Having suffered from allergies and chemical sensitivities for many years, Amy Ray '92 became concerned about the ingredients in her bath and body products after a night of "pampering" herself with popular products on the market and becoming overcome by the fumes.
“I then began an extensive research campaign. I was shocked by the harmful ingredients found in most of today’s bath and body products and saw the need for safer, healthier products. I also wanted to educate the public about the toxic chemicals hidden in their everyday-products,” said Ray, founder and co-owner of Sofizztication LLC, a bath and body product business that focuses on using healthy ingredients and raising awareness about environmental toxins.
Ray, who majored in psychology and minored in sociology with a concentration in writing, is disabled with health problems and is unable to work outside the home with any regularity.
“I suffer from chemical sensitivities due to my autoimmune disorder,” said Ray, who is from Springfield, Ohio. “I started to become ill in college with chronic fatigue syndrome. My college years were very busy, and my illness began to rear its ugly head….I currently try to work my bath business as much as my health allows. Thankfully, I now have friends and family involved in the business who are able to help.
“We believe in making products that are healthy and beneficial to the body and mind. Our products are always free of parabens, harsh sulfates and other harmful ingredients,” Ray added. “We are committed to upholding the mission of educating people about the ever-present toxins in their environment. Chemicals from bath and body products are washed down the drain and accumulate in the oceans, wreaking havoc on marine life. We try to educate people and help them choose products that are healthier for their bodies and healthier for the environment.”
Ray started out small, making and selling a few products here and there, but her company officially started in late 2016 and less than a year later, is in full bloom offering a multitude of products and services for special occasions.
“I firmly believe that all things and people come together at the exact moment they are supposed to and they certainly did for Sofizztication,” she said. “I was able to assemble my ‘dream team,’ comprised of my parents and three of my closest friends. Not only do they share my enthusiasm for my vision of creating healthier bath and body products, they are the co-pilots I had needed all along.”
Her current product line includes essential oil blends, soap (solids and liquids), milk bath, sugar scrubs, soap bouquets, bath cupcakes, bath bombs, cosmetics, massage bars, bronzing bars, powders, lotions, shaving cream, whipped soap, body butter, hair care products, pet products, baby products, foot care products, bubble bath, bath and shower gel and special occasion- themed products for birthdays, weddings, pink ribbon events and other events.
Ray, who wrote novels while in college, once aspired to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a profiler. One of her novels, The Devil’s Swing, is about sibling abuse and substance abuse and is published on Amazon Kindle. She also writes young adult literature and is involved with two direct-sales companies.
Photo caption: Amy Ray, left, and Beth Szekacs, set up locally at the Farmer's Market in Springfield.