Marilyn Bayzid thinks her new shop on La Jolla Boulevard in Bird Rock has something special for every bath.
She’s in the process of completely remodeling the space to accommodate her showroom, which is chockful of bath goodies for men and women of all ages. Soak even has a kids section with rubber duckies, pigs and chicks.
“I’m catering to bath lovers,” said Bayzid. “I’m a fine apothecary for the bath.”
Lining the walls of her shop is an array of bath products, many imported from other lands, like Portugal, Japan, Australia, India and New Zealand. Bath products include aroma diffusers, liquid potpourri, candles, books, bath salts, body washes, body lotions, sugar scrubs, microwavable lavender wraps, body butters and bubble baths.
Bayzid said people want products that appeal to their senses when they’re bathing. “They all want good smells. Smell seems to be the biggest thing. Any woman wanting to take a bath wants a relaxing experience. It’s a lifestyle.”
A La Jollan for 14 years, Bayzid moved away from the community for a decade and is now back in business here. She previously worked at Jigsaw For Kids, which was located next door to Cafe Lautrec.
“I was teaching for nine years, and I just loved this,” Bayzid said about bath specialties. “So I figured, it’s something I love. Why not?”
Someone Bayzid worked with previously opened Happy Endings, a Bird Rock boutique across the street from her new shop. “I’d been doing this in a spa in Encinitas for a year and I was looking for a location.”
Bayzid’s friends told her she really needed to check out Bird Rock’s business strip along La Jolla Boulevard.
“I felt good coming back, and I found this location really easily,” Bayzid said.
“Now it seems like I’ve come full circle. I’m very excited about the changes.”
Bayzid said Bird Rock’s business community has welcomed her with open arms.
“Everybody on this entire street has come by,” she said, “all the businessowners. They’ve been so friendly. Everyone’s all excited.”
Touring her shop, Bayzid pointed to a shelf bearing items from Red Flower, an exclusive line of bath products including round soaps designed to be the same size and weight as a stress ball, which come with a their own soap dishes.
“I’m only the fourth person in San Diego County allowed to carry it,” she said. “It’s featured in Oprah. It’s a very spiritual line.”
Soak carries bath products that are difficult, if impossible, to find elsewhere.
“I’m trying to carry lines a little bit different,” said Bayzid, “things that are not oversaturated.”
Bayzid also carries bath lines provided by local residents, like oils brought back from her native country by an Asian Indian woman.
“I’d like to support as many local people as I can,” she said.
Soak customer Angela Cortina, a Bird Rock resident, was impressed by the new bath shop and believes its a great addition to the community’s business district. “Her stuff is great,” she said of Bayzid. “I’ve got four kids and it’s just really nice to have one more store I can walk down to and poke around in. The bath products she’s carrying are really fine, all natural ingredients like handmilled soaps and stuff. Her price points are reasonable. They have a lot of gift baskets for Mother’s Day and birthday gifts for little kids too. It’s really cute inside. I think it’s great for everybody. She’s been in retail in La Jolla for a long time and she’s familiar with the clientele. I hope the community supports her.”
Bayzid encourages customers to give her feedback on what they’d like to see in her store.
“People are going to tell me what’s going to work and what’s not going to work for them,” she said. “It’s a learning process.”
One nice thing about bath products, said Bayzid, is they never lose their popularity, which is job security for retailers like her.
“The spa industry is really picking up,” she said. “Everyone likes to take a bath. Everybody likes beautiful soaps. It’s not clothing, which is very trendy, where you have to worry about what’s in. It’s not like that.”
In the back of her boutique, Bayzid wants to sell jewelry and handbags for women and men’s products, like bath robes. She’s even considering more hands-on alternatives, like bringing in a reflexologist or a foot masseuse to help pamper her clients.
“I’m looking for some activities to keep people in the place,” Bayzid said. “I could bring in someone to talk about aeromatherapy or someone to do trunk shows, come and have their specialty jewelry or whatever for a week.”
Bayzid wants to cater to locals in Bird Rock, not just the tourist trade.
“I want people coming into my shop to feel comfortable, warm and friendly,” she said. “I’m going to have sofas and tables where people can sit and relax. It’s just kind of a fun, local place. That’s what my goal is.”
Soak’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call (858) 459-4541.