Like many of us, Terri Kight lived a hectic life. A mom to two busy children, she made sure to carve out time to follow her passions of architecture, traveling and oil painting. It wasn’t until her family was faced with the reality of her teenage son’s addiction to alcohol and drugs that everyday life came to a sudden halt. Through her daily struggle to help him, Terri found a new creative outlet. The creation of her bath and beauty company, sanitytwentyfour7 is a testament to her family’s strength through her son’s recovery.
Tell us a little about your journey in starting sanitytwentyfour7.
My son had been having serious problems with alcohol and drugs, starting at the end of his freshman year in high school. We had not yet figured out how serious the problem was, but the situation was in free fall. My husband was traveling out of town half of the week for business, and I needed to be home 24/7. We all felt helpless and out of control. Usually my art calms me, but I was having a hard time focusing on my painting — or anything else, for that matter. I would take nightly baths, trying to relax and take care of myself. My nighttime bath ritual was a place where I found peace. I could regroup, take a breath, close my eyes, escape, cry — whatever I needed to do.
I started using bath “bombs” (aka bath melts) and my bath became an even more tranquil nightly experience. The water smelled yummy and felt good. I was using them nightly, but they were very expensive and, in my opinion — too big. So I decided to start making my own. I researched a recipe, found a mold and decided upon the scents.
At the same time I was making the melts, I took a metal-working class at Spruill Art Center just to get out of the house and pound something. The class was great, and we all ended up being friends. I had been working on some gift packaging for my melts and had brought an example in to get their feedback. Spruill had just started its Second Saturdays Artist Market, and the girls said I needed to have a booth and sell my wares. I did, and I haven’t stopped since. People loved my melts. They would ask if I had candles to go along with them, so I made candles. Now we have expanded into body products. I decided to name my little business Sanitytwentyfour7 — it seemed natural.
Why is it important for you to be open and honest about your son’s struggles?
When we finally figured out that our son had serious drug and alcohol problems, we had no idea where to go or what to do. The school was clueless and had no systems in place to deal with this type of situation. I also found out that people don’t talk about this type of situation for various reasons. It is a lonely and scary experience seeing your child go through something like this, and I decided to talk about it. Maybe my talking about what we’ve experienced will in some way help somebody who is going through a similar experience.
I think we can all relate to having a ritual that calms us. Do you still incorporate your nightly bath into your routine?
I love my baths. I take them nightly, and yes, I use a melt. The fun thing is that my husband will occasionally draw a bath for me, and he never forgets to put a cube in!
Do you also have a ritual to begin your day?
If it is sunny, I get up and usually run out to get a coffee. There is something about someone else making your coffee that makes it taste better.
If it is raining, I will tend to the animals and head back to bed for just a bit. I love being in bed and hearing the sound of rain on the roof. Then I get my coffee!
Do you have a favorite saying?
Everything happens for a reason.
What is your favorite meal to cook for your family?
Soup. Any kind of soup. Our family favorite is a cheddar cheese soup, and I love onion soup with Gruyere cheese and a crouton. Our all-time favorite comfort soups are vegetable beef and chicken noodle — both done in the Crock-Pot.
What is your favorite restaurant for a date night?
What meal at a local restaurant has recently wowed you?
The cheeseburger was amazing at Bocado. Actually everything that we ordered was amazing.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
I would have to say my favorite vacation spot is in Healdsburg/Sonoma, California. I love it there; I can feel my body melt as the plane lands. My husband and I started collecting wines as a hobby, and after a trip to Australia, we decided to turn our hobby into a business. We now own Quivira Vineyards and La Follette Winery in Sonoma, California, as well as Torbreck Vintners in the Barossa Valley of South Australia.
What place is on your travel “bucket list”?
I have never been to the UK. Being an architect, that’s just not right! I would love to spend a few weeks in London, then hit Scotland and Ireland. After that, I would want to do a back-roads bike tour through Spain.
What piece of clothing makes you feel confident and beautiful?
I love the long maxi dresses. I feel confident, beautiful and feminine when I wear them.
Do you have any irrational fears?
I have always had a fear of flying. The more I fly, though, the less it bothers me.
How is your son is doing now?
He is doing very well! He graduated from high school this spring and is close to 2 1/2 years sober. He is very proud of sanitytwentyfour7. He is proud that something good has come out of a time when he hurt so many people, including himself.
The one thing that has been so wonderful and so huge to me is how strong my family has become. We are a stronger unit after handling our journey with so much grace. We are stronger as individuals and as a family.
Name three things you cannot live without, besides faith, family and friends.
Exercise: I love golfing, biking, yoga, walking and running.
Animals: I have three dogs and a cat. I would have more dogs if I was allowed!
Art: My art keeps me sane. I love to paint. My new find is pottery. I haven’t made a round bowl yet, but I am still working on it.
Thank you, Terri, for sharing your inspiring story with us! We wish you and your family all the best! You can purchase sanitytwentyfour7 products from Atlanta MADE or in their online shop.
And, thank you to our wonderful FACES photographer, Cat Maxwell!