It's been a long year for Bradford business owner Antoinette (Toni) Mossman, who owns Bradford Laser Centre and Mother Mary Soap Co. in the downtown core.
While her laser hair removal business remains closed due to the current lockdown, she is able to keep busy with her soap shop.
Bradford Laser Centre has been Mossman’s core business for the past 12 years. Six years ago she decided to add her handmade soap shop to her business portfolio. The name Mother Mary Soap Co. is named after Mossman’s late mother, Maria Gutta, who passed away eight years ago.
She started Bradford Laser Centre out of her home in 2008. Five years ago, she and her husband Chuck Mossman, purchased a 150-year-old home on Simcoe Road, just south of Holland Street West, to move the business into.
She operates her laser hair removal business upstairs and sells her handmade soaps and body care products on the main floor.
Mossman has been in the esthetics industry for over 20 years and loves helping clients look and feel their best. She misses her clients and is looking forward to when the lockdown is over and can welcome them back inside.
"We're pulling through and looking for new ways to let clients know we're still here, we're still strong, we're not going anywhere," she said.
With all the extra downtime, she is busy focusing on her soap business, creating new recipes.
Most recently, she has been experimenting with lip balm and natural deodorant products.
"It's just finding the right recipe, and when I have time like I do right now, I can do that," she said.
Mossman likes to use natural ingredients in her products including coconut oil, fats, and extra virgin olive oil.
She has added a few new products including solid bubble baths, bath soaks, and new soap scents to her shop. She has also invested in a brand new laser machine, ready to use on her clients when they return.
"When clients come back I have new equipment, new product and hopefully people feel comfortable to come back," she said.
"Over COVID I've come up with new products because there's nothing else to do," she said. "I go in and make products and able to do curbside, but I really miss being in the shop."
She says her online soap sales are doing well, selling to clients locally and outside the area, and notices more people have taken an interest in self-care throughout the pandemic.
For this reason, Mossman has purchased a lot of products clients can use at home.
"It gives them something to make them feel good," she said. "My peel-off masks are flying off the shelf."
And while she is disappointed she isn't able to be open right now, she understands the need for the shutdowns to control the spread of COVID-19.
"I had so many new clients coming in, and I had to cancel them all," she noted about her April bookings. "I feel like it's (the lockdown) bigger than just me and my business. Is it fair? No. But this is for the community."
She and her husband recently got their vaccines, and are excited to get back to work and to "some kind of normal" soon.