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Explore La Baignoire, an exquisite boutique specialising in zero-waste luxury bathroom essentials.

16 May 2024

Coralie Leplat, an independent retailer and Ankorstore user, introduces us to La Baignoire, her Parisian sanctuary dedicated to luxurious bathroom essentials and organic, natural products. Immerse yourself in her tranquil oasis. 🛁

Alrie Velleman

Nestled in the charming Batignolles district of the 17th arrondissement of Paris, this lovely boutique awaits to fulfil all your bath and body product desires. 

Upon approaching, you’ll be greeted by a delightful surprise—a quaint bathroom corner thoughtfully curated to showcase the shop’s finest offerings. Stepping inside, you’ll be met with a stunning interior adorned with wooden shelves and elegant display units. A spacious section dedicated to bulk goods, set against a backdrop of washbasins, completes the scene. La Baignoire (meaning “The Bath”) unquestionably lives up to its name.

We enjoyed talking with its founder, Caroline Leplat, to glean insights into her boutique, her favourite products, and how she makes the most of Ankorstore.

Read our interview with Caroline Leplat, founder of La Baignoire:

Could you share a bit about your shop's background and journey?

My name is Coralie, and I’m the proud founder of La Baignoire—a physical and e-commerce boutique specialising in sustainable bathroom products, particularly cosmetics, with a zero-waste ethos. Our commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of our offerings: all containers are either returnable or refillable, sourced from exclusively French brands that prioritise organic or natural ingredients.

The inspiration for La Baignoire struck me during a holiday back in 2016, as I found myself disheartened by the wastefulness of single-use plastic shampoo bottles provided by hotels. Reflecting on the growing trend of bulk food shopping, I wondered why similar practices couldn’t be extended to cosmetics.

What type of products do you sell, and what are your star products?

At La Baignoire, we specialise in zero-waste cosmetics. Our product range includes French brands prioritising organic or natural ingredients and are packaged in returnable or refillable containers.

Among our standout products are our bulk liquids, with our hand soaps leading the way. We’ve noticed that customers, even those initially unsure about the zero-waste concept, are more open to trying hand products. The practicality and necessity of hand soap make it a convenient and accessible way to incorporate sustainable practices in your everyday life. 

Another top-seller is the Endro deodorant. It has garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers. Many had previously experimented with organic deodorants and were still looking for one that truly suited them. They are delighted to discover a deodorant that meets their needs and aligns with their values, being both organic and packaged in a returnable jar. 

What motivated you to enter the independent retail sector?

Primarily, the spirit of entrepreneurship ignited my journey. I was compelled by a deep-seated desire to contribute, albeit in my own modest capacity, to combating plastic pollution. But perhaps most significantly, it was the individuals I encountered at the Refill & Reuse Trade Fair 2021 who truly inspired me—the brave and innovative young cosmetics brands that dared to take the plunge into sustainable entrepreneurship. 

How did you hear about Ankorstore and why did you decide to join the platform?

I first learned about Ankorstore through my interest in the BAUBO brand, which I was eager to feature in my boutique’s selection. Upon reaching out to the brand’s founders, they highly recommended utilising Ankorstore for my initial order with them. 

What are the primary benefits you've experienced from using Ankorstore, and how does the platform support your daily operations?

Ankorstore offers me a significantly lower minimum order amount than direct sourcing and an exceptionally favourable 60-day payment term. These aspects are particularly crucial, especially in the initial stages of business when cash flow is delicate. Moreover, the platform is a valuable resource for discovering new brands and promptly meeting specific customer demands. The intuitive filters Ankorstore provides streamline the search process, enhancing brand and product discovery efficiency.

Would you characterise your usage of Ankorstore more as a means of exploration or restocking?

While primarily serving as a restocking resource, I frequently utilise the platform to explore new products or suppliers.

Have you observed any notable impacts on your business since joining Ankorstore?

Since integrating Ankorstore into my business operations coincided with the launch of my boutique, I’ve experienced tangible benefits. Notably, thanks partly to Ankorstore’s favourable payment terms, I’ve been able to diversify my product offerings, bolster my inventory, and effectively manage cash flow.

What are your business's main challenges, and what strategies do you employ to sustain growth?

My primary challenges revolve around expanding my customer base while maintaining a healthy cash flow. To address these challenges, I leverage payment facilities, negotiate favourable payment terms with suppliers, and seek competitive reseller rates. Additionally, I’ve found that utilizing social media platforms and launching my website have been instrumental in driving business growth, albeit they also present their own challenges.

What advice would you offer to aspiring independent retailers based on your experiences?

My best advice would be: 

  • Always negotiate payment terms with suppliers, allowing you to sell products before payment. 
  • Maintaining honest communication with customers in a tone that reflects your brand identity.

If you could request one improvement or feature from Ankorstore to aid in your business development, what would it be?

I would appreciate it if Ankorstore could indicate any changes in reseller prices on the platform, as brands often don’t communicate price increases.

A big thank you to Caroline Leplat for sharing her insights with us! To learn more about her boutique, be sure to visit her website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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