PAOLA — Julie Zoller’s Fire Lake Soapery based in Paola is about to gain national attention.
It all began with a chance encounter with Dave and Jenny Marrs of the hit HGTV series “Fixer to Fabulous.”
Julie and Bob Zoller were staying at The Victoria Bed and Breakfast in Bentonville, Ark., when the owners asked if the Zollers would mind being filmed for an upcoming television show. It just so happens that the Marrs were filming at the bed and breakfast that morning.
The Zollers jumped at the opportunity and really enjoyed talking with Dave and Jenny. As a thank you, Julie put together a basket of Fire Lake Soapery products.
“I asked the producer to give Jenny the bag of our products,” Julie said. “She told me, ‘you give it to her,’ so I did, and Jenny loved it.”
Dave and Jenny said they are opening a new bed and breakfast and mercantile store in Bentonville, and they want Fire Lake Soapery products to be featured there.
“We talked for over an hour about our products and how she wants us to create products for their new bed and breakfast and their new store,” Julie said. “We were over the moon.”
The new business venture is going to be featured in a spinoff series called “Fixer to Fabulous: Welcome Inn,” which will stream on Discovery Plus in early 2022.
A film crew even showed up in August at the Fire Lake Soapery location in Bentonville to get some footage for the new show. In addition to the production facility and retail store in Paola, Fire Lake Soapery also features its products inside Skin KC in Brookside Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., and inside Oli + Meg in Bentonville, Ark.
In preparation for the filming, Julie and Karen Dietrich of Fire Lake Soapery hauled some soap production equipment to the Bentonville store.
“Jenny comes into the store, and I’m making soap,” Julie said of the filming. “They then film us making soap together, which Jenny didn’t know she was going to do. The producer caught her off guard.”
Dietrich said the entire experience was unforgettable.
“It was fun, they were sincerely interested, and they bought a ton of our products,” Dietrich said.
The filming took place Aug. 19, and Julie, Karen and Michele Bridges recently were invited to attend the HGTV VIP Premiere Party for the third season of “Fixer to Fabulous,” which premiered Nov. 17 on HGTV.
The premiere party was Nov. 16, and Fire Lake Soapery bars were included in swag bags for VIPS.
Julie said she expects the “Fixer to Fabulous” episode featuring the Zollers to air in February on HGTV and the episode of “Fixer to Fabulous: Welcome Inn” featuring Fire Lake Soapery to also air in February on Discovery Plus.