On the Mantle opens in downtown Cassopolis selling handmade skincare

CASSOPOLIS — Cassopolis resident Karyn Webster has worked hard to create a calming, relaxed space in her downtown Cassopolis storefront, despite the chaos of Broadway Street’s construction that surrounds her.

The scents of lavender and chamomile waft through the air, as Webster arranges the décor on a mantlepiece that gave her storefront its name.

“We want it to feel like home here,” she said. “In my first house, my mantle was like my muse. I could decorate it every day, so it’s what I based my store on.”

Webster recently opened On the Mantle, a specialty shop that sells soap, skincare products and dog treats made by Webster, as well as art, clothing and jewelry from local artisans. The shop is located at 149 Broadway St., Cassopolis.

“All the skincare products you see here are made by me,” Webster said as she goes through some of her favorite products. “It’s all-natural skincare products. I grow most of my ingredients myself. If it’s something I can’t grow, I have local farmers in our area. If it’s something that doesn’t grow in our region, then I can make friends across the world and use fair trade.”

Webster began making her own skincare products to help her daughter, now 5 years old, with severe allergies. She taught herself how to mix formulas and which ingredients were best for which products. Not only were the soaps and products a hit with Webster’s daughter, but her family and friends began coming to her seeking all-natural products.

Eventually, Webster began taking her skincare products on the road and selling them at markets and shows. Last fall, Webster started to looking for buildings to make what began as a hobby into her full-time business. When the building in downtown Cassopolis became available, Webster took it as a sign to grow her business roots in her town of residence.

“Downtown Cassopolis is kind of a melting ground, and right now, there is a lot of exciting developments,” she said. “Elkhart, Goshen and even Chicago are close by. It’s kind of a middle ground for everybody.”

Already Webster said business has been steady. She expects to see a more significant increase once construction on downtown Cassopolis is complete, and she can bring in additional products.

Soon, Webster will begin offering classes — everything from children’s art classes to making macramé plant holders to wine and canvas nights and more. Eventually, she hopes her space can provide a space for the community, where children’s projects can be completed and yoga can take place on the weekends.

“We are always looking to grow,” she said. “We have big plans. I want it to be a place for the whole family.”

Though Webster said that growth is just around the corner, until it becomes a reality, she plans to continue to make On the Mantle a safe, calming space for her customers.

“When someone comes in, I want them to feel love, happiness and a desire to return,” she said. “I want them to know they are getting something clean, something natural and something good for them.”

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