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Natural skincare store coming to the Hill

Hunnybunny boutique, an all-natural skincare store opening at 311 8th St NE

Opening this month at 311 8th Street NE: a boutique stocked with natural, preservative-free skincare items made by D.C. mom Leigh Byers.
A Kansas City, Mo. native now residing in Congress Heights, Byers is the owner of Hunnybunny, an online store now adding a brick-and-mortar version in the heart of Capitol Hill.
In terms of when the shop’s doors will open, “we are in the last leg of the journey,” she says, noting that shelving and other displays are still going up inside the bright-blue rowhouse. She refrained from offering a specific opening day.
Byers began making her own soap and lotions after her second child, Zuri, 1, was born. Scanning the ingredients on a bottle of laundry detergent, she started to wonder about what exactly she was washing her family’s clothes in (Byers is married and her elder daughter, Nya, is 6) and what chemicals were touching their skin.
Byers started developing soaps and lip balms at home, later adding bars of solid lotion and shampoo and body butters. She also makes a clay facial mask aimed at adults, not children. The products are made with Shea butter, honey, olive oil and other natural ingredients.
She took her soaps and balms to Northwest. “We set up a booth at the Columbia Heights community market” and were pleasantly surprised by the response to the items, she says.
“Every soap I make, every lip balm, I would put on my kids,” Byers adds, answering questions from a reporter while cuddling baby Zuri, who was in no mood for a nap.
Byers says she is deliberately starting with a small selection of products in the store, including 100-percent certified organic Egyptian cotton towels and soft toys. She hopes to solicit feedback from customers about what they hope to purchase – natural household cleaners, for example. All-natural teething beads for infants will also be offered.
“The inspiration for everything I do is my girls,” she adds.

Read more articles by Amy Rogers Nazarov.

Amy Rogers Nazarov is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist with more than 25 years experience as a staff reporter and a freelance writer, covering technology, adoption, real estate, and lifestyle topics from food & drink to home organizing. Her byline has appeared in Cooking Light, The Washington Post, Slate, Washingtonian, The Writer, Smithsonian, The Washington Post Express, The Baltimore Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, Cure, The Washington Times, Museum, and many other outlets. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and tweets at @WordKitchenDC.
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