Hotels are facing a big change as legislation passes banning single use plastics. California just passed Bill AB1162 requiring hotels to use 6 ounce sized bottles or larger in the showers of all guest rooms by 2023 and New York has proposed similar action and will come to vote in Albany when the legislature convenes in early 2020. ​Many hotels are taking broadsweeping action ahead of mandates. Marriott International plans to stop using small plastic bottles in its hotel rooms by December of 2020. IHG, a hotel group which owns Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, among other brands, also stated it will eliminate about 200 million small bottles by 2021.​ IHG CEO, Keith Barr, explained “Switching to larger-size amenities across more than 5,600 hotels around the world is a big step in the right direction and will allow us to significantly reduce our waste footprint and environmental impact as we make the change.” More recently Mandarin Oriental made the environmental pledge to reduce single use plastics and Hyatt announced they will be eliminating mini shampoo bottles in all 219,308 of their hotel guest rooms.

As these large hotel groups and many independent properties say goodbye to the tiny shampoo and lotion bottles, hotels are turning to Marietta Hospitality to find sustainable dispenser solutions. Marietta has been involved with personal care dispensers and sustainable bulk liquids for decades; since they first introduced a dispenser option in 1997, long before it was on the political radar. Marietta has strategically partnered with the industry’s best dispenser innovators, and now offers the industry’s most comprehensive dispenser portfolio. Diversity is key and Marietta recognizes that each hotel has different goals and needs.


Marietta’s non-negotiable has always been quality, so dispenser partners are chosen carefully. The current high-quality dispensers are offered in a variety of well-respected personal care brands such as Aveda, Beekman 1802, Paul Mitchell and Soapbox; each thoughtfully-crafted and manufactured in the USA. Created with wellness in mind, Marietta formulates amenities with natural ingredients and purified water, avoiding harsh chemicals. The amenities also feature subtle, yet refreshing, fragrances and formulations that are gentle enough for daily use and appealing to men and women alike. Guests can confidently lather up knowing these products are made with care and expertise in FDA registered facilities.

Concern with form and function are understandable with such a big change, but guest satisfaction speaks for itself after using these dispensers that effortlessly blend sophistication, hygiene safety and sustainability allowing properties a refined answer to market demands. The units are locking, tamper-resistant, durable, easy to use, and are made with well-sourced materials. The elegant design choices, clean lines and quality construction make dispensers a perfect solution for even 4 and 5 star properties. Regarding sustainability, Marietta dispenser partner, Aquamenities™, performed research demonstrating that properties can expect up to a 98% reduction in waste each year.


A recently-released Priceline Generation Travel Index study confirmed what hotels have been witnessing. This study of more that 1,500 U.S. adults spanning four generations — Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers — revealed that across all generations “sustainability” was cited as the most important factor when choosing a hotel. The changing laws in California and New York are putting a timeline to the change, but sustainable solutions like dispensers are what guests are seeking anyways. It is an exciting time to be in the hospitality industry as we witness the creation of innovative answers to the pressing sustainability questions.


Explore Marietta’s dispenser portfolio

ShampooMattersHeader surveyed 1,000 travelers around the world to find out which in-room amenities people care about most. Coming in hot at number one was free Wifi – no surprise there. The second was a bathroom shower. With the shower, which after a long day of travel can feel like an oasis in the desert, comes: soap, body wash, conditioner, lotion, and of course, shampoo.

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Ah, shampoo. I have loved you for as long as I can remember. I still have very strong and positive smell memories associated with the shampoos of my childhood. But shampoo can be more than just a way to get clean. Your hotel’s shampoo brand is one of the most important selections to make, and according to Business Journal, research shows that guests would be willing to pay more for higher-quality bathroom products. Here’s why your hotel’s brand of shampoo matters:

1.) Personal care amenities are the only things you will offer your guests that will be used on – and absorbed into – their bodies! Choosing a high-quality product that was manufactured safely in the USA is an easy way to send a “we care about your body and your health” message to your guests. Shampoos formulated with parabens, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine, mineral oil, and other harsh ingredients will leave you with a dry scalp, damaged hair, or even a bad reaction. Your guests deserve something with naturally-derived ingredients and gentle, neutral smells to please and nourish their skin and hair

2.) Details matter and your savvy guests are paying attention like never before. Your shampoo (and other products on the bathroom counter) can elevate your hotel brand image and strengthen your brand story. A thoughtfully selected personal care brand will be an extension of your hotel’s brand and this cohesive experience will help guests feel confident in their hotel experience. Think about the main motivators in choosing high-quality, and environmentally-sound products for YOUR guests. Maybe it’s giving your guest the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping the hotel make a smaller environmental impact. Perhaps it’s to ensure guests are exposed to fewer chemicals. How about to highlight your support of locally created products? Talk to your branding and purchasing teams about this important element and the “why” behind it.

