“Scents” and Sensibility
by Cate Murway
Veronica’s Secret is what’s NOT in the soap. No “lye”!
“Hang in there, girl. You’re an inspiration to so many of us. I hope you’re having a wonderful day,” a “Testimonial” from “Karen” on www.veronicaslavishlathers.com. Veronica Evelyn [Schwartz] Davidson accomplishes way so much more than “purely” hanging in there. As a Bristol High and Bucks County Technical School ’84 grad, Veronica’s interest was piqued by the chemical reaction of lye, (sodium hydroxide - a white brittle solid NaOH that is a strong caustic base) while creating a bar of soap in her Bucks County Community College Chemistry class. Although almost any fat or oil can be used to make soap, Veronica uses the highest quality olive oils or shea butter, made from shea nuts of Karite Nut trees, also known as Mangifolia, harvested in semi-arid wild African savannas, rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated trees, which can be found between a tropical rainforest and desert biome. The shea butter is such a non-toxic and beneficial component that it is used in foods and cooking as well as soaps and beauty products. What once were fat, water and 100% pure powdered lye turns into a beautiful, rich and creamy lathering soap!
“Veronica’s Lavish Lathers” at 116 Radcliffe Street officially opened on a particularly windy Saturday, on May 20, 2006 with “bath and body care, handmade soaps, gift baskets, skin care, foot care, hair care, shampoo, conditioner, jewelry, perfume, coffee, tea, candy, and coffee mugs”.
All the personally crafted bath and body care products are prepared with only the finest quality ingredients available. What began as a leisure pursuit has become a full time business, complete with a retail bricks and mortar structure, a commercial webpage presence, a custom made painted wooden sign and glossy blue business cards!
Veronica and her husband, David Leonard Davidson, a George School quarterback / baseball player and East Stroudsburg grad, born in Emporia, Kansas [founding city of Veterans Day], have three children: football athlete, Brandon Alexander; artistically- minded, Shelby Elizabeth; and guitarist, Nicholas Christian, who sometimes plays his guitar outside the shoppe. "Bohemian Rhapsody", a song written by Freddie Mercury, originally recorded by the band Queen for their 1975 album A Night at the Opera is said to be a favorite! Her family suffered from skin irritations and allergic reactions to medicine. This prompted Veronica’s in-depth pursuit of natural moisturizing, exfoliating and soothing products to keep everyone refreshed from head to toe!
Jerome Joseph "Jerry" Schwartz, Veronica’s dad, passed away Tuesday, May 30th , 10 days after she opened her store, and he never had the opportunity to see what a successful enterprise his daughter’s “Veronica’s Lavish Lathers” was becoming. Mr. Schwartz served this country in the 6912th Radio Squadron, as an Air Policeman, U.S.A.F., in Germany during the Korean War. When he returned, he was employed for more than 39 years at the Bristol U.S.P.S. and then also worked for the Bristol Riverside Theatre in the ticket office. Her mom, Evelin [Baier] Schwartz, a Lafayette Street resident, was born in Germany. The bombing of Dresden, led by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and involving the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), one of the more controversial Allied actions of World War II, prompted Evelin’s family to move to America. Mrs. Schwartz, a fashion model who was gifted in clothing design, won a local beauty pageant. She and Jerry Schwartz raised all of their five children in the Bristol Borough community and schools: Cintas plant engineer, Paul [Levittown], R.N. Alexandra Gagliardi [Robbinsville, N.J.], electrician, Christian [Yardley], Wachovia sales rep, Kenneth [Chester, N.J.] and Veronica Davidson. Love of family and music was always the priority to Jerry Schwartz, a cantor at St. Mark Church. His last public performance was an accordion serenade for his bride and family at his 40th wedding anniversary.
