If you are currently experiencing winter in Alberta, you are likely looking for ways to soothe your dry, cracked skin. Are you trying to avoid chemicals, perfumes, and irritants as well? It's so handy (couldn't resist) when you can find skin-care products that are both local and natural!
Today on the blog, Jesse Assenheimer of Quench Handmade Body Products from Onoway, AB shares how her business started as a result of wanting to solve a problem. Her need to find natural alternatives to treat her young family's sensitive skin soon led to creating products that worked for them and to the thriving local skin-care business she runs today.
Prepare to be inspired again by another locally-minded innovative producer, doing her part to provide a quality product with amazing customer service too.
Laura: What is the nature of your local business and can you tell us a bit of the story of how/why you started it?
Jesse: I create skin care products that are safe to use for the whole family. I created my natural skin care products shortly after having babies and becoming aware of all the toxic chemicals they were being exposed to right from birth. I also passed on my sensitive skin to both our children and wanted a more natural way of helping them without exposing them to more chemicals. After researching many of our daily use products I quickly made the decision to go as natural as safely possible in most regards to our home and daily life, limiting our exposure to some of the most harmful chemicals.
Laura: What is your favorite part of owning/running this local business?
Jesse: My favorite part of running and owning my business is honestly the research and then creating the formula for the product. I love plants and learning about their medicinal properties or skin healing abilities and how certain carrier oils can naturally help heal our worst sin issues.
Laura: What has been a challenge/learning opportunity as you’ve pursued this business?
Jesse: One challenge I face is trying to help people see what they are exposed to everyday that can harm their bodies. Most people are very unaware of exactly what they are spreading onto their bodies in lotions or deodorants. We buy products that are put on store shelves without giving it much thought.
I try to post informative articles that I find to help people educate themselves. It’s a personal choice to reduce the chemicals in your life, but I think the more people start learning about it the more they would be shocked by what they find.
Learning about herbs, essential oils, and plant-based butters and carrier oils has opened up the world of Herbalism to me. I’ve always been interested in plants but it has become much more than just a simple hobby, now it’s a passion.
Now that both our children are of full-time school age, I plan to start taking an Herbalism course to gain some credentials to go along with all the research I am already doing.
Laura: What is one (or more) interesting/unique/exciting thing you want to let people know about you/your business?
Jesse: I’m not sure if this is unique or exciting, but I grow many of the herbs here on our acreage near Onoway Alberta.
Many of the herbs are also wild-harvested (grown wild on our property and picked by hand). I don’t use chemicals in the care of our property so I can control what my plants are exposed to. I know that the plants I’m infusing into the oils are as pure and safe as possible.
Laura: How do you incorporate local ingredients into your products?
Jesse: I believe in supporting local business as much as I can, so I am constantly on the look-out for ingredients I can buy locally, within province or at the very least from somewhere in Canada; whether it’s finding local beeswax or supporting a local greenhouse.
All my packaging comes from Canadian-run businesses also. It may be more expensive than shipping in cheaper packing or bulk products from elsewhere but I’m trying to do my part to help our Canadian economy flourish by keeping my business local.
We have so many talented crafters and artisans in our vast country I cannot find a reason to want to shop anywhere else.
My husband also owns a local small business and believes in helping “the little guy” by supporting the “mom & pop” shops as much as he possibly can too.
Laura: If you were to be a “tourist in your own backyard” what local activity(ies) would you recommend to others?
Jesse: Get out and explore your surroundings! Take a small road trip to the next town over and see what they have to offer. We have so many beautiful walking trails and parks nearby.
My favorite thing is being outside in nature and hiking or walking. We live just west of the city of Edmonton and are so fortunate to be in this area that has a multitude of free outdoor activities. Chickakoo Lake is one of my favorite places to explore locally.
Laura: How can people best follow you/contact you to learn more about your business?
Jesse: I have several ways potential new customers can follow me. Here are a few of my links: @quenchhandmadebodyproducts on Instagram and Facebook
You can view all my products and order through my shop on Etsy
Contact info also found at www.localcounty.ca/quenchbodyproducts