Mission to help inspired local shop owner

Tucked in a Lake Road shopping strip is a pretty little store filled with handmade items. Robinson Family Soap skincare products feature cool names like Cherry Unicorn Wishes, Sparkling Lavender Lemonade or Asian pear and Lily. In addition, owner Mary Robinson features a wide range of products crafted by other vendors.

The path that led to her opening a retaill store began when she decided she had to do something to help her husband, Jon, and their young nephew, Jayden, struggle with the scaly, cracked, bleeding skin that comes from a disease called Ichthyosis. Not only does the physical condition hurt, the unsightly blotches caused Jayden’s classmates to avoid and bully him.

Robinson said when Jayden came home crying from the endless teasing he experienced, she set out to find a solution to help him. She explained that there are prescription lotions to relieve symptoms but they burned his skin. “I wanted to make something more natural with fewer chemicals that wouldn’t burn when applied.” After a lenghthy period of researching and experimenting and failing with many different ingredient combinations, she finally developed a lotion that did not burn when applied and helped Jayden.

Because he had bravely tried each lotion she developed, she decided he should name the lotion. Jayden told her his wish was for the bullying to stop. So the lotion was named Jayden’s Wish. She also let him choose color and fragrance for his lotion. It’s light blue, because Jayden says that’s “a boy color,” and smells like vanilla buttercream, a nod to his love of cupcake frosting.

That happened in 2020 and, by last year, Jayden’s Wish, along with other lotions and handmade products were selling online as fast as Robinson could make them.

Her next step was opening a retail shop and she has high praise for the owner of the building at 4650 Lake Road, who worked with her on a rental agreement, as well as her son, Eric, a carpenter, who took Robinson’s hand drawn interior design on a piece of paper and turned it into something even more beautiful than she had dreamed.

Robinson Family Soap products found at the store include handmade soaps, lotions, air sprays, sugar scrubs and a solid lotion that melts into skin on contact. Prices for her products run a very reasonable $5-9 each.

She is quick to add that the store also features products from other vendors, some local and others national, all of whom she met as she developed her products. Some of them sell Robinson Family products in their establishments. A stroll through the shop features beeswax skin care products, candles, beach glass jewelry, tumblers, coasters, cutting boards, and sweet treats including fudge or pumpkin roll.

She is busy gearing up for holiday shopping and said she plans to introduce holiday-themed products. Store hours will be extended and special events are planned.

For now, the store is open Wednesday-Thursday from noon to 6, Friday-Saturday noon-7, and Sundays from 12-5. Holiday hours start Nov. 10 and are Tuesday-Saturday, noon-8 and Sundays, noon-6. They will be open Black Friday from 9-9 and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve from noon-5.