By Ameera Steward
The Birmingham Times
Takiya Holmes wants her business—The Bath House—to be known for high-quality care and products, which meant hours of study with online courses, books, and seminars.
“[I’m] just looking for more ways to use the knowledge I have acquired through all these classes to benefit my business as a whole,” she said, about the Hueytown-based company she founded four years ago.
The Bath House sells natural products, including herbs; essential and massage oils; bar, liquid, and whipped soaps; deodorant; toothpaste; bath salts; sprays; and other items. Also, Holmes is certified to practice reiki healing and yoni steaming.
Reiki is a process during which a person lays down on a bed and the practitioner performs a series of hand motions to attract and move energy around the body: “If you have specific issues, where pain might be in your lower back or whatever it might be, then we can concentrate on that place, as well,” Holmes said.
During yoni, or vaginal, steaming, a woman sits on a special stool or seat over a pot of steaming herbs to help cleanse the uterus; it also can help with issues like fibroids (noncancerous uterine growths), heavy menstrual bleeding, and painful menstrual cramps.
Holmes said she once had a painful ovarian cyst that sent her to the hospital. After that incident, she started steaming and has barely any pain since. In addition to doing yoni steaming for others, she also sells do-it-yourself bags of herbs for women who wish to practice at-home steaming.
The idea for The Bath House was sparked when Holmes and her husband were watching a television show that featured a segment about little girls making soap. Her husband told her she could do that, too.
“Why would I even try to make soap?” she responded.
Later that day, the husband and wife bought their first soap kit from a crafts store, and Holmes started making her own products.
“I was like, ‘This is pretty cool. … I can have something that doesn’t have chemicals in it [and] offer it to my friends and family,’” said Holmes, 37, who was born and raised in Birmingham and grew up mostly in Bessemer and Brighton.
A year later, she started going to farmer’s markets to sell her products after accumulating too much in her house: “I figured, ‘I’ve got to get out of here more than just for a store, but for a space.’ I didn’t have a living room anymore, and I barely had a kitchen,” she said.
Holmes’s products made her more health conscious, too.
“I started thinking, ‘What’s going on skin? What’s causing it to do this? What’s lightening up some? What’s taking away stretch marks? How can we prevent stretch marks?’ Then that kind of took me into the herbal realm, and I started trying to figure out which herbs to incorporate into my soap and facial products.”
She discovered that the herb industry is vast, so she started doing research and taking courses.
“The herbs go hand and hand with my products and [my efforts] to help the community,” Holmes said. “The reiki helps me keep my community feeling strong, energized, and healthy. [People] don’t have to be slumped over in pain. … We’re not giving you things that have side effects. We’re just building a healthy you.”
Holmes has already seen results with her products. One of her church members had a rash on her legs that had lasted about two years, so she asked Holmes to make something to help.
“I made her an ointment, and, I think, within a week it was gone,” Holmes said. “She was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. This has been here for a couple of years. I can’t believe you helped me get rid of this.’ I was like, ‘I have to use this to help more people.’”
Click one of the links below to read more stories about holistic lifestyles and medicine.