Trevor Ottaway grew up in a family of self-starters and entrepreneurs on the sandy beaches of Topsail Island, situated on the southern coast of North Carolina. His upbringing inspired him to pursue an education in entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University, where he completed both is undergrad and graduate degrees. In between studies, Trevor developed a successful business plan, transitioning his family’s linen and beach equipment rental company from a brick-and-mortar operation, to a fully functional, mobile-friendly e-commerce business. Trevor’s career pursuits include IT, business management, digital marketing and programmatic advertising, and on the side, his hobbies included soap making and the creation of various bath products. His partner, Gene Hassell, is also from the North Carolina coast, and has a career background in IT and business management, as well as specializing in product/project management and information systems consultation. Gene is also an accomplished handyman, with skills that include electrical work, plumbing, construction, and a hobbyist of woodworking and candle making.
Their career pursuits have taken them out of the country and back again, and in 2019, Gene was offered a job in Seattle and they made the move to the Pacific North West. Although it was a new and exciting adventure, they both grew up in small towns and living in Seattle seemed daunting, and not quite home to them. When they discovered Bainbridge Island, they knew they’d found their new home—as Trevor so eloquently put it, “Everywhere you look there’s dense forest with tall, swaying trees in every shade of green. Some with smooth bark, some with rough pine bark and some with bright terracotta colored bark that is peeling off to reveal a smooth underwood that glows in the sunlight (I’ve learned this is Madrona). I love smelling the fir trees and flowering plant clusters while walking my dogs first thing in the morning. There are so many fantastic parks too! From the enchantment of Grand Forest that is bursting with life all year long in a vibrant green sea of ancient ferns underneath a canopy of towering trees with hanging moss, to the sandy beaches of Fay Bainbridge with its impressive natural collection of salty driftwood along the shoreline, to the surreal and existential journey through the historical Japanese Exclusion Memorial…”
When the pandemic hit, they were both professionally impacted, and like most people they were inclined to panic, instead they decided to make the best of it, and utilize their years of professional experience, combined with their beloved hobbies, and Bainbridge Trading Company was born. The original product line consisted of handmade soaps and candles, and within the first few weeks, they were fulfilling wholesale orders in Seattle. This allowed them to expand quickly to include a variety of skincare products such as lotions, body gels, lip balms, massage oils and hand sanitizers – all infused with their unique signature scents! All their products are handmade, with ethically sourced eco-friendly ingredients free of harmful chemicals, and Trevor and Gene continuously monitor and research their suppliers to ensure they remain so.
“We’re on a mission to make no-nonsense hygienic products that leave you feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to go.”
For now, they’re primarily an e-commerce business and their products can be found on their website, or on the shelves of Ken’s Market in Ballard. They offer free shipping on orders over $75.00, or if you’re local, you can usually arrange for curbside pick-up at their location here on Bainbridge Island. Going forward, they plan on expanding into the greater wholesale market in King and Kitsap counties, and participating at local venues, such as farmer’s markets. In addition, they make regular product donations to charitable drives.
They don’t take themselves too seriously though, Trevor thinks it would be fun to create a beautiful soap or candle with the most horrible smell imaginable that you can “gift” to your worst enemy. He’s constantly coming up with whacky and whimsical ideas and loves receiving feedback from their customers on new product ideas and types of fragrances they’d like to see Bainbridge Trading Company create. To keep up to date on new products, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
*Images and logo provided by, and used with permission from Bainbridge Trading Company