3.) How you package shampoo for your guest can boost your hotel’s eco-friendly campaign and overall message in a few ways. “In room products and amenities say so much about the hotel and give guests a great insight into the experience they can expect to have not only in the bathroom but throughout the hotel as a whole” said Sarah McCubbin, founder and managing director of boutique consultancy Pebble&co in an interview with BigHospitality. One way hotels can send the “we care about you, Earth!” message is by trading in the individual, 1-ounce bottles of product for refillable dispensers. Dispensers have become one of the industry’s fastest growing market trends, create minimal waste by being reusable and/or recyclable, and reduce your hotel’s carbon footprint by using fewer natural resources in manufacturing and transportation. Even more, your guests enjoy having ample supply of personal care products and the convenience of use (no freezing, dripping sprint from the shower to the sink when you forgot to bring in the shampoo) while recognizing and appreciating the environmental benefit.

4.) Bigger than your hotel brand, bigger than your guests’ individual experience is something else. Your shampoo choice can impact your local environment and water supply in a big way. Synthetic chemical compounds often found in commercial soaps and shampoo persist longer in the environment than natural compounds. These compounds are increasingly being found in natural lakes and rivers where they can affect the growth of aquatic habitats and marine life. So let’s zoom out. If an average hotel in the US has about 115 rooms and one guest taking a shower per room per day, and the US has approximately 5 million hotels, that’s 575 million tiny bottles of chemicals PER DAY running down the hotel shower drain and into the water. When you’re looking at that tiny bottle on your counter, it really doesn’t seem like much. But the impact is so much greater than we can imagine, and per folks at the Harvard Gazette, it’s catching up with us. And that’s just in the US – think about all the hotel showers all over the world! *cue vertigo* If the hotel concept itself is inherently wasteful (single-use everything), then we should be trying as much as possible to ensure we’re making small changes – because they add up to make a huge difference.

Obviously, Hotel Shampoo matters to Marietta. It’s pretty much all we talk about around here (LOL). Joking aside, this decision can significantly impact your guests individual experience and hair health, their overall impression of your hotel brand and your business’ environmental impact. Offering your guests a Marietta brand shows you care about your their individual experience and health, and will highlight your business’ eco-friendly leadership while supporting USA manufacturing. Choose wisely!​




Marietta Hospitality is proud to offer Farm to Skin® by Patricia Walker. Embracing a ‘plant based lifestyle’ – Farm to Skin provides the most beautiful, thoughtfully curated products using nature’s purest ingredients to balance, treat, and restore your skin.
The benefits of using these products are twofold; by using the purest ingredients found in Farm to Skin products, you will save your skin from harmful, unnecessary chemicals and you will help decrease the impact these chemicals have on our environment.
For more information visit:


Marietta Hospitality is proud to offer ODE Natural Beauty by McEvoy Ranch

What began at McEvoy Ranch with Tuscan olive tree seedlings on 80 acres of rich Northern California soil today yields an organic extra virgin olive oil of unparalleled quality. The bountiful land and a true intention to inspire thoughtful living are the foundation of ODE Natural Beauty. Rich and luxurious, moisturizing and healing, ODE Natural Beauty products are infused with vitamin-rich plant extracts and botanicals inspired by natural elements.

For more information visit:


The hospitality industry has a new mountain to climb. The first Gen Zers just turned 21, and they are surprisingly different from their millennial siblings. Right now 26% of the world’s population is in Generation Z, or those born between 1995-2014, which makes them the largest generation in the US. Resourceful, creative, humble – and always connected – this generation plans to learn from the past to create a world unlike anything we have ever seen. If millennials are the generation of optimists, Gen Z is more the generation of realists. Many have grown up witnessing their parents lose jobs during the Recession and their older siblings or cousins enter the workforce handcuffed by student debt, and are more likely to choose an alternative path.

Marietta has been a leading supplier of personal care hotel amenities for over 40 years; with a solid history of offering trusted brands to leading hotel groups and independent properties, we are no stranger to appealing to new and younger consumers. This extends to our brand portfolio, with brands like Aveda, Beekman 1802, Paul Mitchell, and Soapbox (among many  others!) leading the personal care product industry in appealing to the new generation. These are products with naturally-derived ingredients, minimal packaging, and a lighter step on the carbon footprint – all things that Gen Z expects from their favorite brands.

That being said, here are a few things the hospitality industry should know about their newest consumers:


These kids care. In November’s midterm elections, young people turned out more than they ever have in history. According to the New York Times, voter turnout was younger and more diverse than ever before. Outside the polling booth they vote daily with their wallets, doing their research and using brands that align with their personal values.

The hospitality industry can use this mission-driven desire to get these kids to pause their Instagram scrolling and double-tap. According to Pew Research Center, 46% of Gen Z is concerned about climate change. At this point, I think I can safely say if you’re not on the enviro-train, you’re way behind. In the past two years, nearly every hotel or bed & breakfast I’ve stayed at had some collateral displayed encouraging guests to contribute to the property’s green initiative by reusing towels or shutting off lights and AC before leaving the room. Travelling, especially work travel, can make the days and hotels blend together, but hotels that put thought into their amenity offerings with clean ingredients and the always-memorable made in the USA label, tend to stand out in the crowd. Marietta has been supporting innovative environmentally-conscious brands for years, proving that you don’t have to take a hit in sales to save a few trees. And the more transparent the better to appeal to Generation Z.


