22-year owner of Glenwood Springs’ Body and Soul closing shop
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – After 22 years as owner of Body and Soul, Marge Thiel has decided to retire.Body and Soul’s last day will be Aug. 31.
Thiel has been selling lotions, perfumed body oils, bath products, candles, and pretty much anything a girly-girl would want.She began her business career in body products when she worked for Body and Soul’s previous owner, at its original location in the King Mall across Grand Avenue.”I enjoyed it; the customers who came in for body products are pretty positive, upbeat people,” said Thiel.Body and Soul was an established business that started out in Aspen and then moved to Glenwood Springs. She jumped at the chance to own the store when it came up for sale. The business also had a mail-order part to it, and now she has approximately 200 mail-order customers.Body and Soul moved to 727 Grand Ave. two years ago. Now the lease is up, and Thiel didn’t want to obligate herself to a long time period. She took her chance to retire.It’s bittersweet for the people-person with lovely skin behind the counter. “It’s time to retire,” she said. “I’ll be glad, and it’ll be time to go after 22 years. I’ll miss the great people, and other businessowners. Even the mail-order customers, I feel I know them, even though I’ve never met them.”
Thiel wants all her customers to know there is a business in Grand Junction that carries the same products she offers, and she invites her customers to come by Body and Soul before she closes to get that contact information. She has also sent out letters to her mail-order customers to let them know as well.Before Thiel was slathering on the perfumed body lotions, she worked as an underground electrician for Mid-Continent for a couple of years.”I was insane at the time,” she joked. “I took care of the electrical machines and repaired underground cables. The pay was terrific, with good insurance and benefits. But when they wanted to change my shifts, I just couldn’t manage it with two children.”Thiel has lived in New Castle for 32 years. An old trailer once stood on her property on C Avenue, or the old “Cemetery Road.” With the help of her friends, Thiel built the house she lives in now on the back of her property, while living in the old trailer. It took 15 or 16 years from the time she started until she got the certificate of occupancy, because she paid for the construction as she went along. Whenever she ran out of money, construction stopped.”The best part was not having a mortgage payment,” she said. “And getting to build it like I want it to be, not having to settle with someone else’s house. It was a big job, lots of construction stuff all around, but it was real nice when it was done. ” But when the house was finished, there was no way to get the entire trailer out. “One day I decided to take it apart, piece by piece, because I’m totally out of my mind,” Thiel laughed. “I unscrewed all the screws, a couple of strong women helped me roll the tin roof up and push it off the side of the trailer. I took apart all the rest and burned what I could.”
Until the mayor came by and told her she shouldn’t be burning. Then she used a large truck, and made lots of trips to the dump with the remaining pieces. She also took full advantage of the town trash disposal system, putting out large garbage bags of insulation. She’s got all sorts of plans for with her spare time starting in September. She wants to visit the Snowmass monastery, participate in yoga retreats, and take a train across Canada to see polar bears, and take photos of them. Her favorite place to visit is Italy. She’s been to Rome, Florence and small towns on the coast. The architecture of Italian churches intrigues her, and she walked up 463 steps to see the main dome of one of them.”I want to do stuff,” she said. “If I get really bored and run out of stuff to do, I might find a job a couple days a week, but that won’t be happening very soon.”Thiel enjoys her life in New Castle and isn’t going anywhere permanently.”I love it here, I think it’s perfect,” concluded the retiring businessowner.Thiel can make you laugh and make you think. Stop by and give her a good-luck hug before the end of the month. She’s one strong woman. And she smells good, too.
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