About Us

Our Story

Hilling Essentials evolved organically, during some of the darkest moments of my life. I am the owner, Arlene Smith. In 2011, the company I spent the previous 20 years working with, sold!! It was surreal; I started there as a cashier, and worked my up to an Above Store Leader /Area Coach where I oversaw the operations of 8 restaurants. This was a big deal for a young black woman, once teen mom of 2, from the projects. I was faced with having to start over, and I did.

Ten months after accepting a management role at another concept, I was faced with losing my son (Michael) and first-cousin (Darren) to a double-homicide. It nearly crushed me. I was working in a job I didn’t like, while trying to navigate the grief of losing my son and first-cousin. 

I resigned from that role, re-entered into college and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business, from USC Upstate, in 2017. The next few years were spent with me trying to find myself; where I “fit” in (jobs, friendships, etc.).  

 My love for natural remedies, prompted me to take a few holistic courses during COVID. I fell in love with all I was learning. As someone with dry, sensitive skin, I had been crafting my own body butters for more than a decade…a true hobby. Learning how to incorporate botanicals, spices and therapeutic essential oils into skincare re-lit the fire in me. It fits me perfectly.  

All Soaps

Hilling Essentials, LLC was established in May '2020. We offer an array of handcrafted skincare products, tailored to soothe and quench all skin types. A true labor of love; filled with passion to deliver the best quality of handcrafted, all-natural skincare its customers.

Arlene has vowed to bring the same energy, hunger and drive to her small business, as she brought to the corporate arena. Her goal is to improve wellness through self-love: mind, body & spirit.

Why the spelling (Hilling vs Healing), inquiring minds want to know? “Hill” (Arlene's maiden name), was the last name of her beloved son, Michael (Hill-Gentry) and first-cousin Darren (Hill). The spelling is a homonyn, created to honor their memory, as well as her "healing" journey. 

Arlene is grateful to God almighty, for leading and guiding her path during pain and uncertainty; her husband, Otis, for his unwavering love and support; her family, friends and community for showing up to countless markets and events to support her passion. You all ROCK!! To the person reading this message: thank you for visiting our website. Happy shopping!!





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