Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Julie Jirousek from Made Simple Skin Care

#Founderspotlight - Made Simple Skin Care - Julie Jirousek

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#Founderspotlight - Made Simple Skin Care - Julie Jirousek

Made Simple Skin Care believes that what you put on your body should be safe enough to go in your body. That’s why all Made Simple products are certified organic in accordance with USDA National Organic Program standards as well as being raw, vegan, and non-GMO. Made Simple creates simple, honest products with only active ingredients – meaning no water, no fillers or preservatives, just pure effective product. As a company, Made Simple is dedicated to taking care of the planet by offering sustainable, earth-friendly products, a jar and bottle take back program, and minimal plastic use (all products are in glass).

What inspired you to start your business?

I was looking for a business that was environmentally responsible. When I came across Made Simple, a small, certified organic skin and oral care company I knew I found the right opportunity. Initially, I loved the idea behind Made Simple but quickly became passionate about the products as well!

What were some roadblocks/issues that you have faced? How have you prevailed?

We use no fillers, preservatives, or stabilizers in our products, so some of our products will occasionally melt in the summer. Although the melting does not affect the efficacy of our products, some customers are a little freaked out by that.
We feel strongly about NOT using any ingredient unless it has beneficial properties for the user. Luckily, most of our customers understand the nature of products that don’t use additives, but for customers new to this kind of product we try to get in front of the issue by being honest and letting them know the product may melt and why. Every product that may melt is sent out with an information sheet explaining why and how to take care of the product (btw, you just give the jar a quick shake and pop in in the fridge for a bit).
To be honest, some customers are totally on board and others aren’t. However, we stand behind our decision to keep our products as clean as possible even if it means losing a few customers.

What is one of your favourite products? Can you tell us more about this product?

I love them all, but I think my favorite, favorite is the Chamomile Palmarosa Face Wash Oil. Is it terrible having a favorite child?!
My skin is very sensitive and I’ve suffered from rosacea and cystic acne for years. The thought of using oil to clean my face kind of freaked me out, but I tried it out. Instead of having a huge break-out my skin actually cleared up!
We use pumpkin and safflower oils as a base. Both are rich in vitamins (A and C). They are also rich in linoleic acid which helps unclog pores and diminish inflammation.
The essential oils are Palmarosa and chamomile. In addition to its heavenly scent, Palmarosa has antiseptic and hydrating properties as well as helping sebum production. And chamomile’s calming properties help reduce redness.

What are your favourite ingredients and why?

My favorites change depending on what I’m working on. But I suppose I have some perennial favorites.
I’ll start with an obvious one: LAVENDER. I love, love, love lavender! My garden if FULL of it! Lavender is a work-horse essential oil – it’s good for so many things. Because it is known to soften lines, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is chock full of antioxidants, we use lavender in our Argan Geranium and Rosehip Chamomile serums. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties add to the benefits of our Tooth and Gum Tonic, as well.
Coconut oil has been a revelation – I just keep learning more and more about what it can do! Of course, I knew it was great for nourishing the skin, but it also has antibacterial and anti-plaque properties which makes it perfect for our Mint Sweet Orange toothpaste. It helps reduce plaque buildup (so you don’t have to sit there forever while the hygienist scrapes your teeth!) and it attacks the harmful bacteria in your mouth leaving the good kind. What’s better than that?

Share your brand ethos and how you demonstrate credibility as it relates to your formulation and ingredients

One of the main things that drew me to Made Simple was the fact that all the products were certified organic, vegan, raw, non-GMO, and packaged in glass. We have taken the extra step to go through a process every year to certify that every one of our products meets the full USDA organic standard. We do this for every product so our customer know that, without any doubt, the Made Simple brand is synonymous with purity. As we continue to find new packaging options, we employ them immediately such as when we switched to metal caps instead of plastic caps. Yes, it cost us more, but we view the environmental costs of using plastic as being much greater. Somewhat unique to Made Simple, is that we offer our customers options in terms of what cap to put on their bottle. Since we haven't yet found an option to the plastic misters and pumps, our customers are given the option of metal cap or a glass dropper. There’s no need to get yet another plastic mister or pump if you already have one so these options have been working very well with our customers.
Taking the all-important extra step to be certified organic isn’t just about the ingredients that go on your skin. To us, it’s far more vast. To us, the organic journey begins with the farmers and the land on which the ingredients in our products are created. Those people, that environment, the surrounding environment should be protected from harmful chemicals and by purchasing only plant-based certified organic ingredients, Made Simple plays a crucial role in fostering a healthy environment.
Product Stewardship – Recycling is wonderful but at Made Simple we believe reusing is even better. And what better thing to reuse then our thick glass bottles and jars. While we certainly encourage our customers to re-purpose the glass bottles and jars for things such as saving seeds, propagating plants or keeping spices; we recognize that glass recycling isn’t a panacea since many towns don’t offer recycling. So, we encourage our customers to return the bottles and jars and we pay for the shipping. I believe that when consumers don’t have a choice available to them then the manufacturer has a duty to step-in and do the right thing; that’s what we do at Made Simple.
Along similar lines, we, too, reuse materials; specifically packing materials. Since we receive many of our ingredients in glass bottles (not to mention receiving the product glass bottles themselves) we end-up collecting quite a bit of packing material. Instead of discarding that materials, we reuse it to pack our own products. Yes, we do receive materials packed with bubble wrap and we reuse that only with very large orders. For 95% of our orders, we package using “re-purposed” paper.

What are some myths in the clean/green beauty sector that should be debunked?

Myth: Oral care products have to “burn” in order to get your mouth “clean”. The truth is, that burn you are feeling is killing EVERYTHING in your mouth, even the good flora which helps fight the bad flora between brushings. Also, HOW you brush is more important than feeling the “burn”. Using a product that balances the naturally occurring flora in your mouth (as well as helping prevent plaque!) teamed with a proper brushing technique is all you need. We offer just the right balance with our Mint Sweet Orange toothpaste and Spearmint Clove Tooth & Gum tonic.
Myth: More ingredients means a product is more powerful. Nope! Don’t listen to those big marketing campaigns! A product doesn’t need a billion ingredients you can’t pronounce to be effective. Your skin knows how to take care of itself. You can help the skin do its thing by nourishing and protecting it (eating right and getting enough sleep help, too!) Over-correcting for a skin issue (e.g., over-drying acne prone skin, using a harsh chemical exfoliator) can often cause more issues. By simplifying what you are applying to your skin, you’re giving your skin a little help and allowing it to take care of itself without causing issues. The trick is picking a few ingredients that target a particular concern (i.e., dry, oily, sensitive, or mature skin). Organic, virgin, unrefined oils and butters along with a bit of organic essential oil is all your skin needs to do its thing.

Thank you Julie Jirousek for sharing your powerful story behind Made Simple Skin Care Your dedication for creating top quality products that are kind to the earth and kind to people is absolutely inspiring!

See Made Simple Skin Care  website, and follow them on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

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