Co-owners Beth Rose, left, and Anne Mahoney of West Bend
pose for a photo in their store Friday afternoon at
Curious Apothecary in West Bend. The store opened in the
downtown location in March.
John Ehlke/Daily News
people have passions in their life, but only a subset of
those can turn them into a living. That is what the
co-owners of Curious Apothecary have accomplished.
Mahoney and Beth Rose sell a variety of products in
their store at 139 S. Sixth Ave., downtown West Bend. A
quick tour of the location and visitors will find
clothing and accessories at one end, including scarves,
purses and jewelry, and at the other end will be health
and beauty creations.
two have a diverse product line, but they all have one
characteristic in common.
are focused on natural alternatives to health, beauty
and home products,” Rose said. “Our toothpaste and
deodorant are natural products. We have a whole facial
line that we only use natural and healthy products that
we make our own. Our sunscreen, our bug spray — there
are no preservatives.”
The exterior of Curious Apothecary is seen on Friday
afternoon in West Bend.
John Ehlke/Daily News
Mahoney began making alternative health and beauty items
as a means to live healthier.
was looking for low-stress hobbies, activities that
could be beneficial to me and bring the stress level
down,” Mahoney said. “It began with gardening, from
gardening it became herbs and the soap, and then it
evolved from there. It helped a lot. I still have stress
but it slows me down. When you make soap, you have to
pay attention and you can’t rush through it so you have
to slow everything down.” It is also an activity that
requires focus — so Mahoney cannot be thinking of
anything else. She must measure liquids, oils and fats
as she mixes them. There are ingredients that must be
kept at a specific temperature and a proper protocol
that must be followed.
business began as an online sales venture. The two
created an Etsy account listing many of the available
There is an all-purpose cleaner made with natural
ingredients and mixed with essential oils designed to
give a specific sent. Further down the page are photos
of a Johnny Cash and Betty Page hand soap. Clicking on
the items reveal additional details that read they are
made with eucalyptus or lavender.
also carry a variety of therapeutic grade essential
started accumulating a lot of inventory, too much for
Beth’s house to keep it there and then I had my soap at
my house,” Mahoney said. “We thought, ‘wouldn’t it be
nice to just put it all in one spot?’” That is how the
idea for the retail front began. They opened their doors
toward the end of 2016 and haven’t looked back since.
Aside from the satisfaction they receive by watching
their business grow, it also presents them a chance to
educate the public.
would love for people to become more aware of healthy
alternatives,” Mahoney said.