We sit down with RICA bath + body owner, Kristina Ivy, at the flagship Shop + Studio location, near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn to talk about the recent re-launch of her bath, body and bungalow lifestyle brand. Believe me, there's a whole lot to cover so buckle up buttercup and let's dive in.
What made you feel as though it was time for a new look?
We’d designed the original bath + body items about 4 years before the home collection. They say, to make the jump and build your wings on the way down. In the 4 years since we’d started RICA bath + body (made the jump), we’d come to the see the edges in clearer and clearer focus. So during the home collection design process back in 2014 we knew with certain the aesthetic we were aiming for. At that time we also began making our first rough drafts of the new bath + body labels, but put the project on the back burner.
Time went on and our RICA Bungalow Collection had really taken off and expanded from the 3 initial home line items into over 36 successful home provisions. The home line had started to influence the way we were developing the bath + body line. It was time to unify the two. Today we are peachier than cobbler to present the new look of RICA bath, body + bungalow!
The logo has changed. What made you want to update that aspect of the brand and what do you like most about the new look?
Living a low-clutter life is the RICA way, so the new logo is just that. We simplified the design, but kept the soft grey and burnt bisque tones. Staying true to our color palette has always been an instant way to feel like we were sticking to our guns and not trying to follow any trend.
Are the product formulas different?
No sirrey! These are to same tried and true products that our customers have grown to love since the beginning. On the inside, everything is the same as always, they’ll just look updated. Even the product and scent names are more interesting and reflective of what we hope to conjure up. An emotion of peaceful respite for the sophisticated southern woman, the farm girl or the coastal queen.
Will there be new items available with the re-launch?
Yes, yes and yes! We are the most excited about that. We’ve streamlined some products and expanded in our strengths, especially where the possibility of collections were concerned. The idea of a RICA pre, during and post bath ritual was too good to pass up. For example, the scents you’ve fallen for in Soy Candles are now in Tub Salt and Butter All Over form.
We’ve added an Oat & Honey Milk Bath to our Original Bath Collection, so now you can Oil Up, Butter All Over, detox in Tub Salts, soak in Bath Bon Bons and exfoliate with Clementine Sugar Polish all in a single unified scent. Plus, the flecks of orange zest and slices really pop when lined up tubside.
Our fan favorite scent Coconut Sugar is now Coconut Husk + Turbinado to match our Home Collection candles + sprays. You can find this scent as our signature dish, Butter All Over, in both Mini and Full sized portions, as a daily bath + body oil, Oil Up, and in personal fragrances as Body Tonic and Roll-on Oil Perfume. 4 New ways to love coconuts!
Our bath salts, now southern inspired “Tub Salts”, have expanded to include 2 of our best selling coastal scents, White Pepper + Sugar Cane in soft grey salt crystals and Salt + Shore in soft aqua salt crystals.
Even the home line comes with a new choice of packaging. What sparked the linen candle addition?
More and more, RICA is being recognized for our relaxed farmhouse coastal aesthetic. Our all-white décor has been getting injections of color from dried botanicals and ingredients along the journey. We have even been able to play with soft muted colors in our Tub Salts and soy candle wax. With our deep love of linens, it was a natural direction for us to move towards the muslin fibers of the new candle packaging. We had never worked with dyeing fabric before and accepted the new creative challenge. The hardest part was getting the colors just right, but with everything in life it happened with a lot of trial and error. Even today we pride ourselves on the small-batch quality of the linen dye baths. It keeps everything true to the “from our kitchen to your bath” motto.
It looks like some fragrance names have changed, for example Coconut Sugar is now Coconut Husk + Turbinado. Should we expect them to smell different?
Nope. They are the exact same. Our customers are a dedicated following that want the original scents.
Old names like, Mediterranean Fig have been updated into a scent dedicated to the RICA prairie ranchhouse woman, Vanilla Grass + Cactus Flower. Lavender Rose Tub Salts + Bon Bons, now highlight the best part of the product as Lavender + Pink Rose. Our darling Original scent will now celebrate it’s citrus side as Original Clementine.
Our scent names are now more clear and paint a picture of the many aspects of the RICA lifestyle, from our Brooklyn studio, to the rich Virginian farm soil, to the Carribean get away, to New York’s Northfork Bay coastal farmhouse retreat. We are proud of the identity we’ve spent years carving out and want to share more and more of the RICA lifestyle through imagery and feelings that evoke tradition for our customers.
What are your hopes for RICA bath + body as the kitchen-to-bath brand grows in the coming years?
We want to stay on track as we continue to reach a larger audience. We love the support and loyalty to RICA and are so pleased seeing more and more people taking a moment for themselves.
To say interior decoration is a huge passion of ours is selling ourselves short. We will continue to grow our bungalow provisions side of the brand with the Home Collection.
As a small hand-made, hand-poured, hand-packaged brand, partnering with exciting stores has allowed us to reach larger audiences faster than we could have dreamed. There are a few collaborations in the works that we cannot wait to unveil.
Revisiting and revamping the RICA brand has been like looking through an old yearbook. We’ve seen what works really well for us and what we were ready to let go of. Now that it’s here and launched, we feel more ready than ever to power forward full-steam with our “Comfort Food For The Skin and Home” and we are happy to bring y’all along for the journey!