Jackson County

Can’t miss it: Billboard points directly at Ocean Springs soap shop

Vanessa Mueller, owner of Marina Cottage Soap Co., came up with a solution for people missing her retail shop on U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs. A billboard now points to her shop.
Vanessa Mueller, owner of Marina Cottage Soap Co., came up with a solution for people missing her retail shop on U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs. A billboard now points to her shop. klnelson@sunherald.com

It’s a clever sign — a huge billboard that says “You Just Passed Marina Cottage Soap Co.”

In it, two women are pointing right to the shop.

“It’s perfect,” said owner and manager Vanessa Mueller. “You can’t miss us now.”

People come in and ask, ‘Do you sell to the public?’ We say, ‘Come on in, we’re a store.’

Vanessa Mueller, owner of Marina Cottage Soap Co. in Ocean Springs

Mueller came up with the idea because people kept missing her retail soap store on U.S. 90 in east Ocean Springs. And it’s working. If drivers miss the turn, they see the billboard and double back.

She said the relatively new billboard and digital advertising have doubled traffic to her shop.

The shop is on the highway instead of downtown because it also manufactures and sells soaps wholesale. Mueller produces specialty soaps and ships them around the world. She has been in the soap business for four years. She was invited to do swag bags for the Oscars and Golden Globes.

She’s proud the shop is in Ocean Springs — she has it on her labels — but the highway location has been tricky for attracting shoppers. Small retail signs aren’t allowed near the highway, so it’s easy to miss her.

“People come in and ask, ‘Do you sell to the public?’ ” she said. “We say, ‘Come on in, we’re a store.’ ”

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