POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – A unique boutique is making a splash with locally made products that pass on excess chemicals and ingredients.

Owner Maureen Rothrauff says the idea for Avant Garden Boutique came from the realization that many of the perfumes, lotions and fragrances she bought didn’t have the healthiest ingredients.

“Both of my kids have asthma and different sort of health issues — all minor — but as a mom, you always ask yourself, ‘Is this the best thing I could be giving my kid?'” said Rothrauff. “I kept thinking there had to be a better way.”

Rothrauff began by making body butter in her kitchen. She passed it out to family and friends and soon realized there was a business brewing. She opened on February 1, 2020, and says even though things were difficult when COVID took over, it ended up being a blessing.

“People started to become more concerned about what products they’re using and their health concerns became more evident. People had time to stop and read labels and look at ingredients,” said Rothrauff. “So I started making some home fragrances that were healthy that don’t have as many chemicals.”

Avant Garden Boutique features body butter, lotions, fragrances and body polishes, all with just five or six ingredients in them.

“Everything is vegan, phthalate-free and cruelty-free,” said Rothrauff. “On the other side of the shop, I have a lab, so everything is made right here. The shelf life of everything is at least two years.”

You’ll also find wax melts, reed diffusers and two DIY bars where you can create your own potpourri glass.

And it doesn’t matter your age or gender when it comes to Avant Garden’s products.

“I don’t like to talk about things in terms of fragrances being masculine or feminine. When I started, I wanted things that would appeal to both men, women, kids and teenagers,” said Rothrauff. “I’ve tried to keep everything gender-neutral with the names and fragrances because everyone just likes what they like.”

Avant Garden also features specialized products for anyone who may have sensitive skin or skin issues. Rothrauff says she makes the products to be mild and subtle and ensures they are all combinable. She also sells greeting cards made locally and is happy to offer gift cards for those who don’t know what to buy.

Avant Garden Boutique is located at 20 E. McKinley Way in Poland. The hours are Wednesday and Thursday, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For more information, call (330) 565-1270.