Small Murray business suffers huge holiday hit after ‘meaningless’ burglary

Dec 25, 2023, 10:16 PM | Updated: Dec 26, 2023, 6:15 am

MURRY — A small business owner said she’s having to start from scratch after burglars stole most of her inventory, right during the holidays.

It’s especially frustrating for Paige Barnson, owner of Salt Lake Scents, because she explained the products are likely meaningless to the thieves while nearly putting her out of business.

For Barnson, the last month has been filled with the hustle of holiday season markets. She said she’s set up and sold her handmade products at around a dozen markets.

“I’m usually there for eight to 10 hours of getting people to try things and being able to interact with customers and show how to use products and when to use them, and it’s really just been great,” she said.

Barnson makes and sells a wide range of CBD products and pampering goods, from lotions to balms, scrubs, bath salts and bath bombs.

“I’m kind of a jack of all trades when it comes to bath and body products,” she said.

At the end of last week’s long weekend of holiday markets, Barson explained that she decided to unpack the following day. But when she walked outside, she saw that someone had broken into her car.

The door was damaged, and Barnson said a broken dummy key was left in the ignition.

“I noticed that a majority of my product had been stolen out of the car, as well as a significant amount of material that I use for my market — such as signs, displays, risers and other material,” she said.

A product display shows some of the items Paige Barnson handmakes and sells.

A product display shows some of the items Paige Barnson handmakes and sells. (Courtesy: Paige Barnson)

After taking stock of what they took, Barnson estimates the burglars wiped out two-thirds of her inventory. She said it amounted to about $4,000 worth of product, plus a few hundred dollars of marketing materials, cash, and personal items.

The vehicle burglary came during Barnson’s busiest time of year.

“I was just devastated that I would have to kind of start all over,” she said. “However, I didn’t have the resources necessary to be able to do it.”

Her biggest holiday orders were right during Christmas week, she had to cancel and refund customers. All future markets were put on hold.

“So not only did I lose out on product, I also lost out on future business,” Barnson said.

Barnson lost money plus hours of hard work into her business, and she wonders what the thieves even gained by stealing items like dozens of bath bombs and lip balms.

“To sell that kind of thing off, resale or black market or whatever, would be really difficult,” she said.

After the burglary, Barnson said someone contacted her because they found a few items dumped and scanned the QR code on the label to reach out. Barnson said she recovered a handful of products, but she’s still facing a major setback.

She reported the burglary to police, and the Murray Police Department confirmed it had taken the report to investigate.

Barnson is hoping whoever broke into her car will have a holiday change of heart, and turn her products in, even if it is anonymously.

“That they would have recognized that, you know, somebody did put their life’s work into it,” she said.

Barnson started a GoFundMe* to help recover some of the losses and build her inventory back up.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Small Murray business suffers huge holiday hit after ‘meaningless’ burglary