We learned from millennials that experiential marketing is becoming more and more important, and that is even more true for then next gen. Authentic brand experiences combined with something tangible and tactile will capture their attention and keep them coming back. Kieran Mathew, CEO of Amplify Solutions captured it well in an interview with Forbes:

Hotels caught on to this trend a few years ago by transforming lobbies into a more inviting space for this demographic. We’re seeing lobbies designed to feel more like a home with “living-room style” furniture, plush pillows and throws blending in to open cafe seating or a home-bar-inspired craft-cocktail bar. Instead of a private “business center” with desktops, tech and outlets are more accessible and blend into the setup of the entire lobby. Especially as remote work is on the rise, this aligns with our millennial and Gen Z consumers who are just looking for a place to plop down their laptop and plug in their phone.


It’s not enough to have USB plugs in the bedside-table lamps anymore. Gen Zers report the most media consumption of any other demographic. While Gen X and millennials are described as “addicted,” this generation hasn’t known a time without mobile devices, and hardly recalls wired internet – so it’s more an extension of themselves and everything they do. Gen Z reports 6-8 hours a day using technology through their phones, laptops and TV respectively (Sparks & Honey). Who can blame them – with the right show, you could knock that out in one Netflix binge alone.

At the last traditional hotel I stayed in, when they handed me my key, the front desk person rattled off a few of the local cable TV channels. If I’m being honest, those numbers went in one ear and out the other. Conversely, at a recent stay in a boutique hotel in upstate NY I was told that the “typical streaming services are already logged in: Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and Amazon Prime.” I perked up, realizing I could stream the new season of The Great British Bake-off right where I left off at home. It’s these types of services that Gen Z will be expecting more and more at their favorite hotels and B&Bs. Because let’s be real, they probably brought their laptop and are going to stream them off your wifi anyway (you have free wifi, right?!).


That same upstate NY boutique hotel did something else that would make millennials and Gen Zers swoon: they maintained the integrity of an original victorian mansion – artifacts, shotskis and all – while keeping things very clean and very functional. Case in point: There was a 70-year-old real silver ice box in my room next to the coffee maker, and it wasn’t just for decoration; hotel staff encouraged me to bring it downstairs if I wanted ice in my room. This is a great example of putting an original piece of history, matching their decor, in the important real estate that is a one-bedroom hotel room while keeping it practical and functional. Young consumers want this blend of trendy but a resourceful use of space. I did want ice! And I used that ice bucket!

The swooning continues. This is a LEED certified historic mansion with low voltage LED lighting throughout the building, heated bathroom floors, Nest thermostats controlling the geothermal heating and air-conditioning, free fiber-optic internet, 19th century furniture restored with a modern flair, and a collection of original art pieces by renowned 20th century artists. And outlets – so many outlets. Thank you for bringing history to life while keeping up with the 21st century.

Beekman 1802 is a perfect complement to the vibe this new generation loves so much. Products are packaged in a vintage, apothecary-style bottle that beckons feelings from a past era, an era free of the chemical concerns in our hair and skin products. Beekman 1802 is made with natural ingredients and purified water with no Parabens, no banned phthalates, no petroleum, no paraffin, no diethanolamine, and no mineral oil, and packaging is 100% recyclable to boot. This is music to a 20-something’s ears.


Human stories are what prevails for this demographic, and that’s what will add authenticity and perceived value to your brand or product. Studies show that accompanying a story with a product increases sales exponentially – and that’s the human connection that your Gen Z consumers will expect. Reviews are just stories told by fellow consumers, which is more trustworthy than a marketing sales pitch that this generation can see right through.

Marietta’s brand partners do this better than most. Soapbox for example, a mission-driven, natural personal care company gives back a bar of soap or a month of clean water to underserved regions in the US and internationally for every one purchased. In addition to their community-driven values, these products are free of drying chemicals like parabens and phthalates. This is the type of collaboration young people expect from their products.

Don’t know where to start? Instead of assuming, contact and involve an influential member of their community with your brand management process (pro tip: check YouTube – where the average Gen Zer spends 2 hours a day). The value of peer-to-peer marketing is endless for this demographic, which is why their favorite IG celebs and YouTubers are successfully persuading them on what products to buy. YouTube isn’t just entertainment, it’s a influencer’s market. Keep in mind: the average attention span of Gen Z is eight seconds, which makes your brand storytelling method all the more important.

Hotels would be wise to put a trusted Marietta brand on the counter that will immediately resonate with guests and establish trust knowing that this tribe is highly visual, and that personal care amenities are the only thing in the room that guests will be applying to their skin and hair. If they care about their guests’ health, they care what goes in and on your body, and they will take care in putting natural, chemical-free brands on their counters.


classic shower head set
This morning in the car, I tuned into a radio morning show just as the hosts were getting into a lively debate about toilet paper. The topic was clearly discussion-worthy: a new trend of eco-conscious families replacing toilet paper with reusable/washable clothes.
CarRadioInsetDespite information being available in support of either trees or hygiene risks (depending on which side of the debate each host was on) emotions, not facts, fueled the conversation – as is very often the case when convenience vs. sustainability face off. The recent announcements that major hotel chains around the world, such as IHG® and Marriott®, were going to be transitioning hundreds of properties to amenity dispensers were met with a similarly emotional response. Doing away with the tiny bottles came as a shock to many. Mini keepsake single use units of shampoo have been a symbol of travel and the hotel experience for decades (you know, since Marietta invented them *wink*) and people are emotionally attached to them, but let’s take a closer look at this change and what you can expect when standing face-to-face with your first hotel amenity dispenser.



