The decision to expand our business to include retail came at the end of 2012. We knew our concept had to be true to our company name. It would have to be uniquely RAD, representative of who we are and what we stand for as a company and most importantly, it had to be fun.
Since the inception of the company, we have spent a great deal of time thinking about a retail concept that would carry the theme of our brand while staying away from the traditional same old same old boring approach. For the company who makes hot process soaps using Chaga mushroom, hemp, coffee, beer and wine, our desire to find something new and edgy is what kept the wheels turning. It would have to incorporate the most important aspects of the RAD Soap philosophy, factory process, and most importantly our fun loving and loyal customers we call RADSTERS. With this idea in mind, we turned down some tempting offers from a few major retailers. We were committed to waiting for the perfect retail partners to introduce our concept, RAD FACTORY PUNK, to the world. ( See Display here)
On December 03, 2012 our patience was rewarded with an opportunity that many small businesses dream about. It came in the form of a phone call from one of Whole Foods body care buyers & team leaders, members of the Whole Body team from Ridgewood, NJ. After hanging up the phone, Greg, Zak and I excitedly turned our focus to retrace our many visits to New York City where we had searched for the perfect partner to turn factory punk into a reality. New York is undoubtedly home to some of the most creative talent in the world. The best of the best move to New York to pursue their dreams – right? Well, take a look at the attached photographs and we think you’ll agree that is not always the case.
One January afternoon, we decided to take a break from making soap and took a drive to visit Albany’s warehouse district where we met Fred and Jaime from Silver Fox Salvage. We not only found our vintage picture frames but connected with a rare gem of an artist named Jaime Walton. Jaime appears to be a true Southern gentleman and after spending time with him, he most definitely is. Lucky for us, he chose not to stay in the South. He moved to Albany a couple of years ago from out west. We hope Jaime decides to make Albany his permanent home.
The mission of Silver Fox Salvage is to rescue old Victorian and Arts & Crafts style homes, churches, schools, barns and all salvageable structures really. What comes next is their journey to preserve the pieces, find out about and tell as much of the story behind them as possible. Silver Fox is so passionate about what they do that it started a separate company to oversee the entire demolition and deconstruction process. These salvaged materials serve as the inspiration and building blocks to create one of a kind works of art including antique & vintage lighting, stained glass, doors, mantles and hand crafted furniture pieces. Silver Fox is open to create just about anything for your home or business – just stop in and say hello.
True to the spirit of the creative process, Jaime searched the warehouse looking for materials to inspire the actual construction of the display. In addition to his raw talent and passion for woodworking, Jaime says you have to respect the material and be open to where it may take you. The display you see here is Jaime’s over the top brilliant execution of what we call and will forever be known as RAD FACTORY PUNK.
With the exception of a couple of shelving brackets, the materials used in the display are salvaged pieces from upstate New York:
- The wood shelves are from Miller Dairy Farm – Troy, NY. Jaime personally deconstructed every piece of this barn.
- The metal piping is from the Rotterdam, NY US Army Depot circa 1940’s taken from a fire sprinkler system.
- The structural backing is the original tin used in the construction of the Russell Green Barn built in 1943. Russell is a small rural upstate NY town with a population of less than 2,000 people.
- The lower cabinet is made from materials salvaged from Wagar Brothers, a working family farm from 1890 to 1956 – Brunswick, NY.
- The ornate trim on each side of the lower cabinet is well over 100 years old. It was rescued from a late 1800’s Victorian era stove.
We knew we had accomplished our goal of new and edgy but we also suspected the probability for success was going to take some twists and turns. So when Whole Foods requested a peek at the design, I attached it to an e-mail summarizing the evolution of RAD FACTORY PUNK, closed my eyes and hit the send button.
Thankfully, Whole Foods loved the display as much as we did. After making some minor adjustments, it was ready for prime time. We are so proud to make our debut at Whole Foods Market in Ridgewood, NJ. We invite you to stop in and experience the original RAD FACTORY PUNK display and be sure to say hello to the Whole Body Team. We promise the experience will be unforgettably RAD!
We at RAD Soap Co are very grateful to Whole Foods Market for their uncompromising support of small local businesses throughout the United States of America and for empowering its team members at the individual store level to do the same.