If there is one thing you should know about Schitt’s Creek, it is that I love every single character equally. You will too. And how often does that happen? Most television shows usually have at least one boring or frustrating subplot – even your own family is likely to be cast with an intolerable character or two. Not Schitts. Now showing on Hulu, the comedy follows the once wealthy Rose family who are getting used to life without money in the rural town of Schitt’s Creek. While the first season is admittedly slow, I drove through the show like I was running late. (I was at the party.) Of particular note to beauty lovers reading is Rose Apothecary, a fictional general store founded by prodigal son David Rose and his business partner Patrick. The shop sells a curated selection of local artisan goods, particularly lip balm, body milk, and goat cheese from award-winning goats. It looks like the kind of place that if it actually existed would be written about in Goop.
The closest thing you can get to Rose Apothecary in real life is likely to be Beekman 1802. (Which was already written about in Goop.) While their skin care products are sold through retailers like Ulta, the original of the brand, and a unique outpost has one eerily similar backstory to the store on the show. You can visit Beekman 1802 Mercantile in Sharon Springs, a small town in upstate New York about an hour west of Albany. It has a population of 528, has three restaurants, and doesn’t attract the crowd of vacationers found in Beacon or Rhinebeck. Beekman describes himself as “a world-famous business in the middle of nowhere” made possible only by the unusual circumstances of husband-and-husband duo Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, both of whom lost their media jobs in Manhattan during the Great Recession . They had bought a farmhouse in Sharon Springs on a whim and never expected to live there all day. (Their transition from urban to rural populations was documented somewhat bizarrely on a reality show called The Fabulous Beekman Boys, touted by the New York Times as “gay green acres.”) They soon started the Mercantile and started selling cheese and microbiome-friendly goat milk skincare products from historic Beekman Farm and finally a selection of snacks and housewares from local artisans. Local fig and elderberry balsamic vinegar, cherry and almond jam, ginger honey, hand-thrown ceramic plates, decorative candles and a so-called pie caddy are sold with minimalist Beekman 1802 labels.
It is impossible to deny the similarities between Beekman and the fictional rose pharmacist that Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge are not. When Ridge first saw Schitt’s, he told the Local Spectrum News that his first thought was, “Wait, this is our story!” It’s almost too close to be kismet – did the Eyebrowed Levy family go to Sharon Springs on vacation before sitting down to write their nine Emmy-winning script? Would Beekman skin care products have featured prominently on either Dan or Sarah Levy’s top shelf? Serendipity or not, the resemblance wowed the Beekman boys, who reached out to the show’s producers in hopes of a collaboration. This came true in January when Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge completely redesigned their store to celebrate their limited edition Rose Apothecary collection. Over 800 Schitts fans flocked to the pop-up over one weekend, nearly tripling the number of people in Sharon Springs.
At the time I hadn’t seen Schitts. I vaguely remember samples that arrived at ITG’s offices, but without the context of the show, I didn’t pay much attention to them. Now January feels like three years ago – plenty of time for me to bark it and miraculously in time for the re-release of Beekman’s Rose Apothecary collection. Not only are the products wonderful to use (thanks to Beekman’s goat milk), they also make me feel like I’m living in a universe where Mayor Roland Schitt is the politician I think of most. If you don’t laugh every time you say that name out loud, you are lying. And if you haven’t seen any of Schitt’s, you now have four days to catch up on the third season (then the pharmacy happens) and until Friday, when the collection is officially published on Beekman’s website. Rose-scented rose apothecary soap, lip balm, a candle and – yes – body milk will be available. The thing is, it already has a waiting list of over 34,000. Between the 11 hours of television and tens of thousands of fans, you have to move quickly.
Photo via Hulu