Rewind back to November 2010:
Two girls at a church conference in North Carolina — one from Ohio, one from California — who happened to meet at a Cheesecake Factory and became life-time friends over fried mac’n cheese and red velvet cheesecake. Since that day, we have talked dreams, plans, future goals; we’ve traveled together, overcome life obstacles, and developed a friendship that has been life-giving and true. It is my honor to introduce you to my friend today and to share her story as a female Apostolic entrepreneur and business owner!
Meet Chelsea Higgason:
My friend, a high school American Sign Language teacher, an intentional Apostolic young woman, and an entrepreneur and the genius behind Skin Balm Apothecary: a skincare line that is made from all-organic products and antioxidant-rich ingredients. Chelsea specializes in hand-crafting lip + eye balms, facial cleansers + mists + serums, body oil, natural deodorants, and clay masks.
As an avid lip balm user, since I first used Chelsea’s Organic Peppermint Lip Balm, I have used nothing else to moisturize my lips. I also use her facial care products and have received more compliments on my skin since I began using the Wild Rose Cleanser + Facial Serum.
Want to know more? Read my interview with Chelsea below + then check out the She’s Intentional Instagram page for a giveaway with Skin Balm Apothecary!
1. Thank you, Chelsea, for agreeing to share your story with She’s Intentional! Your products have been life-changing for me personally, and I’m so excited to introduce you to our readers.
First, let’s talk about the start of Skin Balm Apothecary and how you began your entrepreneurial journey. You officially began experimenting with creating skin care products in 2013. Was this really the beginning and what prompted you to start making your own products?
Yes, the seed was planted when I started making my own natural skincare back in 2013. I became aware of the harmful chemicals and ingredients in the products I applied on my skin. The packaging, of the skincare I was investing a good amount of money into at the time, claimed to be “all natural” or “organic,” but the list of ingredients told a different story. I decided to do some investigating. With the knowledge I had gained through herbal courses, I began to research what was behind each ingredient. The discoveries of corrupt processing procedures were appalling.
A seed of inspiration stirred within me, “What if there was an honest and truly all-natural, organic skincare line?” This led to the creation of my own products. Over time the seasons of inspiration, creation, sharing and enthusiasm blossomed into Skin Balm Apothecary.
2. After you started creating products, how long was it before you decided to share them with friends? Did you have any idea that a hobby would turn into an actual company?
I began sharing my products with family and friends soon after I started creating them for myself. The first product I started selling was lip balm because it seemed the easiest to make at the time.
Word got out that I made all-natural products and requests started coming in for facial cleansers, toners, and aluminum-free deodorants. It was strictly a word of mouth business until we launched online in January of 2017. It took about four years before I did any online marketing, but selling my products to local customers started happening in 2013.
Although I knew there was some money to be made, I did not anticipate it growing into what it is today. Thankfully, people’s enthusiasm, support, and the continual requests for my products encouraged me to continue and expand Skin Balm Apothecary into what it is now.
3. Why are you passionate about whole, natural, and organic ingredients in your products and what makes your company different from the other companies our there that also sell all-natural, organic products??
- I get most inspired to create products while surrounded by nature and am passionate about bringing nature and skincare together to create something pure and 100% nature based. I truly believe that nature has the best ingredients to use in skincare products.
I am inspired by all the incredible benefits that herbs, oils from plants, and other natural resources directly from nature and what benefits they offer to our bodies and skin. What we apply onto our largest organ, which is our skin, can have a great influence on our overall health.
What sets our company apart is most of our ingredients are use certified organic, fair-trade, cold-pressed, unrefined ingredients. A lot of companies claim to be all-natural and organic, but where are they sourcing their products? Are they fair-trade? How much heat are the applying to during the infusion, extraction, and blending stages? Do they test their products on animals? How do they treat their employees? Are they more concerned with making money than delivering the best product they possible can?
At Skin Balm Apothecary, we make the answer to those questions easy by being honest and open about all of those questions. We care. We have fun loving what we do. We do not compromise. And most of all, we love our customers. They come first: always.
Another difference is that we see our customers as part of our team rather than people who buy our products. When someone purchases from our shop, they are investing in our dream and become part of the Skin Balm Apothecary family. I write a personal note to every person that orders; I enjoy making connections with our customers.
4. Aside from creating amazing lip balms, facial cleansers, and serums (and all the other fabulous products!), what other hobbies do you enjoy? How do you spend your free time and how do you balance being an entrepreneur, high school teacher, and an active member of your church with intentionality?
- I have had to learn the fine art of time management. It is definitely a balancing act at times. As my company continues to grow, I have considered doing it full-time, but I’m currently enjoying teaching and spending time with my students.
One of the spectacular perks about being a teacher is having summers off from school teaching. Between the middle of May and the end of July is the time when I get to travel and enjoy my outdoor hobbies that much more. Whether it is glacier hiking, backpacking in Alaska, hiking rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon, or training for a marathon, I love staying active!
6. What would you say to another young woman considering starting her own business — whether an online business or a local shop?
- Have a plan.
Then write the plan out and know what your next steps are. There are a lot of great resources from online mentors, workshops, and free printable business plans that you can fill out on your own. Set goals and revisit your business plan often to reassess where you’re at in achieving those goals and where you want to be.
Never compare yourself to other others or your company to other companies. I truly believe that comparison is the thief of passion and joy. There will always be someone behind you and someone in front of you. Focus on your own growth and remember that success takes time. Waiting is a frustratingly fine art. Oftentimes, one must master the process of waiting in order to succeed.
There is power in vulnerability. Sharing my passion and something I invested countless of hours into was like sharing a part of my inner self. Showing that part of myself to the world was a bit intimidating. I’m sure that is one of the reasons why it took me more than three years to launch online, but being vulnerable has enabled me to connect with my customers and build relationships. Be confident in the gifts God has given you and boldly use them in a way that is YOUnique.
Don’t wait until everything is perfect before you start — because if you do, you’ll never get started. You learn from experience, so don’t wait, and get started!
Lastly, choose your inner circle wisely. Find at least one mentor who you know will be honest with you even when you do not want to hear it; someone willing to be on the court with you and not just in the stands, and will hold you accountable when you want to give up.