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2022 Coolest Things Made in the Ozarks: Lotion Bar

Jordan Essentials

Posted online

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In 2000, Nancy Bogart was a stay-at-home mom looking for a way to make money when she ran across a pioneer-era recipe for a bath and body bar. This made her start thinking about her grandmother’s perfume bar and what she might create in her kitchen. She devised a recipe for an all-natural lotion bar. Bogart’s business has exploded in the two decades since, and Jordan Essentials’ product lines have expanded, but each bar is still hand poured and contains ingredients she describes as ethical, natural and sustainable.

SBJ: The lotion bar is the first product you launched, back when your company was known as Country Bunny. Why do you think it remains popular?
Nancy Bogart: After 22 years and almost 5 million bars, we ask ourselves that. I think it’s because it’s multipurpose, it’s affordable and we do so many things with it. It comes in so many fragrances and has so many purposes, we’ve just embraced it.

SBJ: You use all-natural products and essential oils – where do you source your materials?
Bogart: In lots of different places because we have a really stringent list of what we don’t allow in our products. We get them from literally coast to coast.

SBJ: Jordan Essentials often partners with CC Links and Christian County Enterprises, two disability services and support organizations. Why is it important for you to maintain those relationships with people living with developmental disabilities?
Bogart: We adopted my daughter when she was 5 from Russia. We didn’t know the extent of her disability then, but we learned that the world wouldn’t bend to her. You shouldn’t put people away because they can’t do the same as everybody else. Probably 10% or 15% of our employees are an adult with a disability. Sometimes they work out for a little while, sometimes for years. I didn’t intend to adopt a child with a disability, but I’m so glad because I know how to really, really, really love someone unconditionally.

SBJ: You saw record growth in 2020 and 2021. To what do you attribute that?
Bogart: In March 2020 when everything shut down, we didn’t. We didn’t miss a day. We sold soap and hand sanitizer, but one of the main things we did was allow people to work through their home-based business. In 2021, if they went back to the workplace, they had this side gig. They’d gotten the hang of working with us. The fact it was 2021 and not ’20 is significant because it shows we worked hard and became closer and closer to a household name coast to coast, east to west. I just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and make some money. That little lotion bar has carried us through 9/11, the stock market crash, a name change, recession, just so much. I’m just so grateful for it.

SBJ: What’s next for Jordan Essentials?
Bogart: I’m going to head west and continue to expand now that I feel like our online presence is stronger. I want everyone in America to have a lotion bar in their hands.

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