Artemesia’s Decadent Desert Suds


Tracy Conklin loves everything about making soap. It wasn’t until her husband stopped her from hauling inside a five-gallon bucket of oil–“Honey, what are we going to do with all this soap?” –that she decided she would try selling it. So, she did. And now, after years of selling the luxe, desert-infused, cold-process creations at street fairs, the master soap maker is now a staple next to Embellish Home Etc. at La Plaza Shoppes, Artemesia Soaps, Salts & Scrubs.

“I just love that you start with a fatty acid and a base and you end up with this beautiful bar,” says Conklin, whose artfully scented soaps, with names like Saguaro Blossom and Desert Rain aim to capture the elusive essence of her desert home. The bars are as visually striking as they are addictive to smell and touch, with rugged edges, textured swirls and modern blocks of color while her girly, rustic packaging and modern website flaunt her roots as a savvy graphic designer.

The craft-loving Conklin owes her passion to a professional soap making class she took at the once-world famous Snowdrift Farm Soap Supply Company, which used to draw eager apprentices from all over the globe to Tucson to learn the craft. She has since expanded her line to include lotions, shave balms, masks and botanical exfoliants. Artemesia will offer the perfect desert souvenirs for travelers as well as gift baskets for brides, birthdays, gifts, etc.

Fit for a Music Festival


With the Oro Valley Music Festival this coming weekend (think Tucson’s Coachella), there is an eclectic boutique perfectly up to the task of costuming you and your Millennial. Creations Boutique, which has locations on Fourth Avenue and Speedway Boulevard in T-town, is the boho destination. Be warned, this store is not for the pattern-averse, but if you want to capitalize on the last days of the kimono trend before winter, it’s a worthy shopping stop. A huge sale is also going on right now with $15 racks. Creations also stocks gold jewelry, drapey sweaters and a Pinterest-famed fedora or two. For East Siders, a good stop after browsing Bookmans!