German Village couple ready to relocate, expand Tiki Botanicals bath-and-body retail line
Tiki Botanicals in German Village isn’t moving far, but its future location will have better visibility and become the retail headquarters for future stores, according to co-owner Jim Thieken.
The boutique store, filled with a colorful assortment of essential-oil bottles, soaps, bath bombs, shower melts, candles and other body essentials – will relocate in July to the Starbucks location at 650 S. Third St. The Starbucks was slated to close Jan. 31; another Starbucks remains in the historic district at 399 E. Livingston Ave.
“It’s very appealing to the eye,” said Thieken, who owns the store with his wife, Candyce.
"And we want to carry that vibe into the new space," said Kara Gray, director of operations and a minor partner in the business. Chris Naugle, director of production, also has a minor share of ownership.
Tiki Botanicals is on the first floor of the Thiekens’ house at 529 S. Third St., where it opened in April 2019.
Jim Thieken, 49, said the move will include better signage and essentially will be across the street from the Book Loft, a major German Village attraction at 631 S. Third St.
The store is about all about quality, he said.
“It’s cleanliness, relaxation and cosmetics all rolled into one,” Jim Thieken said. “In a word: luxury.”
“Customer service is really important to us,” Candyce Thieken added.
For starters, Tiki Botanicals uses cosmetic-grade, nonindustrial fragrances, which are clean and more natural-smelling, Jim Thieken said.
Also, most of the product line is made in-house, he said. Soaps and bath bombs are made by artisans who use the specifications of Tiki Botanicals, he said.
“We either build from scratch or we may take a product and make additions with our own scents,” he said.
They are looking for future locations in Columbus, such as near Polaris Fashion Place, but they are ready to announce their full expansion plans, Jim Thieken said.
Candyce Thieken, 38, was making soaps and bath bombs as a hobby for 15 years. She said she and her husband, who had executive jobs in the corporate world, were downsized.
A brave new world in retail awaited.
“Both being experienced business people, we decided we’d try to control our own destinies and use the experience we’ve had over the years to building our business,” Candyce Thieken said.
“I got interested because I’m the more creative personality,” Jim Thieken said. “As much time as I spent in the business world, I’ve used creativity to grow business.”
Greg Gamier, co-chair of the German Village Business Community, said the move is the best-case scenario: He likes the Tiki Botanicals concept, and the Starbucks storefront won't remain empty.
"I was very excited to hear that," Gamier said. "First of all, the storefront was not going to sit empty, which is a great fear these days. When someone moves out, who's going to move in?"