Rora Apothic makes skin care products you can feel good about.

Stacy Ford understands the need to de-stress. His partner, Kyle Miller, started Rora Apothecary in Morgantown in 2016 to handcraft herbal products for bath and body self-care—then unexpectedly passed away. Ford decided to preserve the business as a tribute to Miller.

It was no small commitment. He started from scratch, watching YouTube videos and listening to ebooks to learn his craft. As he practiced, he developed his own spin on the methods, eventually learning to make all of the delicioussmelling candles, soaps, masks, bath bombs, cleansers, mists, and more that his newly named Rora Apothic sells today.

Ford sees self-care as ways to calm mental and emotional turmoil in order to relax at the end of a long day. Part of that is feeling good about the products you use, so he makes Rora Apothic products with herbs from his Morgantown garden along with ingredients from other local sources. The No. 1 response he gets from buyers is overwhelmingly how good his products smell, followed by how unique his natural ingredients and combinations are.

Earth-friendly packaging is serious business at Rora. Ford minimizes single-use plastic by using paper, cloth, and glass where possible and making sure the plastic he does use is recyclable. None of his products is ever tested on animals, and everything is either vegan or, if it contains honey, vegetarian.

Ford keeps his products affordable so that those from any financial background can try them. He also gives back to the community by sourcing locally and by making donations to nonprofit organizations.

Rora Apothic is debuting new products this fall—among them, a pumpkin face mask made from fresh pumpkin that’s been made into a powder. Look for Rora products at the November 16 Handcrafted Cooperative market downtown and year ’round on Etsy.

Ford’s plans include growing his Etsy business and acquiring a Morgantown storefront. No matter how big the business eventually gets, it always springs from the original initiative proposed by Ford’s partner Miller: Help people look good, and do good for the planet., @roraapothic on Facebook

Photographs courtesy of Rora Apothic

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Jenny Corona
Written by Jenny Corona
New South Media summer 2019 intern Jenny Corona was raised in both Wheeling, West Virginia, and New York City. She is studying interactive design for media at West Virginia University and is interested in all kinds of art, media production, and creative writing. She practices photography, music, and illustration in her spare time and dreams of one day traveling the world. She has her own apartment with her pet parakeet, Banana.