Dispensers are a big change for hotels and guests alike. A quick Google on the topic quickly reveals very polarized camps on this issue. Those for dispensers are cheering for the environment and view any footprint reduction as a win. Dispenser skeptics usually site sanitization concerns and mourn the loss of the souvenir aspect of the individual use bottles.  In the interest of transparency, I’ll tell you that I have always looked forward to cute little hotel amenities that I can bring home, and there are many legitimate reasons why this 100% recyclable option will make more sense for many properties, but using a dispenser in a hotel personally provides me with a little bonus sense of accomplishment and I am a big supporter of any changes that any businesses are willing to make to help lessen the impact on our strained planet. When I stay at a hotel that has made the change, I associate them with progressive and mindful thinking and leadership. There are cost savings associated with this switch, yes, but they really aren’t significant enough to be the only driving factor. Research and surveys conducted at properties regarding new dispenser units have shown an overwhelming positive response from guests.

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Marietta has partnered with two of the leading dispenser companies – Aquamenities and ReadyCare (EcoEclipse system) – to help make this transition as smooth as possible for hotels and guests alike. Both programs blend sophistication and sustainability allowing properties a refined answer to this pressing hotel waste concern. For those concerned with cleanliness, the dispensers are locking, tamper-resistant and made from high grade stainless steel and durable mold-resistant plastic. The accompanying bottles are made from PET plastic, the most recyclable resin available. Aquamenities studies have shown that properties can expect an average of 40-60% reduction in cost and a 98% reduction in waste each year. They are stylish, environmentally-conscious, easy to install and there is no steep learning curve. I believe in the power of educational signage and would encourage properties to share the benefits and reasoning behind the dispenser somewhere in the guest room to get out ahead of any unfavorable perceptions by helping the guest feel like they are part of an important solution.




Beekman 1802, Aveda, Paul MitchellBABOR, Board & Batten, JR Watkins…there is certainly no sacrifice on product quality when making the jump to dispensers.

Bottle of essential oil with fresh herbal sage, rosemary, lemon

These are brands, held in high esteem, that have industry-wide reputations for innovation, progressive thinking, and thoughtful product development and they are enthusiastically on board the dispenser train knowing that these are the steps we all must take going forward to ease our impact on our planet. NO changes have been made to our favorite products – still the formulations we have loved for years all made in the USA free of parabens, banned phthalates, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine, and minerals oils. Made with 100% pure water that meets USP (United States Pharmacopeia) 32 & control standards for purified water in our FDA compliant manufacturing facilities. They are now just easily dispensed right there in the shower and at the vanity counter.

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We have enough evidence available to know that humans must change their habits to preserve this one precious earth.​ Denial just isn’t a good look. These dispensers prove that saving resources can be beautiful and simple. Marietta is proud to be supporting countless properties in reaching their sustainability and financial goals with our top-of-the-line dispenser programs. We understand that this can be a big change for hotels, so we have carefully curated a high-quality offering of branded, sophisticated, tamper-resistant dispensers that will become a natural extension of hotels’ brands. IHG®, InterContinental Hotels Group upscale Kimpton brand has been using big bottle dispensers successfully for nearly two years already and is implementing dispenser programs in four additional brands this year alone. Marriott implemented dispenser programs in 535 properties (as of 8/1/18 and still growing) and currently estimates reduction of 110kg of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel.​​ That is a lot of plastic NOT bound for a landfill. Also, just a friendly reminder, we have all been using soap dispensers in public restrooms for decades without flinching. Conservation efforts require us to look closely at what we have been doing and actively seek out better ways of doing it going forward. We must re-think our single-use disposable habits and remember that what is convenient is not always best…especially for the environment.

I would love to hear about any of your personal experiences, positive or negative, with dispensers in hotels!





Beauty is much, much more than skin deep at Soapbox, our newest personal care brand partner. Soapbox is built on a virtuous and sincere foundation and their safe, natural products are just the tip of their purposeful iceburg. So rare are companies that talk the talk and walk the walk, but walking seems like an understatement for Soapbox. They are RUNNING at all the right things and for all the right reasons. Delta Hotels by Marriott™ sent a clear message about their sustainability vision by partnering with Soapbox to create a one-of-a-kind amenity program.

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The exclusive amenity collection

Delta Hotels have been paying close attention to their guests’ evolving needs and have responded to increasing desires for transparency, memorable experiences and purpose by putting Soapbox amenities in each room. Guests can lather up confidently knowing their skin won’t be absorbing any harmful ingredients AND that a donation is being made in correlation. Soapbox created the unique label system “Hope Code,” SOAP = HOPE, which can be found on each and every product that bears their name. Their promise is straightforward: one retail product purchased equals one bar of soap donated and, through the power of the internet, you can see exactly where the “sister product” ended up. And in true Soapbox form, they wanted to apply this to their amenity program, as well. Every Soapbox Amenity Room Set equals one donation that you can trace through their website. This feature helps guests foster a connection with their cause, gives much desired transparency to philanthropic efforts, and leaves guests feeling confident in Delta Hotels, as well. This Soapbox + Delta Hotels partnership will donate 1.4 million bars of soap this year alone.

