We had the good fortune of connecting with Robyn French Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robyn, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I started college as a Biology major. And don’t get me wrong, I loved biology. I never really had to study and I still got perfect grades. I would listen to the lectures and then, like magic, all the ideas were just there in my brain, and it was fantastic. The only problem was I just could not seem to pass chemistry which, unfortunately, is an important part of a degree in biology. After my first semester I took an art class to buffer my GPA. It was through that class that I realized that what I loved about biology wasn’t the material, but the ordered artistry of it all, because there is an intrinsic beauty in science.

I didn’t know it then, but the seed had been planted that maybe art, not science, was my thing. Over the years I had jobs that were good, and jobs that were terrible, but somehow to make any job fun or bearable I would end up accessing the creativity within myself. It was like art just oozed out of me and couldn’t be contained. Looking back I can see it as a recurring theme in everything I did. So more than anything I believe that art pursued me, and I simply surrendered.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was always a bit of a chameleon growing up–mostly fitting in wherever I was, but never feeling quite at home or at ease in any given situation. I had a lot of anxiety and would day dream as an escape. Often times in my mind I would obsessively turn ideas over and over. Thinking of alternate paths to established routines calmed me.

As an adult this often led me to bump heads with my superiors who wanted me to follow protocols that were flawed, or inefficient. I found it hard to make my life fit in with the expected norms of 9-5 jobs and always knew at the back of my mind that if I were given the chance to just be myself and live in my skin that I would succeed and thrive.

In 2013 my world fell apart and instead of looking at it as an ending, I viewed it as an opportunity. I began to focus on the essential me, on allowing kindness and open compassion to be the driving force of my journey. I began to share who I was with others without fear of rejection, finding along the way that I loved to make people laugh, and I loved to laugh with them. By using art to share the things that I thought had broken me, I began to deeply connect to others and offer them hope.

Even though I now own 2 businesses, my main focus is on teaching others. My background is in graphic design and fine arts and yet I spend most of my time teaching diy handcrafters how to paint bath bombs or pipe bubble frosting. So am I living in my life’s purpose? I say yes. It wouldn’t matter what medium I chose, or how I express my art–being able to use creativity to connect to other humans and let them know they aren’t alone and that life gets better–that’s all I want my body of work to represent.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If someone was visiting Houston with me we would go to Cafe Brazil for breakfast then walk across the street to Common Bond for macaroons. Don’t fuss with all the other pastries–they are good, don’t get me wrong–but a half dozen vanilla macarons will change your life. A short walk to the Rothko chapel and the Menil, taking time to lounge around in the grass under giant trees are both essential experiences in my opinion. You might catch couples yoga on the lawn outside the Menil or Tai Chi in front of the broken obelisk at the Rothko, but those would just be bonus points. If you have time stop by People’s Acupuncture and take the best nap of your life. Take time to visit EADO! It’s got so many hidden gems right off telephone road! At Bloom Handcrafted Beauty Products you can snag some of my products along with tons of other local handcrafted soaps, candles, and more representing some of Houston’s best makers. Next to Bloom are a handful of boutiques, and sweet shops that make the trip entirely worthwhile. Take a cheat day from your diet and have lunch at Alfred’s Burger House, or for something completely unexpected wander down to Tout Suite. Wrap up your weekend with an evening of live blues and moody jam sessions at Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar and you’ll have tapped into some of the best experiences Houston has to offer.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
For my husband and children who have always believed in me

Website: bathfizzandfoam.com scandaloussoap.com

Instagram: @bathfizzandfoam @scandaloussoap

Facebook: @bathfizzandfoam @scandalousoap

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiJuplOyujpbRssj-VCStPA

Other: I own 2 businesses, so even though I was contacted about Scandalous Soap Co, my main business is Bath Fizz and Foam! Feel free to check out both!

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.