BLOG: Local Businesses Help to Make ‘MakeMine Bodycare’ a Success
As longtime friends and avid skincare enthusiasts, Kim Loprete and I have spent years sampling “natural” bodycare offerings. We weren’t satisfied with how those lotions and oils made our skin look and feel, so we decided to try our hand at making our own natural products.
To learn all we could about aromatic bodycare and naturally nourishing ingredients, about two years ago, I became a certified aromatherapist and fell in love with the blending and scenting process. Kim and I began self-experimenting with many natural plant oils, salts and butters. We were quickly pleased with the results, and after much encouragement from family and friends, we started our own new business: makemine Bodycare.
From the beginning, we’ve learned a lot about how to start a small business, including how important it is to have support from the local community. To bring our idea to life, we relied on a team of talented, caring professionals–many with local ties.
At the very beginning, we reached to my brother, Joe, an organic chemist, for advice. Joe answered endless questions about plant oils, natural preservatives and shelf life. His role in developing and testing makemine Bodycare products is essential, and we will continue to consult with Joe as our business develops.
We worked with our talented friend Gary Spindler, an Eastport graphics guru who runs the design firm Spingraphics. Gary helped us develop our company’s vision and direction, and his creativity and eye for color brought our products to life. He also developed our new website, www.makeminebodycare.com, which embodies our philosophy: Fresh. Pure. Simple. Thank you, Gary, for your vision and talent.
Fellow entrepreneur and friend, Madison Burgess, introduced us to Darlene Michaelis, a writer who embraced our philosophy of keeping it simple. Through her words, Darlene gives the products personality. Darlene now lives in Colorado but recently served as President of the MD Capital Chapter of the ABWA. Her favorite product is “Get Your Glow On” Body Oil because it quenches Rocky Mountain dry skin like nothing else.
A friend of Kim’s, Leon Shapiro from Proforma, worked with us to establish a realistic concept for the label production. Even though our account represented small quantities, Leon did what he could to give the makemine brand life and we appreciate his patience.
We also want thank our longtime friend Michele Deckman, the owner and the inspiration behind Diva boutique, Annapolis. Michele gave us our first retail space in her beautiful Annapolis Harbor Center location, and we love the ongoing support from the fabulous divas that work there.
We were inspired when we met Sara Calhoun at Restoration Foods, a community supported market located on Solomons Island Road in Edgewater. We’re so fortunate that Sara has allocated quite a bit of precious shelf space to the makemine Bodycare products.
Another former South River Colony resident and close friend introduced us to Josh at the Joshua Tree, an eco clothing store in the Mt. Washington Mill area of Baltimore. Josh quickly decided our products are a great fit for his store, and we’re grateful that he is such a big supporter of makemine Bodycare products.
We want to especially thank our circle of dedicated family and friends for their undying support and suggestions, their willingness to be product testers, and their continuing loyalty to the idea that natural products enhance beauty naturally.
Finally, we are thankful for community resources such as South River Source and other local blogs for sharing our story. Kim and I are looking forward to a naturally beautiful 2013!