Member Highlight: Kelly Sullivan of Splash Naturals

Jun 04 2024

photo: Kelly and business partner Maddie Miller moving to their most recent location (just prior to last year's flood)


Tell us about yourself and your start as a small businesswoman:


I am an artist at heart and love creating beautiful spaces with the hope that people will enjoy what I put together. My background is herbalism and education, I taught primary school right out of grad school, Anna Maria College. When I was ready to start a family, I wanted to do something that I could weave into my life that could involve my children. I'm happy to report that all of my children have worked in some of my small businesses at one time or another along the way! 


I began with small businesses in Burlington 32 years ago, baby in tote. I had a few shops on Church Street in the 90's. Some I did with my sister, - Bella Boutique, Queen Anne's Lace, Athena's Attic, and Phoenix Herbals and Imports. I began my first business on a shoestring budget in a small room on the second floor of Church Street. I made a lot of the products and clothing that I sold and gathered many items on consignment from the Burlington community, as well. Consignment worked because I simply didn't have the finances to purchase my inventory at that time. I was very fortunate and the businesses grew from there. 


Tell us about the origins and development of Splash:


Splash Naturals has been my favorite business of all - twenty years now!  In the beginning, Splash had large containers of herbal concoctions, hence my herbal studies with Rosemary Gladstar who has been a big influence and inspiration in my life. Then, like any business, you have to evolve to what your customer is looking for in order to succeed. I paid close attention and evolved as needed to what it is today.

Back in the day, I had a clothing shop in Montpelier called Athena's Boutique to which I assimilated into Splash about 8 years ago, this gave Splash a great variety that seems to cater to all ages. It is so joyous to have a grandparent in the shop along side a grandchild, to which they both find something that suits them! Whether it be Dr. Hauschka skincare or a striped mini skirt with foot traffic tights!


And then another chapter, to my absolute delight, Maddie Miller became my business partner one year ago, she is a bright light and a wise young woman, we have great synergy and so much joy running the business together.  We pride ourselves on a business that consists of all natural and cruelty-free products and fair trade clothing lines from around the world. Splash is truly built on what our community has asked of us for over the many years. We listen carefully to the requests we often get, research the lines, and bring them into the shop if they are a good match. 


What do you like about Montpelier and having a business in the downtown:

It is such an honor to do business in a community that is so supportive, kind, and thoughtful! I can honestly say that going to work for me is a privilege, as well as social time. Montpelier has changed for me in that I feel very deep connections from all of the years of doing business in town. I have witnessed small children grow into teens, some of them employed at Splash over the years! Our customers are indeed our friends, we have a safe space where people can share what their needs are and we can guide them gently to help them find their inner and outer radiance that exists within us all!

Photo: Kelly, with her sister Stephanie Douglas, getting her start at Queen Anne's Lace in the 1990s.

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