Shop Love with Nature and Nurture Botanicals
Since becoming a small business owner myself, I have a new found appreciation for the spirit and hard work of entrepreneurs. When I "virtually" met Ashley a couple of weeks ago, she was knee-deep in preparing for the opening of her company, Nature and Nurture Botanicals. Now, a couple weeks in, she gives us an inside look at the story and meaning behind her company.
Tell us a little bit about the story behind how Nature and Nurture came to be.
It was during my last semester of college that I first learned about soap making as a hobby. While doing research for my father's fragrance oil business, I decided to try my hand at making soap so we could promote different uses of his products on a blog. It was only after I educated myself further that I learned of the holistic and environmental benefits natural soap had to offer, and I became hooked on the idea of starting an entrepreneurial venture of my own to help spread the news. Starting my own handmade vegan soap business cemented from being a daydream during my last few finals after I had the opportunity to try a handmade soap my mom bought for a friend, but ended up in my hands. It did wonders for my skin and shortly after that I had bought all of the necessary materials to make soap and began to get to experiment!
What is your mission as a business?
Nature and Nurture Botanicals is a handmade soap business dedicated to providing premium vegan cold process soap. We value the mind-body connection, and hope to inspire others to create a balance by connecting back to nature. As a society today, we have created such a distance between ourselves and the natural habitats from which we once originally thrived. Connecting back to it, we believe, is beneficial for our health mentally, emotionally, and physically as it takes us back to our roots and creates an opportunity to be away from the harmful chemicals on our bodies and our environment.
We believe climate change is a real issue, and we intend to create awareness by having a holistic and ecologically friendly product, maintaining sustainable business practices and educating our customers. All of us can make a small change just by choosing environmentally friendly products, it all adds up! Being eco-friendly is more than a trend to us. We believe its everyone's responsibility to help preserve the world around us to maintain fragile animal habitats, and for the future of humanity. We're just doing our part!
Explain your products.
We formulate vegan products that are completely plant based, unlike mass-produced skin care products today which use animal fats and chemicals in their ingredients. We research and select botanical additives for their therapeutic properties, and combine them to create a unique specialized bar to address specific needs, such as acne, dry, sensitive, or mature skin. Each soap is designed to nurture the skin, revitalizing it with cold-pressed plant and essential oils, leaving it soft, moisturized, and healthy. There's no mystery as to why we chose the name Nature and Nurture!
Do you have a favorite product?
My favorite product at the moment is our oatmeal chamomilee bar which helps a lot to soothe my eczema and dry skin. I tend to use it as a hand soap and a body soap, and it instantly calms the irritation.
Where do you hope Nature and Nurture will be in five years?
In five years, I hope Nature and Nurture has gotten enough attention to make the impact we are looking to make in the skincare industry. We hope to establish ourselves as a green skincare line with a store front, full of diverse products that fulfill the same expectations we have of our products and packaging today. We also want to work on donating a certain percentage of our profits to organizations that specialize in environmental affairs.
The creation of other opportunities to pursue our mission are filling our minds also - we're dreaming big! We want to create classes that help educate others on how the products we use affect the environment around us, and continue to praise how natural ingredients are superior to chemical additives!
Lastly, what is your favorite part about running a small business?
I'm currently the sole employee of N&N Botanicals, and it has been quite the experience. My favorite part about running a small business is being able to be flexible and wear many different hats. I can be the photographer, customer service agent, accountant, and soap maker all in the same day, and it means that I am never bored. I am constantly being challenged and pushing my personal boundaries - always growing and gaining new skills.
Nature and Nurture Botanicals has also enabled me to create a new relationship with my personal definition of satisfying work. I truly love what I do, and I hope I get to do it for a long time. I used to think people who run businesses were only worried about making a profit, but I see my business as something different. I offer a product that does more than just 'sell.' It's a therapeutic offering, a moment of peace, and a small reminder to take care of yourself and the environment. It's much more personal than you would ever think.
Like I said, I've never personally met Ashley, but I feel like I completely understand her! Her passion for her business and the impact it has on the world, even in the smallest way, are feelings I can wholeheartedly relate to. Thank you so much, Ashley, for sharing your story!