Soapbox’s beautiful packaging design translates perfectly to an amenity collection and what is on the inside of the bottles and wrappers is as pretty as the packaging. Gentle formulations and subtle scents developed with care are made from natural ingredients and guaranteed free of EDTA, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine, and mineral oils. Instead of all the aforementioned yuck, Soapbox amenities are formulated with argan oil which contains nutritive omega-9 and vitamin E which will promote healthier skin and hair.

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I was quickly hooked on their retail products. Both the Argan Oil line and Sea Minerals & Blue Iris line check all the boxes and then some. Ingredients are the most important aspect of any product I bring into my home, especially since I have little ones running around, so having Soapbox products in the shower and near the tub is a no-worries situation. The fragrances are spot on – uplifting without being overwhelming and I imagine have a wide appeal. My toddler was actually ASKING to wash his hands with the hand soap because he liked the smell so much. My hair and skin felt great after multiple applications. Finding products that work AND are safe always feels like such a win! I also headed on over to their website and typed in the Hope Code that was printed on the backside of the body wash label and learned that the correlating donation was through the HEEALS (Health Education Environment and Livelihood Society) in India that is working with public schools to bring hygiene items and training to areas effected by poor sanitation facilities. Better hygiene means healthier kiddos which means less school absences. And to think this is just one of many partners – what an impact!

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Middleman of empowerment

​While getting to know Soapbox and its impassioned creators, the term “empowerment middleman” entered my mind. This company is empowering underserved communities both in the US and around the globe while simultaneously empowering customers to make better choices by understanding the impact of their actions. This is huge. And as more and more individuals choose to make a difference by “voting with their wallets” Soapbox is a no-brainer. Over 3 million lives have been impacted by Soapbox soap purchases to date! In addition to the Hope Code initiative, they invest in hygiene education and fund sanitation efforts to provide tools for communities to improve overall health. But it is something that is missing from their approach that makes it all the more admirable: a savior complex. They have worked hard to develop a sustainable giving model that ensures the empowerment of people in these communities they serve by giving the gift of a long-term solution in the form of knowledge, tools, and resources.

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It seems to me that Soapbox is a beacon in the personal care industry shining a light to help guide others in the right direction. For even more inspiration and insight, take a minute to read the below Q&A I was able to have with David Simnick, CEO and Co-founder of Soapbox.

Q: Congratulations on the beautiful Delta Hotels amenity program! Are you prepared for a flood of new fans? We are so excited for the reach this partnership has because it will make a huge impact on the number of donations we’re able to do together! We can’t wait for travelers to experience our thoughtfully crafted line and to fall in love with our products and our mission that they make possible.

Q: What was the first spark for the Soapbox concept? What was your core strategy for putting together such a unique (and stellar) model? The idea of Soapbox was sparked while Dave, CEO & Co-founder of Soapbox, was working as a sub-contractor with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While the clean water initiatives were great, he saw a gap. Clean water was being provided but soap and hygiene lessons were not. Dave started Soapbox with his best friend in 2010, making the first batch of soap in his college kitchen.

Q: What are your “non-negotiables” when it comes to your brand? Non-negotiables has to be anything that compromises the soul of our brand, which is our mission and providing quality products to consumers. Soapbox’s foundation is the mission it serves and that’s done by providing fantastic hair and personal care items to consumers who then join us in donating soap and fund hygiene education to those in need. Parabens, EDTA, animal testing, animal products, gluten, petrochemicals, butylparaben, propylparaben and pthalates are also strictly excluded from our products. Anything that threatens the authenticity or quality is 100% no go’s for us.

Q: Tell me about your thought process behind the product line selection for the amenity program? Our Argan line is a top seller and the hand-crafted scent is one that is fresh, spa-like and gender neutral, making it a great kit for any man or woman staying at a Delta Hotel. Morrocan argan oil is also rich in vitamin E making it fantastic for hair and skin benefits so not only will guests feel pampered with their living arrangements, but also with their washing experience.

Q: Why was Marietta the best fit to help introduce your brand to the hospitality industry? The quality, experience and expertise that Marietta has to offer made the partnership an easy decision for us. Seeing as this was our first time going into the hospitality industry, and with our new thoughtfully crafted branding, we wanted to make sure we did it right and with a company that would best represent us. Also producing our products in the USA is something we want to continue to do as we grow into other outlets.

Q: It must be so exciting to think about all the new people who will experience your brand while traveling. What are the core values that Soapbox and Delta Hotels & Resorts share that made this a great match?
The ease and simplicity without sacrificing quality. Delta Hotels by Marriott provides an impeccable stay for its visitors with an array of amenities, that focuses on “the bare maximum”. Their hotels take out the complexities that other hotels focus on to stand out and rather hone-in on the details that matter and perfecting them.  Soapbox, like Delta Hotels, focuses on quality with simplicity by making it easy for consumers to be involved with a charitable brand without giving up the quality they look for in their personal and hair care. We deliver salon quality products without the salon price and offer an opportunity for consumers to be a part of an effort toward the greater good for others simply by purchasing an item that it already on their list to buy.

