Mama Bath + Body Closes Avondale Store, Goes Out of Business – Decaturish

Avondale Estates, GA – Mama Bath + Body has closed in Avondale Estates and is out of business.

The retail store closed on June 26, but the website is open and orders can be placed until mid-July. Mama Bath and Body’s last day of business will be Friday, July 22nd.

Everything the store has in stock is on the Mama Bath + Body website, and maximum order quantities have been removed. Orders will be prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis. All sales are final.

“If we receive more orders than we can fill, we will let you know as soon as we can and give you a full refund for those items. If we overstock orders, we may have to stop taking them,” reads an FAQ on the website.

The staff is not making gift sets or wrapped soaps. Loose leaf tea is sold in 4 ounce bags at a 40% discount.

“If you’ve been following us on social media, I’ve shared how difficult these past 2+ years have been,” owner Emilie Sennebogen Bryant wrote in a statement on the website. “Running a small business is hard even when it’s going well. With all the additional challenges created by the pandemic (endless staffing issues, constant supply chain delays, increased costs in literally every category, and these are just a few of the challenges) it has become unsustainable .”

Bryant had dreamed of opening more locations, and things were going that way as of March 2020. Mama Bath + Body closed the store at Krog Street Market in 2020, and negotiations for a third store broke off.

“After that, we lost a lot of momentum and given the many ongoing challenges of a post-Covid retail business, it became clear that opening more stores was not an option for the foreseeable future,” Bryant said. “We probably would have closed in 2020 if not for a fortuitous event that allowed us to stay financially afloat without taking on debt while we floated upstream for two years and waited to see how things worked out. During this time, it became clear that the only real option for survival was to rebuild our business and grow as an exclusively online business, which meant a big change in my role and running a very different company.”

Bryant eventually concluded that this was not the right move for the business.

Health reasons also played a role in her decision.

“I contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever last year, which ultimately revealed a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis in August of 2021,” Bryant said. “I struggled a lot during the first months of treatment as I continued to work and eventually got back on my feet, but some symptoms persist and I haven’t really felt well for many months. The sheer stress of running a business with so much difficulty has made me physically and mentally; I’ve come to understand what true burnout feels like and I’m extremely determined to get my health back on track, which I don’t think I can do under these current circumstances.”

Bryant added that she has explored the possibility of closing Mama Bath + Body, though she hoped that would not happen.

“This decision has truly been one of the most excruciating decisions of my life and I have been dreading the coming months as I dismantle the pieces of this entity that has been my purpose and passion for as long as I can remember. “But now that the decision has been made, I’ve found some peace, for the first time in a long time, knowing that I really gave this business everything I had,” Bryant said.

She has been a small business owner for 20 years.

“That’s a really long time to keep a small business alive and thriving (that is until 2020) and I’m really proud of this company and all these great products we’ve put out into the world for so many years. And now I’m ready for my next chapter,” Bryant said.

As for what’s next for Bryant, she’ll be working on launching a new website this summer and tending to her two gardens. She has grown plants from seed that aimed to expand the Mama Bath + Body product line in a herbal direction.

“I’d really like to see both of these projects completed, so I’ll try it with a much smaller product line on a much smaller scale and without all the financial outlay and pressure to scale up business,” Bryant said. “I’m hoping this will free me up to do work that feels more meaningful to me, which means spending more time tending to the land and working with plants and less time sitting at a computer and making a million decisions.”

She plans to continue producing hydrosols and create herbal and therapeutic salves and serums. She will also continue to make herbal bug spray.

“There’s still a lot to figure out and right now, my focus is on winding down our current operations, so I’ll communicate more about all of that as it comes into focus,” Bryant said. “I know these offerings will appeal to a much smaller segment of our customers, and honestly, that works for where I am right now. But the good news is that you will still be able to buy our hydrosols and bug spray after July 22.”

In some ways, she added, Bryant feels like she’s leaving untapped potential in the store, and in other ways, she feels the company went further than she could have imagined.

“But the one thing I know for sure is creating these products and cultivating such an incredible customer base has truly been a joy for me over these past 20 years, and that’s what got me through a lot of ups and downs of running a small business,” Bryant said. “I will miss serving you and seeing your smiling faces and reading your sweet notes on your orders and everything else about this wonderful community.”

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