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Grand-opening-ribbon-cutting-with-the-Mayor
Grand opening ribbon cutting with Mayor Jeri Muoio

Northwood Village continues to be the place to watch for interesting new businesses and the fascinating people who are making it happen. Last week saw the opening of a very unique store, Moonlight Radiance, run by Nicaraguan born Eyra Caldera, a Soap Artist. The grand opening ribbon cutting was attended by Mayor Jeri Muoico, who is proud to welcome these one-of-a-kind small businesses to West Palm Beach. There was catering by EuroChefs, who served up tasty little tuna tacos, slider burgers, shrimp with lemon aioli and sparkling Mimosas to wash it all down.

Shelves of soaps at Moonlight Radiance
Shelves of soaps at Moonlight Radiance

Caldera says “I am the artisan, formulator, proprietor, designer, photographer, marketing department and customer care.  I am also the cleaning lady and if you come visit my shop (enter heavy Latin accent), I can also make you great Nicaraguan coffee. If you are in the area, I have an open door policy; no appointments, no call ahead, only good old fashioned stop by. I create all soap formulas from the ground up, as some call it (from scratch). I also create wonderful candles and many bath and body treats; yes, I call them “treats” because that is what they are. They’re just little luxuries that you may not really need, but they mean the world to you when you treat yourself to one. Everyone deserves a little luxury in their life, especially if your skin will love you for it. I design products that are unique and cannot be found anywhere else on the market.  I also design all types of custom celebration souvenirs for Weddings, Birthdays, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Baptisms, Proms, Night Clubs, Restaurants and much more. Handmade soaps and candles make excellent favors for all occasions, especially because you can completely customize them making your gift unique and exciting present that will be remembered forever.”

Eyra Caldera came by her craft through her war-torn childhood, where she learned to make luxuries out of necessity. “Soap Artistry is my passion,” she explains. “I grew up during the civil war in Nicaragua at a Christian boarding school. It was there that I discovered my passion for crafting, orchid growing, and many more things.  After my time at the boarding school, my grandmother took me in and taught me how to make her very own garlic soap formula. Yes, garlic! During that time, people had to make their own soap out of necessity because not much was available. We had no other choice due to the embargo and war… but, back to the garlic soap! Garlic soap was made to treat bacterial skin infections and, until today is still being used for that purpose with great results (no I do not make garlic soaps anymore). In 2009, during my stay in Seattle, Washington, I learned that soap making did not only have to be out of necessity. I discovered the amazing art of soap designs. I thought to myself “what is better than making a product that has form and function with my very hands” AND it has been around for thousands of years! At some point during the industrial revolution, real soap was lost. Nowadays, I make it a top priority to educate people about the meaning and the function of “real soap”. I began developing and experimenting soap formulations to accommodate my family’s skin care needs. I even grow some of the botanicals and fruits I use to make my products, I welcome you to visit my lovely garden.”

Bath-fizz-window-display
Bath fizz window display
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The shop feels homey and smells wonderful, filled with soaps and oils and candles and other hand-crafted items. Earthy wood shelves and smart little displays shows the products to gorgeous effect. Tammy Lee sells her Zen Jewelry line exclusively designed for Moonlight Radiance Artisan Market. The soaps are made in the back and will not be sold at any other retail stores. They will be available online and at various area green markets. They ship worldwide and offer a Monthly Soap Club that would make a great creative gift.

The celebration spilled over into the space next door that is currently the home of the Z Condominium Sales Office with it’s zingy red, white and silver décor. A wild rainstorm blew through towards the end of the afternoon but didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the many shoppers who were toting their bags filled with exotic soaps blended with Cocoa, Rose, spices and more.

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Moonlight Radiance Artisan Soaps Market.  510 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 Phone: 561-503-8986  www.moonlightradiance.com

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Missing Tequesta Teens

As has been widely reported, there are two missing teenage boys from Tequesta who went out to sea in a pending storm. One of the boys is Perry Cohen, whose mother Pam and stepfather Nick Korniloff own the Art Miami and Art Southampton Fairs.

I’ve worked with them over the years, they are lovely, professional people, their fairs are first class and attract people from all over the art world. Godspeed to their boys.

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Sandra-Schulman Sandra Schulman is an arts writer, music and film producer. Born in Miami, her work has appeared in Billboard, Variety, Rolling Stone, Ocean Drive, Country Music Magazine, The New York Daily News, News From Indian Country, and Entertainment Weekly. She was an entertainment columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for 8 years. She has authored three books on pop culture. She currently lives in West Palm Beach with her blue eyed whippet. Sandra Schulman’s column appears weekly. Contact her at sandraslink@gmail.com.

Good Clean Fun and Cosmo Cocktails at Moonlight Radiance, New Store Opened at Northwood Village. Meet Eyra, Moonlight Radiance Artisan Soaps Market Owner.