Q: Will you share one of your favorite aid stories (i know it will likely be hard to choose) That is a tough question. One that comes to mind is that of a woman named Madhuri that Erin Zaikis, founder of Sundara, shared with us. Madhuri currently holds the title of director of a Sundara soap workshop in Mumbai. Sundara is one of our amazing aid partners who sets up soap recycling workshops in the communities they serve. They give women employment opportunities and recycle soap that is then distributed and paired with hygiene education to those in the areas they work in.

Madhuri was a middle-aged, single woman without any traditional skill sets in search of employment to support her ill mother after the death of her father when she first joined the Sundara team. Being a single, uneducated woman from the slums of India was tough and she felt undesired, but Sundara saw so much potential in Madhuri.

“I can’t even remember the person I was before this job. This organization took a chance on me and I want to show them that it was a good choice. A job like this is a privilege. Working hard at it makes me feel good.”-Madhuri

She was offered the job and worked her way up from creating the bars of soap to managing book-keeping and training new hires. Her perseverance and determination are admirable. She’s learning new skills and has taught herself English. Most importantly she sees the value and impact she has made, and continues to make, on her local community.

“I used to think that I could only give back if I was rich, when I was older, if I had a husband…but now I know that even I can help my community in some small way. We all can do our part. I feel proud to be able to help.”-Madhuri

Stories like Madhuri’s inspire us and fuel the extra long work days that turn into work weekends. Our fans make our mission possible and our mission is making a life-changing impact on those we serve. It’s not just about soap. The impact is so much larger than that and Madhuri’s story is the perfect example of that.

Q: Message delivery around philanthropic endeavors can be tricky, any learnings you could share about how you tell your story? One word: authenticity. You must be authentic in the way you message a mission-driven company. Without authenticity, you have no credibility and no genuineness to your brand.

For more information about the brand visit


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“Aspects of Marietta Hospitality’s differentiators – Made in USA, Sustainability, Quality, and Reliability”

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Gone are the days of slick marketing tricks and gullible consumers. Today’s buyers are intelligent and they are pulling back the curtain on major brands by asking tough questions and demanding transparency. Today’s Consumers are more connected and informed than ever and because of it they are holding companies to higher standards. Smart brands are responding by getting real.

Here at Marietta, we know it’s not enough just to have pretty packaging and a good price point.  Modern consumers research their brands and want to know who they are, where they come from and what their values are. Most anyone can fabricate a slick brand image, but what does your company stand for?  So we asked ourselves:In a sea of seamless aesthetic styling, and plethora of personal care brands, how do we stand out? We believe the answer is telling the truth while continually perfecting and cultivating our process to remain authentic, thoughtful and compassionate to our consumers. So, how do we remain authentic?

We start at home.

From start to finish, we handle every step of the process at home in our USA facility. That includes everything from having the right brand partners, crafting fragrance/ formulation to lab testing for safety and quality. We strive to maintain our standard of excellence from a quality control perspective and by reducing our energy usage and resource expenditure.

“Marietta owns FDA regulated facilities that recognized brand partners are comfortable to support allowing us to provide our customers with the best brands in the industry.Having our manufacturing facilities in the USA allows us to provide the highest fill rate levels in the industry as we have control of the supply channel as well as provide our customers with quality products they can trust.”
– Melissa Giamichael, VP of Business Development

We remain dedicated to sustainability and our impact on the environment.

“Marietta is making its products more ethically and environmentally friendly. Initiatives like making their products free from animal testing and committing to never use “conflict minerals” or ingredients that are retrieved by destroying natural habitats are just few of the company’s implementations.”
– Adrian Buzea, Regulatory Affairs Associate

Read more on our green practices here

With consistency and integrity, there is reliability.

By working with the largest selection of trusted brands and staying true to our values, we can assure our customers the quality and service they expect.

We recognize that authenticity is earned not by ‘what we say we are’ but what our customers say we are! And the word on the street is spot on!


THE CHANGING FACE OF THE HOTEL GUEST  You can’t play a new game by the old rules. The much studied Millennial generation is changing the game. All the games, across all industries. And, considering that approximately 50% of the workforce will be Millennials by 2020 (Forbes) this is a crucial time for hotels to be watching, listening, researching, and willing to let go of how things were done in the past. And, don’t forget, that Gen Z – the ones younger than Millennials, are even more determined and savvy and, at roughly 25% of the population, are a larger tribe than Baby Boomers or Millennials. 

While looking to book a hotel room recently, I saw a beautiful promotion for Marriott’s “redesigned guest room.” Knowing that Marriott, and its other large franchise friends such as IHG and Wyndham Hotel Group, have been working hard for many years to shed any same-everywhere-cookie-cutter hotel image perception, I was excited to see what changes they made to boost their appeal for today’s guests. Let’s take a look at the changing desires of these hotel guests and how Marriott and other hotels are trying to keep pace. 


SPECIAL AND UNIQUE  Today’s and tomorrow’s guests are seeking an individualized experience that is more focused on meaningful interactions and customized care, and less about the low price quick sell. This shift can be attributed to a number of things. To start, we now have access to endless streams of information and consumers are learning and evolving at a pace that is challenging to keep up with. What has worked in the past, does not work now. Marriott has recognized this shift claiming that the redesigned rooms are “Inspired by you” and are “More chic. More you.” You, you, you for the me, me, me generation! They demonstrate how they are now decorating the rooms with “real art”  and Pinterest-worthy “hardwood floors with accent rugs.” They are also installing bike racks in the closets of select hotels. Personal care amenity brands are very carefully selected, as they are essential to a cohesive brand offering and are often one of the more memorable guest room experiences. Marietta strives to always have a well-rounded amenity collection offering so each property can find the best way to make their guests feel special. The days of the mass-produced vibe are gone. Hotels also had no choice but to take note of what was drawing guests towards the customized experiences the sharing economy (i.e. AirBnb, HomeAway) could offer and take a long, hard look at their current models. AirBnb filled a large void in the travel industry allowing guests to break out of the hotel box. 

