Made in Arlington: Lemon & Whim Soaps

Pamper yourself clean with these intoxicating, small-batch shower and bath bars.
Ohara 06 2022

Lemon & Whim founder Heather O’Hara (Courtesy photo)

Heather O’Hara is a self-declared soap snob. She has long collected soaps as scented souvenirs from her travels, and at one point, she took a few soap-making classes. But her affinity for bath products really became an official side gig during the pandemic.

“I channeled a lot of anxiety and uncertainty into this positive outlet to keep moving forward,” says the Arlington entrepreneur. She initially started with small batches, sending soaps to stressed-out friends and family. “These little care packages would come with a SurveyMonkey link, where I would ask what they thought about the recipe.”

With their feedback—and support from her boyfriend, Will, and her loyal bulldog, Ellie—O’Hara, 44, launched Lemon & Whim from her Clarendon home in September 2020.

Her soaps ($10 each) are as pretty as they smell. A scent called Sugar Rush with “hints of berry, vanilla and cotton candy” swirls pink and gold into a marbled pattern. The beach-inspired Going Cabanas looks like an ocean wave and smells like sea salt and coconut oil. The gilded, honeycombed Queen Bee is one of her current best-sellers. “It’s just luxurious,” she purrs about its sparkle.

Product Pucker Up Soap2

A citrusy soap called “Pucker Up” features hints of grapefruit, mandarin and lemon. (Courtesy photo)

Though her soaps may look like works of art, they are intended as consumables—offering an ephemeral bit of pampering with vegan and cruelty-free ingredients, including organic avocado and almond oils.

Shoppers can find Lemon & Whim online and at local festivals and pop-up markets, as well as at Shop Made in Virginia in Alexandria and Shop Made in DC retail stores.

O’Hara recently expanded her product line to include masculine scents and several candles, with autumnal and holiday blends set for release this fall. She also creates custom scented soaps for weddings, baby and bridal showers, and corporate events.

“If we have learned anything in the last few years, it’s to make time for self care,” she says. “You don’t need a special occasion. You can have everyday luxury, even while showering.”


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Categories: Style