Founder Spotlight: An Interview with Karen Roche from Be Green Bath and Body

#Founderspotlight - Green Bath and Body - Karen Roche

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#Founderspotlight - Green Bath and Body - Karen Roche

Be Green Bath and Body, located in Massachusetts, makes pure, gentle and affordable artisan skincare products for women, men and children. Sensitive skin friendly, their cruelty-free products are hand crafted using the finest natural and organic ingredients to help you “Nourish Your Skin Safely”.

What inspired you to start your business?

In 2008 a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer that was attributed to environmental causes. After she recovered, we began a journey learning about the products we ate, cleaned with and used on our skin. I quickly learned that there is much less regulation surrounding safety in the US than many other countries. I began making safer choices for my husband and 3 daughters and formulating non-toxic skincare products for them. Soon, I was helping to educate extended family, neighbors and friends and was inspired to expand my offerings to others. I found that most clean beauty products are expensive and I wanted to be able to provide products that last a long time and offer high value. Ones that not only worked but were affordable.

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

I began my business slowly and spent over a year researching and formulating. There is a good deal of trial and error and it took many months to formulate high quality products with just the right ingredients. Learning how to create emulsions (like creams where oils and water are mixed together) was difficult but when it worked, it was so rewarding. I have always looked at my business as a journey. Each step along the way, especially the difficult ones helped me to grow and be able to reach for the next step. In business and and in life, my focus is to be happy and help others along the path of using safe skin care products. Becoming a large company and making high profits are not part of my mission. Yes, I need to make a living, but it’s more important to me that people use products that have ingredients that won’t cause them harm.

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

Of course, I have several! I love our Rosemary Mint Deodorant. I have been doing kickboxing for years and earned my black belt in krav maga two years ago. I always wear our Deodorant during these intense workouts and I never stink. It really does work! I feel like conventional deodorants have some pretty toxic chemicals and so many natural ones that I tried didn’t work for me. Ours contains baking soda and arrowroot and a smell-busting combination of essential oils along with cocoa butter. The other great thing is that you use a really small amount so one tube lasts about 6 months.

What are your favourite ingredients and why?

My all-time favorite ingredient is organic rosehip oil. (This is the main ingredient in my other favorite product- Regenerative Rosehip Serum. See, I can’t choose just one favorite product!!) I love this oil for it’s versatility and effectiveness. Rosehip oil has such a perfect combination of vitamins A, E and C which help with collagen formation, skin tone and oxidation. Besides, it has some potent essential fatty acids and one of the highest concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid which helps with inflammation and itchiness. The great thing about this oil is that it works for all skin types from dry to aging to sensitive. It even works for oily skin and it absorbs really fast so your skin feels hydrated and not greasy.

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

We want everyone to “Nourish Your Skin Safely”, which is our motto, and be green with their choices. We care deeply about this which is why we use only natural and organic ingredients. Our products are cruelty-free and Green America Certified. The majority of our products are also EWG Verified. To “be green” we also try to be as environmentally responsible as possible. We use some glass packaging, post consumer recycled plastic for our jars and we recently switched our powders to aluminum bottles. We do have a ways to go and we have some products used in the shower or that need to be squeezed that we don’t have a solution for. We hope that more sustainable options become available for small businesses like ours. I am always researching for better options. We do use recycled packing material when shipping, compostable shipping labels and we even found bubble mailers that are reuseable and made with 33.6% recycled materials. We also use minimal packaging for our products. For instance, we don’t sell our products in boxes that just end up getting thrown away and we do offer large refills for a few of the products like soaps, shower gels and shaving foam to cut down on plastic.

What are the reasons behind your commitment to safe skincare?

There are so many reasons why I am committed to formulating safe skincare besides what I have mentioned already. About 8 years ago, I found out that I carry the BRCA2 breast cancer mutation. In 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. At the same time, I was walking this journey, I was also heavily involved in krav maga (a self-defense martial art) on a journey towards eventually earning my black belt in 2018. Both of these experiences were both mentally and physically grueling . I gave them my best effort, I worked hard and I survived. This, in many ways, mirrors my journey with Be Green Bath and Body. I am giving it my very best effort. I work extremely hard. I have survived and grown and I’m very proud of what I have accomplished!

Thank you Karen Roche for sharing your powerful story behind Be Green Bath and Body Your dedication for creating top quality products that are kind to the earth and kind to people is absolutely inspiring!

See Green Bath and Body website, and follow them on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

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