LUXURY REDESIGNED The shift in the definition of hotel luxury seems to be running in parallel to the resurgence in popularity of mid-century modern furniture and design. Perhaps this is because the same mantra can be shared: form follows function. Once, hotels could throw money at shiny things, bigger things, fancy things and call it luxury. What resonates now is not conspicuous opulence, but smart, purposeful design that meets actual needs. These new thoughtful, savvy guests can spot cut-and-paste design from a mile away and won’t even come close to falling for traditional marketing tactics. Consumers are seeking businesses with a true, clear identity rooted in integrity, transparency and creativity…and details matter. While exploring my hotel room I want to notice something and think “well, that’s clever” because it means someone paid attention and designed a product, service or process to meet a need that I possibly didn’t even know I had. We are now exposed to incredible design on a daily basis through various social media platforms and with many more examples to draw on outside of our personal first-hand experiences, guests are much more attune to the impact of thoughtful design and how they feel in a space.


THE POWER OF OPTIONS These modern hotel guests seek comfort in the form of options and hotels now understand that they can’t be a one-size-fits-all offering. In the past, hotels could cater to a specific group and attract that specific group. But with 4.8 Million average number of guests each night – and growing (The American Hotel and Lodging Association 2015 Survey) hotels should be seeking a wide variety of guests by creating opportunities for them to have choices/options. Millennials are serious about crafting their identity and they want to feel confident in the brands they choose. This choose-your-own-adventure type model can best be seen in recent changes to hotel lobbies. With lots of research to back the design choices, hotels have been re-configuring lobby spaces to be optimal gathering spots for all types. The level of interaction people desire with others will vary from person to person and day to day, so spaces are designed to accommodate both socializing and a bit of isolation with a thoughtfully placed chair or table. Be together, be alone, be whatever, but be it comfortably in the smartest hotels. Marriott also boasts “multi-purpose surfaces” in the redesigned rooms allowing for the various ways people work, live and multi-task. 

CONNECTION, PURPOSE, WELLNESS These new purpose-driven generations of hotel guests are, more than any other generation, looking for ways to align their spending with their values. They are less likely to accept offerings at face-value and are eager to form a more meaningful connection to the “why” behind the brand or offering. They want to feel strongly about their choices and want to discover special things to share with others. The wellness trend that spans multiple generations and touches nearly every industry has conditioned people to seek a comfortable and stress-free experience. And while the Baby Boomers have adapted to the wellness trends, the Millennials are again the focus here as they are are more willing to spend money on special self-care – nearly twice as much as the Boomers. Personal Care Brands have a very unique opportunity to design amenity programs with these detail-focused hotel guests in mind. These guests are paying attention to product quality more than any other generation and Marietta’s licensed brands such as Aveda, Pantene, Paul Mitchell, Beekman 1802, Matrix Total Results, and JR Watkins are made in the USA from natural ingredients and certainly will meet the needs of these health-conscious consumers while becoming natural extensions of hotels’ brands. 

While we are comfort seeking creatures, we are also seeking joy and memory-making experiences. Hotels must continue to evolve from purely “lodging” to “lifestyle” brands with greater purpose by considering branded experiences that extend outside the hotel’s walls. Think, perhaps, a super-powered concierge that provides classes or food tours for starters. Hotels should seek out opportunities to host events, foster a sense of community, and bring all these connection-craving individuals together in their space so those individuals forever associate those warm and fuzzy feelings of kinship and belonging with that property. 


HIGH TECH, BUT NOT TOO MUCH Over 60% of hotel research begins on a mobile device, but the process has to transition to a human eventually or the experience will feel too cold. Not enough tech and the property could feel like Little Hotel on the Prairie. Sophisticated, modern guests need a balance of tech and face-to-face offerings and experiences. And it must be understood that this equation can be different for the same person depending on if they are on a leisurely vacation or an important business trip. Or the offering needs to make sense for a local or a guest hailing from a different country. There is an opportunity here for hotels to provide guests with options for the level of interaction they are craving. Since tech is widely available now, service and humanity can be a true differentiator between two otherwise very similar hotels. 

THE ABANDONED MINI BAR As discussed, guests want to interact and explore. They want to connect over a drink and an appetizer in a hotel common area instead of sequestered away in their room eating a $14 bag of Cheese Nips out of the mini bar. OK, truthfully a part of me will always want to be in a hotel room by myself surrounded by snacks I don’t have to share with anyone, but if I am traveling for leisure the prospect of being able to seamlessly transition into a space designed to bring people together in a shared experience is very attractive. Large contiguous communal spaces with more natural light and well-sourced materials are the hotel version of the popular “great room” house feature people look for while home shopping on Zillow. Similar to working on your laptop in a coffee shop, people are seeking the “together alone” experience in communal gathering spots. Driven by social media, guests also want to want to document and share unique experiences. I suspect that interior designers are factoring “Instagram backdrop-ability” into design concepts these days. 

