We live in a world where beauty is literally EVERYTHING. From our hair, to our nails to the glow in our skin – The biggest concern for most in today’s society, is the outer shell and how flawless we can make ourselves look in that particular moment. But how often are we taking into consideration the things that we put on and into our bodies that effect us long term?
After a life changing family health scare last year, I’ve since been on a hunt for natural products. I recently came across Natralee, an eco-friendly skin care line that creates custom moisturizers that cater to each customers skin type. With a year of business under their belt that focused mostly on the research aspect (developing and testing different products), this black owned business is helping to spread self care awareness. I had the opportunity to interview the founder of Natralee, Eunice Charles, and here’s what she had to say:
What inspired you to create your brand, Natralee?
Natralee was birthed out of necessity. There was a time in my life when I was feeling completely overwhelmed. I was stressed about life, school, career and depression ultimately set in. Suddenly, I broke out in discolored patches all over my body. I would later find out from my dermatologist that it was an eczema breakout. “How could this be possible, I’ve never had eczema,” I explained. He told me that it was a result of the massive amount of stress I was feeling. My body was actively crying out for help and attention. So I had no other choice but to slow down. I have always been a believer in the interconnectedness of our mental and physical states, this particular episode reaffirmed that. So I made a decision to take better care of myself.
Through that process, I started looking at the products I was using on my body. The amount of synthetic additives in our everyday products is a bit unnerving. I wanted to better control what I was putting on my skin and decided to make my own products. I started to gift some of my body butters to friends for birthdays and holiday gifts, and they would ask for more. In the process, I realized that I really enjoyed making things and talking to people about self care, and so Natralee was born.
Aside from the obvious reason for your name, where did spelling of Natralee come from?
Finding a business name that fit my vision and values was one of the earlier challenges. For weeks, nothing seemed to fit. Natralee felt just right in terms of conveying what we stand for: using raw, unrefined products to manufacture skin care products.
Is your skin care line full of body butters only or do you have other items to share?
Currently we make body butters and body scrubs. We have other items that are in development at the moment. I’m excited to share what they are in the coming months.
What would you say sets you apart from other skin care lines?
Natralee recognizes that we each have one body and live on one planet. We believe both are important and really think about how to minimize our carbon footprint in making our products.
I noticed on Instagram that you made a customized face cream for one of your customers. Do you plan on doing special orders often or are you sticking to your main products only?
Our skin is sensitive and one is not always like another, so I encourage clients to tell me about their food allergies so I can tweak recipes if needed.
Being a black owned business owner in today’s world, what keeps you motivated to keep going?
As the daughter of Immigrant and entrepreneurial parents, starting a business was always in my blood, I just wasn’t sure how it would manifest itself. My main motivators are my parents. They sacrificed so much by coming to America to give my siblings and I a better life—which they did. My parents are superheroes. They are my loudest cheerleaders and biggest fans—their sacrifices give me the fuel to keep going.
What’s one of the most challenging things that you’ve experienced as a business owner thus far?
One of my biggest challenges is striking the perfect balance between my start-up, my full time job, and everything else on my plate. This year, I started using the Passion Planner to help me plan more strategically and intentionally. It’s a struggle—but I am loving every minute of this start up process.
We know greatness takes time! When will your website be officially up and running?
We are live! Please check out our site at www.natralee.com
How can customers go about purchasing your products?
Customers can also purchase products on Facebook or Etsy at facebook.com/ShopNatralee and etsy.com/shop/ShopNatralee
Where are you based out of? Do you plan on doing Pop-Up Shops in your area anytime soon?
This year we plan to host several pop-up events. Our next event is on May 7th at SOWA Boston Open Market. This is a great space to meet with friends, shop, grab a bite to eat (yes there will be food trucks), and enjoy your Sunday afternoon. Natralee will be there on select dates from the spring through the fall. If you’re coming to Boston or already live in New England, come check us out.
Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or like our Facebook page to stay in the know with everything we’re doing.
If you could describe Natralee in 3 words, what would they be?
eco-friendly, organic, skincare
What’s most important to take away from Natralee products is that Eunice is constantly finding new ways to not only make it easier for us to be conscious consumers, but for her business to abide by those same standards and lifestyle. Staying true to her mission through conscious living, the entire Natralee production is now being done using solar power. “Natralee thinks about the environmental impact throughout the supply chain and looks for innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” Eunice details. “One way we are doing that is by going solar. We recently had solar panels installed and hope to be using mostly solar power to run most of our operation.”
Ready to get started on your journey of awareness and healthy skin from the inside out? Contact Eunice directly via email or Instagram for all inquries and to place you first order
Direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org