Lynda, please tell us a bit about where you grew up and
what your inspiration was for
I was born and raised in Detroit Mi, but was fortunate enough
to have a cottage/summer home where I spent weekends and
entire summers. As a teenager, I was the ultimate "make
up junkie", spending any extra cash on cosmetics, whether it
was the newest cleanser or eyeshadow. I couldn't wait
for Christmas, because I knew I would get the Estee Lauder
Special Holiday Set! I met my husband "at the lake", and
married at the age of 19. After a couple of years of
adjusting to country living, I found that I had a passion for
nature. Our home was built by my husband on 10 acres
given to him by his parents. There was unlimited space
What started as a way to save money by starting garden seeds
early indoors, eventually turned into a retail greenhouse.
The bulk of sales were geraniums, but my specialty was herbs
and unusual perennials. That's when I bought every book I
could find on growing herbs and their uses. When the
business either needed to go "big", or close, I chose the
latter...something I still regret.
I then went to cosmetology school to get my manicurist/nail
tech license, and thought I would go into natural nail care
with the knowledge I had with herbs. Wrong - It was the
age of long acrylic nails, and there was no interest at the
time for natural. I stuck with that for a couple of
years, but couldn't stand the chemicals.
While still pursuing herbs and organic gardening on a personal
level, I held the position of Live Nursery Specialist at
Lowe's for seven years. Having 3 daughters all finding their
own way to personal style and beauty sparked my interest in
creating skin care and make up for them. At first I was
amazed at how close I could get to the big companies formulas
and scents! I joined quite a few soap making and
toiletry groups, and found Botanical Elements Trade
Association. It was a group that was pro natural, and it
sparked my interest. I then began studying the
synthetics' side effects, the fact that so many of these were
petrochemicals-by products of oil refinery, what were they
doing to our bodies and the environment? I went back to
the beginning. Starting with herbs, and working my way
up to learning the properties and benefits of essential and
carrier oils. I began to formulate skin care products
that are effective, have a purpose, and are even luxurious!
give some advice to those that are starting into the
all-natural beauty business?
Make sure you have a true passion for all-natural products.
This is not a fast, easy money business. While the trend
is going towards "natural" in the beauty field, I still find
that most customers at shows and salons are looking for fruity
or flowery scents not available in natural products.
They tend to balk at prices for a natural bar of soap versus a
detergent bar available at the grocery store. Consumer
education is the most important part of this business -
teaching people why they should use products made with virgin,
unrefined oils, herbs and scents that can be beneficial to the
skin, besides just smelling good. And why they should
not use synthetics in personal care products is just as
important. Another piece of advise- always give your
products to as many friends and family as you can before
sending them to the public. Make sure you have positive
feedback, and make sure your products do what they say.
you see the future of all-natural beauty heading?
It is my greatest hope that consumers will become more aware
of the hazards of synthetics in skin care, and that the
cosmetics industry evolves into one that is more interested in
one's health and well being than the color of money.
Being a Baby Boomer myself, I see everyone's infatuation with
youth. While Botox and cosmetic surgery are the rage, I do see
a trend of more people trying to find a healthier way of
living, both inside and out. I also believe that with
the studies of harmful phalates in synthetic fragrances,
petrochemicals, and parabens in preservatives, there will be a
phase out of products made with these. And that will
force the big companies to do something better for the
How do you
see your business and products being unique from other beauty
products out there?
In 2003 I made the commitment to create products that would
contain no petro chemicals, no artificial fragrances, no
genetically modified oils or grains, and no chemical
preservatives. After years of researching and trials, I
finally developed a basic natural skin care line that I’m
thrilled with. I’ve recently perfected liquid castile
soap, and have modified it with botanical extracts and
essential oils to compliment different skin types. We’re
now ready to introduce our sugar scrubs. They are a cleansing
scrub rich with shea butter, and rich unrefined oils, raw
turbinado sugar, natural exfoliants, and essential oils. They
create no heavy greasy after feel, just really soft skin!
I enjoy the fact
that I grow, infuse, and tincture most of the herbs I use.
I focus on making products fresh. Because I'm not big on
preservatives, I carry only two products that require one, our
Sugar Scrubs and the Self Tanning Lotion. For that I use
Biopein, which is a natural preservative using plant extracts
and essential oil isolates. The herbal skin care line is
made fresh to order, and I am always willing to change a
formula to better serve a client. When someone places an
order for skin care, I will usually e-mail them to find out if
there is a special need, or an allergy to anything. After all,
skin care is so very individual, isn't it?
This is a business that is just full of personal rewards, and
a continuing learning experience. With the concerns of
global warming, chemicals linked to cancer, and the issues
with genetically modified plants, I am thrilled to be part of
an important and rising industry dedicated to personal care
the natural way.