Moyock couple’s hobby grows into a thriving small business

By on January 26, 2018

What started as a small hobby has turned into a successful small business for Moyock residents Leilani Orsulak and Mark Benavides, who recently celebrated that success with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for L&C Essential Obsessions.

The couple began the enterprise by simply giving away their homemade sugar scrubs and bath bombs to family and friends.

“It started off as a small hobby,” Leilani Orsulak said. “As people started to want to purchase them, it became more of a business, and we started filling orders.”

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Sales at craft fairs and festivals came next, along with a space at Elizabeth City’s Waterfront Market. In August, the couple opened their store, L&C Essential Obsessions, at 391 Caratoke Highway in Moyock.

They also sell their products online through a website and on Facebook.

Orsulak said that although they have expanded their sales, the couple’s products are still handmade in small batches. In addition to sugar scrubs and bath bombs, products at the shop include a variety of aroma beads, a hand cleaner (Smello Yellow) and Mini-Mani Bombs (for hands, prior to a manicure), along with products for men.

In addition, L&C Essential Obsessions sells the couple’s handmade soy lotion candles, Orsulak said. Made with coconut oil, which melts at a very low temperature, the product may be poured directly on skin for a massage while the candle is still burning, she explained.

While the Moyock shop showcases the pampering products produced by the Orsulaks, shoppers will also find jewelry, handmade wooden signs, wooden bowls and personalized wine glasses and mugs.

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The shop’s inventory also includes crocheted items made by artisans locally and around the world, along with clothing and accessories from American Wildflower Boutique.

During the winter months, the store is only open on the weekend, but will return to regular weekday hours once the summer tourist season begins.

In addition to running their small business, the couple both have full-time jobs that they’ve held for years and aren’t ready to leave, Orsulak said. She works in an orthopedic office, and Mark Orsulak is a truck driver.

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The ribbon cutting, held in late December, was hosted by the Currituck Chamber of Commerce.

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