Slow Down, and Soak: Hamptons Spa Sand Taps Inspiration from East End

Hamptons Spa Sand, an artisanal line of sea salts, is the newest creative venture from Dawn Watson.

Dawn Watson is a lover of the simple pleasures in life — fresh organic food, serene walks on the beach, luxurious bubble baths.

And she is all about the East End.

Formerly known as the Hamptons Party Girl — who would bounce from event to event all summer long, camera in one hand and a glass of rosé in the other — Ms. Watson is taking the time to slow down, or more specifically, “slow down and soak.”

“I’m a bath person,” she said. “I’ll take a bath over a shower any day. And I started mixing up my own stuff.”

Her latest venture, Hamptons Spa Sand, takes East End luxury off of the beach and into the bathtub, via a new line of artisanal sea salts that reflect the beauty of her local surroundings through five distinct colors and scent profiles: Hydrangea, Beach, Sunrise, Sunset and, of course, Rosé.

Just two weeks into her new business, Ms. Watson has already landed her first large sale with LocaLI Bred, which will include Hamptons Spa Sand in their spring subscription gift box, packed with goods from makers and artisans across Long Island.

“The response has been amazing so far,” she said. “Everyone I’ve sent stuff to, or emailed about, has gotten back with me, and I think I’m gonna have a great launch — and I think this is a perfect time for people to take care of themselves. People are looking for solace or comfort, so it’s a good time.”

It was also a good time, and a moment of realization, for Ms. Watson, after she found herself among the millions furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While her job as the public relations manager for Douglas Elliman Hamptons would be waiting in the wings, it was time to stop putting her dreams on hold, too.

“I have all these little ideas of stuff I wanted to do,” she said. “Once I got furloughed, I was like, ‘I’m doing this, man! I’ve got this time on my hands, I’m free and I’m gonna make this entrepreneurial dream of mine happen.’”

And she did.

After finding a company to supply her with natural sea salt — which she grinds up super fine to mimic the powdery sand of the Hamptons — Ms. Watson began experimenting with colors and scents, landing on her final five. Sunset is dramatic and bold, with a summer citrus scent, while Sunrise is bright and lemony, fresh and invigorating, “an excellent way to greet the day,” she said.

Beach is crisp and clean, colored to match the blue waves of the ocean, and Hydrangea taps inspiration from the East End’s most ubiquitous flower, available in lavender- and blue-tinted hues, with a fragrance redolent of the cutting garden.

Last is Ms. Watson’s signature sea salt, Rosé — pretty, fruity and pink, with a hint of decadence — which was her clear first choice for the line.

“I live in a pink house — Chateau Rosé,” she said with a laugh. “I love rosé. The former Hamptons Party Girl has got to love the rosé. So that’s my favorite, and, plus, it’s the prettiest to photograph.”

The entrepreneur currently handles all aspects of her grassroots business, from the marketing and photography down to the packaging itself, which is environmentally friendly and eco-compostable.

“I actually hand-stamp all of them, so it’s all really minimally processed, non-invasive stuff,” she said. “I just make them at my kitchen table.”

Each 2.5-ounce packet, available for $5, is ideal for one soak, while the 5-ounce size for $10 is suitable for two. By summer’s end, fellow bath lovers can expect to see Sand and Privet added to the triple-scented line, as well as larger portions.

“For me, this is a dream come true, to be able to do something like this, and I think it’s the first of many things that I’m looking to explore,” she said. “It’s come from a place of just loving myself and pampering myself, and wanting to have a moment of quiet, and I hope that other people get that same experience and satisfaction when they use it, and I hope they love it as much as I do.”

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