Her now father-in-law, retired Dr. Leonard Davidson, maintained his patient care medical general practice on Jefferson Avenue, and it was he who introduced David and Veronica and initiated their “blind date”. They purchased the 116 Radcliffe Street business property from Dr. Davidson, which had previously been the Dr. Joseph C. Anzalone Chiropractic center, only 2 blocks from their home that was built in 1854. The entire family began building shelves and constructing the minor office renovations in preparation for the store to accommodate the “soap shop” Veronica had been operating in their Radcliffe Street family home basement.
Veronica also boasts a very lucrative website business. Your purchase is made “gift ready”, wrapped, complete with a card and shipped directly to you or the very fortunate recipient. Gift choices online or in her shoppe are plentiful, beautiful, flavorful and fun! Creatively shaped and colored soap with innovative and exotic fragrances, like spiced wine and cranberry spritzer, oatmeal milk and honey, or violet & lavender and chamomile goats milk soaps are individually packaged. No pre-made bases are used for the butters, lotions or creams. Nothing is purchased in bulk and then repackaged! Tempting coffee, herbal tea, hot chocolate, and cappuccino are ready to be paired with holiday or celebration or “his” and “her” coffee mugs and delectable brown bagged Amish cookies in a gift presentation basket. A sweets basket made to your choosing, can include old-fashioned glazed ribbon hard candies [Christmas is here!] or perhaps, a retro favorite, barley sugar pops with a delicate dreamy honey flavor. Home grown lavender, aromatic sage and invigorating peppermint permeates the air as you navigate the myriad of selections. There is an incredible assortment of beautifully creative handmade jewelry. Bracelets, earrings and necklaces of amethyst [esteemed as a stone of friendship], pink quartz [believed to spread compassion, love and understanding], lapis [a stone with one of the longest traditions of being considered a gem] or Swarovski precision-cut crystals are among your choices.
Serious about Skin Care? Try the Night Time Vitamin A [retinol] Creme [helps diminish the appearance of age lines and wrinkles on the skin; leaving it soft, smooth, and supple.]
Creative parafin wax novelties, molded on the premise, can “brighten” any occasion!
“Present Perfect” Packages can be shipped anywhere.
Per Veronica, her husband, Dave, who is ardently working on several book scripts for his “Gimme Shelter” series, is often her “legs” for local deliveries and pick-ups.
Receive 20% discount on your purchase if you mention this article!
Veronica’s Lavish Lathers
116 Radcliffe Street
Hours: 10:00A.M. –7:00 P.M. Every Day
Visa & Mastercard Accepted. [also PayPal online]
Senior 10% Discount
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system but since her diagnosis 6 months after the birth of her son, Veronica has refused to allow it to keep her down. The support group she started, Friends with MS, is an online interactive support group for people with MS, those not yet diagnosed and those who love them. “Our mission is to end the loneliness associated with a chronic illness by supplying live chats, interactive message boards, live video and newsgroups. As our motto says, "with Friends with MS online, you're never alone."
If you would like to sponsor Friends with MS,
please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Make checks or money orders out to: Friends with MS c/o Veronica Davidson, 411 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pa. 19007
Brandon A. Davidson of Bristol Boro passed away suddenly on Monday,
Sept. 11, 2017. He was 20.
Born in Langhorne and raised in Bristol Boro, he was a graduate
of the Class of 2015 from Bristol High School. Brandon loved being in
the outdoors, playing football, fishing with his dad and
taking trips with his sister to Philadelphia.
He was preceded in death by Jerome and Evelyn Schwartz.
Brandon will be greatly missed by his parents, David and Veronica Davidson; his sister, Shelby; his brother, Nicholas Davidson; his girlfriend, Liz Cummings; his grandparents, Dr. Leonard Davidson and his wife, Diane; his grandmother, Nancy Crowther and her husband, Walter; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Relatives and friends are invited to call from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Galzerano Funeral Home, 430 Radcliffe St., Bristol, PA 19007, where the funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Interment will be held privately at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, please direct contributions in Brandon's name to Summit Behavioral Health Outpatient, 702 Hyde Park, Doylestown, PA 18902.Galzerano Funeral Home, Bristol ~ Levittown