Catering to these rapidly evolving consumer wants and needs is no small task. Authenticity, creativity and a true purpose seem to be safe bets with these new breeds of hotel guests. Hotels should start there. 


Guest Author, Nikola Cline, Founder of Brandettes

We all know that consumers love to try before they buy, which is why sampling is a vital component of any marketing plan. In the beauty industry, the most memorable experiences happen on a personal level, where customers can touch, smell and interact with the product. Most brands spend thousands, if not millions, on trial at the point of sale, whether it’s a gift with purchase or a beauty box subscription. Depending on the space you’re in, these methods are a solid part of the marketing mix, but it’s time to look beyond.


If you’re wondering what an amenity program can do for your brand, consider this: Where can you sample a beauty product to a potential customer in the same room where they will actually use it? A hotel amenity program is one of the most compelling and forward-thinking sampling opportunities today, and it should be on every marketer’s radar.

Amenities are a key part of the hotel experience. They are, by definition, the identifiable and unique extras that hotels provide guests to maximize comfort. In personal care, it’s the tiny-sized products found on the bathroom vanity, in the shower, or sometimes even bedside. According to a 2016 study conducted by Deloitte*, travelers today are seeking brands that offer outstanding service individualized to their particular needs. Hotel amenities, in particular, are a great opportunity for both sampling and brand experience. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and bar soap are no longer plain label commodities haphazardly strewn on the bathroom counter—they are high-powered brand partnerships, carefully crafted to elevate the guest experience. And, of course, they elevate the visibility and profitability of the brands involved.

Amenity partnerships are lucrative for the beauty brand and the hotel partner alike. Over 40% of hotel guests surveyed say they have purchased a personal care product that they first tried during a hotel stay—and typically, they do so within 90 days. Even the most sophisticated sampling program would be hard-pressed to yield anything close to those results, let alone drive that kind of exposure 365 days a year.

If you’re considering an amenity program, or are just curious, here are 9 Key Points for creating a solid amenity program with standout results:

1) ASSESS – Look at your brand and assess which hospitality partners could be a good fit. Look for hotels that share your brand’s vision, mission, demographics and design aesthetic. Consider partners that offer enhancements for your already-established core audience, not a divergent consumer group. Hospitality programs are best used to complement your brand, not revamp it.

The Aveda® brand relationship with the Renaissance Hotels® is a great example of a strong synergy between brands. These brands share core values, with Aveda becoming a natural extension of the Renaissance Hotels® guest experience.

2) CALCULATE – Run the numbers and offer products in your brand that have healthy margins and wide appeal. Keep in mind, some hotel partners may have refined taste on a limited budget.

3) DIG IN – Amenity programs, like everything else, depend on successful execution. Before you reach out to hotel partners, it’s essential that you line up your operations support ahead of time. Experts will help alleviate the pains associated with trailblazing a new relationship of this scale.

4) PICK PACKAGING – Develop prototype packaging that complements your brand and products. Be mindful of cost, washroom merchandising and recyclability. Make it functional—a clear or translucent package is often preferred by hotels, so their housekeeping staff can determine if a bottle is new or needs to be replaced.

5) PRESENT – Create a short but powerful presentation that showcases the best your brand has to offer. Include the founder’s story, brand vision, demographics, top sellers, product awards, press, social media following and media.

 6) PROMOTE – Be of service and consider ways you can partner with the hotel brand to drive a memorable experience. Do this through custom promotions, special events, new product exclusives and social media partnerships that don’t just give love to the launch, but add value for the long term.

7) REACH OUT – Get help from the inside and look for ways to involve team members, from a variety of disciplines, on both sides. Often hotel brands have a task force of well-respected franchise owners or hotel managers that offer incredible guest insights. Take the opportunity to get feedback from this group on how to make the partnership work seamlessly.

8) TAP INTO SOCIAL MEDIA – Promote engagement opportunities at the launch of your program and ongoing. Social media takeovers and influencer marketing programs are excellent ways to amp up the exposure and generate excitement for all brands. The direct-to-consumer engagement can also be tracked and followed-up on much better than traditional advertising.

9) WORK FOR THE LONG HAUL – Be prepared for your amenity program acquisition phase to be a marathon, not a sprint. Multi-year, exclusive amenity programs for large global brands are now the norm. The more you can understand about a potential partner, and truly work with them across multiple channels, the more likely you are to win favor.

Embracing the right amenity program for your brand can dramatically increase your product’s reach, add meaningful revenue to the bottom line and increase trial. We all know that customers are more likely to purchase a product after trying a sample. With hotel amenities, you can expand your reach and place your brand in the right place at the right time for a future sale. What could be more hospitable than that?

nikola-cline-portraitNIKOLA CLINE ( is the award-winning founder of Brandettes, an LA-based agency that supports CPG brands with brand strategy, product innovation and strategic partnerships. Nikola secured the largest global amenity partnership active today, between Paul Mitchell and Marriott International, during her 10+ years leading marketing for John Paul Mitchell Systems.

Footnote: *www2.​deloitte.​com