If there’s one thing you should know about Schitt’s Creek it’s that I love every single character equally. You will, too. And how often does that happen? With most TV shows there’s usually at least one boring or frustrating subplot—even your own family is likely cast with an insufferable character or two. Not Schitt’s, though. The comedy, now available to watch on Hulu, follows the formerly-wealthy Rose family as they adjust to life without money in the rural town of Schitt's Creek. While the first season is admittedly slow, I raced through the show like I was running late. (I was, to the party.) Of particular relevance to beauty lovers reading is Rose Apothecary, a fictitious general store founded by prodigal son David Rose and his business-partner-turned-life-partner Patrick. The store sells a curated selection of goods from local artisans, most notably lip balm, body milk, and goat cheese from prize-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 would probably be Beekman 1802. (Which has, in fact, been written about in Goop.) While their skincare products are sold through mass-market retailers like Ulta, the brand’s original and singular outpost has an uncannily similar backstory to the store in 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, boasts three restaurants, and doesn’t attract the throngs of vacationing urban dwellers you’ll find in Beacon or Rhinebeck. Beekman actually describes itself as “a world-famous store in the middle of nowhere,” made possible only by the unusual circumstances of husband-and-husband duo Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge both losing their Manhattan media jobs during the Great Recession. They had purchased a farmhouse in Sharon Springs on a whim, never anticipating they’d live there full-time. (Their transition from city to country folk was somewhat bizarrely documented in a reality show titled The Fabulous Beekman Boys which the New York Times touted as “a gay Greenacres.”) They founded the Mercantile soon after, selling cheese and microbiome-friendly skincare made with goat's milk from the historic Beekman farm, and eventually added a selection of snacks and home goods from local artisans. Locally-made fig and elderberry balsamic, cherry almond jam, ginger honey, hand-thrown ceramic plates, decorative candles, and something called a pie caddy are all sold with minimalist Beekman 1802 labels.
It’s impossible to deny the similarities between Beekman and the fictional Rose Apothecary, and Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge don’t. When Ridge watched Schitt’s for the first time, he told the Local Spectrum News his first thought was, "Wait, that's our story!" It’s almost too close to be kismet—did the strongly be-eyebrowed Levy family take a vacation to Sharon Springs before sitting down to write their nine Emmy-winning screenplay? Would Beekman skincare products have featured prominently in either Dan or Sarah Levy’s Top Shelf? Serendipity or not, the resemblance delighted the Beekman boys, who reached out to the show’s producers in hope of a collaboration. That came to fruition in January, when Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge completely transformed their store to celebrate their limited-edition Rose Apothecary collection. Over 800 Schitt’s fans flocked to the popup in one weekend, nearly tripling the amount of people in Sharon Springs.
At the time, I hadn’t watched Schitt’s yet. I vaguely remember samples arriving at ITG’s offices, but without the context of the show I didn’t pay them much attention. Now January feels like it was three years ago—plenty of time for me to have binged it and, miraculously, perfectly on time for the re-release of Beekman’s Rose Apothecary collection. The products are not only wonderful to use (Beekman’s goat milk is to thank) but also make me feel like I do live in a universe where the politician I think most about is Mayor Roland Schitt. If you don't laugh every time you say that name out loud, you're lying. And if you haven’t watched any of Schitt’s yet, you now have four days to catch up to season three (that’s when the Apothecary happens) and be in on the joke by Friday, when the collection officially launches on Beekman’s website. Rose-scented Rose Apothecary soap, lip balm, a candle, and—yes—body milk will all be available. The thing is, it already has a waitlist of over 34,000. Between the 11 hours of TV and tens of thousands of fans, you’ll need to move quickly.
Photo via Hulu