable items to increase accessibility within the community.  A modest price increase (15-25%) will prevent long-term impacts from new business loans and/or reconfiguring our business model to be more mass-production-oriented and ultimately less community-oriented. This looks like the smallest change I can make to keep afloat, and I hope you’ll hang with me through it?

Get the Itch Out!
What is Adventure Skincare?

Virtually in-person…

It is apparent that many small businesses have been struggling and I remain dedicated to reinvesting my own living wage locally as much as possible. I am extremely grateful that my business speaks to you and we have established a mutually respectful relationship that has endured this roller coaster. It’s not over yet, either. I encourage you to do the same within your comfort level, and shop small whenever possible. Sharing, liking, and commenting on posts can make an easy significant impact on organic reach for social media.  And thoughtful reviews can give greater context to customers for those of us who do not have physical storefronts nor participate in large public gatherings.  Your words make a difference!

Endurance training has encouraged me to try to keep my mind and body fresh for the peak, ready for whatever comes next.  It’s scary sometimes, but we are out there!

See you on the trails, 
Eryn Hughes
Owner/Maker of Apothecary Muse

A mode

Floral Special on May 8 2021

floral special2

Coming up on May 8th, 2021,from 10 am to 2 pm, we will be hosting a preorder pickup party through our studio window.  We will be joined by The Bearded Iris Floral who is making special Mother’s Day floral arrangements and taking orders through their new website. You can pickup both orders on Saturday through our side window, shopping each website separately.

We have a generous gift bundle featuring florals, as well. When placing your order use the Local Pickup shipping option and leave a note for us with your order that you plan to pickup that Saturday.   We’ll also have native wildflower seed bombs on site available for free.

Alternately, you can proceed with making a weekday afternoon appointment (limited hours) and pickup your Apothecary Muse order then. The Bearded Iris Floral arrangements will be prepared for Saturday, May 8th pickup ONLY.

Apothecary Muse isn’t planning to resume participating in public, local events during the pandemic until herd immunity is achieved.  At that point, it may be more selective than before.  We appreciate your continued support!

USPS Update

In order to meet increased production demand, we will be making a small shift in our schedules to assemble online orders for pickup only Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This should still support the essential USPS service, maintain safe and sanitary product handling, while still maintaining our 1-2 business day fulfillment goals – it is our hope that the shift should be indistinguishable to the regular customers who sustain our business.

The change, on our end, allows us to have longer time blocks to make larger batches of products on the days in between fulfillment days, while we also continue to host Local Pickups through our production studio window on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We appreciate your patience as we find a working balance that meets everyone’s needs.

What is your trail sign all about?

Did you know that essential oils can have a function outside of olfactory (aroma) sensation?  With each level of care in the Apothecary Muse product lines, the presence, source, amount and order of formulation is thoughtfully prepared to provide the least impact on the environment with performance for different kinds of skin or body chemistry.  It is recommended that you read the descriptions, ingredients and not shop by what you like to smell, alone – while lavender may suit your bathing experience, it may not be compatible with the type of chemistry your body is creating to be effective as a deodorant.  Not one product works for everyone and it would be misleading for anyone to suggest that.  Indeed, to have the multitude of ingredients to accommodate everyone in a single product would be environmentally and economically wasteful, ultimately serving NO ONE.

Gentle, Everyday and Advanced Care levels of Lip Balm

Our Gentle Care level uses little to no essential oils for the most sensitive skin and athletic lifestyles, the Everyday Care level includes an industry standard 2% dilution of essential oils to be effective for casual activity, and the Advanced Care level has added functionality with a combination of herbal extracts, essential oils and exfoliants or clays for occasion use to restore the body’s natural systems – not to be confused with medicine.  Our biodegradable paperboard tube and reusable tin products have our custom washi tape with the levels of care indicated, in addition to the familiar iconic trail sign levels of difficulty: Green Circle, Blue Square, Black Diamond.  And the soap bars have the icon on the side of the label.

soap box apothecary muse
soap box apothecary muse

Local Pickup Window

UPDATE (7/29/2021) Local pickups have been discontinued until further notice.





As a convenience to local customers, we are experimenting with allowing a modified local pickup option that still feels safe and sanitary to us, while following state mandates and CDC recommendations.

If you would like to pickup your order at our Production studio, please confirm these steps: 
1) PLACE your pre-order online (https://www.apothecarymuse.com), so that it can be prepared for your pickup. Once you input a Pittsburgh shipping address, you will see the LOCAL PICKUP shipping option without additional shipping costs. 

2) Schedule your pickup appointment time slot during the hours of Monday-Friday 4-6pm Give at least 24 hours so you can receive the “Ready for Pickup” confirmation email.

3) COME to pickup your order at your scheduled time. Our window is on the side of the building, has a doorbell and our business name on the window. It is an active production studio, in-store shopping and drop ins are not available. If you aren’t sure you will be able to pickup, please respond to your confirmation email so we can plan accordingly.


Natural Colorants

First off, this is not intended to be a comprehensive assembly of all natural colorants that exist – its is merely the short list of those which are used regularly at Apothecary Muse in soap making. Whenever we source a new material, we research the safety of use during manufacturing as well as topically in skin care products on the Environmental Working Group website. If we change distributors, we ask questions about their sources, maintain records of the material safety data sheets for our batches and perform testing in product samples before releasing to the public.

What is different about soap colorants?

Because our methods include cold process which require extensive weeks of curing, many herbal extracts will fade and/or provide minimal herbal benefits after this time, especially if they are stored in direct sunlight. However, these can be used in combination with some essential oil and/or clay combinations that do not fade quite as readily:

Alkanet Root

Annato Seed

Calendula Flowers

Chamomile Flowers

Lemon Balm Leaves

Nettle Leaves

Powdered herbs or clays can be used at about 1 tsp per pound of soap.

Chlorella Powder

Hawaiian Salt

Indigo Powder

Kale Powder

Kudzu Root Powder

Pink Himilayan Salt

Spirulina Powder

Tomato Powder

Natural, mineral ingredients used on average 1/4 tsp per pound of soap.

Activated Charcoal

Bentonite Clay

Morrocan Clay

Mica (natural, not synthetic)

Titanium Dioxide (we practice safe handling during manufacturing)

Chromium Oxides (we practice safe handling during manufacturing)

Ultra Marine (from Lapis Lazuli)

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