Stock up on soap, scrubs and other self-care staples at Sylvia’s Sudsery


For Danielle Hastings, moving to Lansing from Jackson in 2018 marked a sort of rebirth.  

“I was getting out of a domestic violence situation, and Lansing was kind of my restart and refresh from that,” she said. “That's where I discovered the importance of self-care and was able to rehabilitate my mental health, because those situations can do a lot to a person and can impact anyone.” 

That self-care journey led Hastings to take up new hobbies, one of which was soapmaking. In 2020, she began selling her artisan vegan soaps, plus other personal-care items like lotions, shower scrubs, bath robes and candles, through a digital shop she named Sylvia’s Sudsery in honor of her late grandmother Sylvia Oeschger. 

Near the end of 2021, Hastings signed on to participate in Downtown Lansing Inc.’s Middle Village retail accelerator program. She participated in the program from 2022 to 2023, after which she began scouting out a storefront of her own. In January, she finally found the right fit in a 2,200-square-foot space on South Washington Square that housed Linn & Owen Jewelers, a staple of downtown Lansing that had been in business for 107 years but was set to close. 

“Originally, it was on the down-low that the owner was retiring. We got the go-ahead from the landlord to show us the space, and we immediately fell in love with it,” Hastings said. 

After a few months of preparations, Sylvia’s Sudsery celebrated its grand opening on Saturday (May 18).  

“We are a self-care destination,” Hastings said. “It's not just the artisan vegan soaps; we also do bath bombs, shower steamers, body butters and gifts like greeting cards, mugs and teas. She described the vibe of the shop as "a mix of self-care, suds and sass.” “We include some quirky attitude to our stuff, and our name itself is a fun play on words. We’re like a vintage candy shop mixed with that sass and all that attitude,” she said.  

It took Hastings years to open a brick-and-mortar, but she noted that she’s ultimately better off because she took the time to get things right.  

“Roughly three months or so after I moved to Lansing, I already knew I wanted to have a business,” she said. “But I'm also a perfectionist, so I wanted to focus on formulating my brand and finding what my target market was before I went all into that. I'm really glad I did.” 

Through her patience, she was also able to discover Middle Village, which she said was another crucial factor in her success.  

“Without Middle Village, I wouldn't have had as many connections with community groups, such as Greater Area Lansing Moms and 517 Living. All those connections have been fantastic, and that wouldn't have been possible had I not first connected with Lake Trust and Middle Village,” she said.  

Danielle Hastings, Sylvias Sudsery, New In Town, Middle Village, Lake Trust, grand opening


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