Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 8:19 PM CDT
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Simply Soothing, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business based in Columbus Junction, Iowa. They've been creating unique, handmade products for over 15 years, with an emphasis on high quality for a reasonable price.

The story of Bug Soother:

In 2008 during the floods of the Midwest, Freda developed a natural bug repellent, called Bug Soother. She originally created it for her five month old grandson because she did not want anything with harsh chemicals, especially DEET, being used on him. She gave a sample bottle to her sister to try. Her home on the Cedar River had been flooded, and the gnats were terrible. Some men from the Carolinas were measuring flood waters, and trying to work in a swarm of gnats. She gave the men a quick spritz and instantly the gnats went away.

The next day, a man came into Freda's little shop on Main Street, and asked if she made the bug spray. He told her that his workers had come back to the motel the night before, asking him to get them some of that bug spray. He bought everything Freda had made up. Little did she know, that experience would set the pace for her new product. From the very beginning, Bug Soother sold faster than Freda could make it, and for the next two years, Freda and her family continuously sold out everywhere they had the spray. With a low budget, and no advertising, it was strictly by word of mouth.

In 2010, Freda got a jump on the season, and actually went out for the first time to 'sell' her natural bug spray in a 60 mile radius to golf courses. 9 out of 10 golf courses bought the spray from her, without knowing whether it worked or not. Golf courses have come to be one of Simply Soothing's best marketing tools.

By the spring of 2014, Simply Soothing had a warehouse rapidly filling with Bug Soother, preparing for a busy season. The customer demand was so great in the Midwest, that they had difficulty meeting that demand. In addition to selling nationwide, Bug Soother was approached to go international when Willie Petrie contacted them about selling it in Europe. After "bugging" Freda for nearly two years, she finally agreed. Freda found a way to stabilize a concentrate, so that it could be shipped to Scotland, where Willie dilutes, bottles, and distributes it. That same year, they traveled to Panama and Colombia on an Iowa Trade Mission, to explore possibilities in Central America. Simply Soothing was met with much interest to export.

In the fall of 2015, Freda and her family opened their current retail location, called Simply Soothing Iowa Marketplace. It features their original scents, as well as many local Iowa vendors. They hand-craft everything from metalwork, to wine, home décor, and even jewelry. Each and every item is handcrafted by talented Iowa Artisans.

As a family owned business, Simply Soothing takes an active part in their community, and supports local organizations and causes.

Want to know more? Stop by for a visit, drop them a line at or visit Simply Soothing on Facebook.