Blog » Green Beauty Business
When we started developing our products we knew that we wanted to incorporate Shea Butter in as many of them as possible.
Renowned for its moisturizing and soothing qualities, it’s one of our favourite ingredients to use.
What you may know about our use of shea butter:
What you may not yet know:
We obtain our shea butter from a local Quebec company called Karitex, which imports it from the SEMAFO Foundation, a fairtrade womens' coop in Burkina Faso.
The SEMAFO Foundation funded the construction of a processing and marketing center of shea products for the Women’s Group of Gnogondèmè, and helps female shea butter producers generate significant income for their families.
Shea butter is made from the one-of-a-kind African Shea Nut Extract Oil derived from the karité tree. (We use it in its purest form -- unprocessed -- which explains the stronger earthy smell, which is by choice.)
The ensuing recognition and valorization of the shea tree plays a hugely important role in protecting the environment.
A ripple effect we can proudly get behind
When Karitex approached us to suggest that our bulk shea butter purchases could have this sort of impact, it was an easy yes.
We believe each dollar we spend building our business holds a lot of power to shape the future -- this is but one example.
See the rest of the ingredients we proudly use here.
See the items mentioned in this article
People often wonder if it gets challenging running a natural skincare company together because we’re sisters...
The answer is, we love it! We'd always wanted to find a way to work together when we were younger.
Do we fight?
For sure we've had our moments, but less and less as time goes on, because we’ve already sort of navigated what our roles are.
In some ways, it can be more difficult because we’re sisters, but in a lot of ways, it’s easier because we’ve had years and years of practise when it comes to resolving conflict, and we know there’s no fight that can end this relationship permanently.
One really positive thing about us being sisters is that we have a similar mindset, and while we’re very different, we can see eye-to-eye, so it makes our communication a lot stronger.
We really do enjoy growing the business together, being able to share the highs and lows, and enjoying the fruits of our labour.
You can check out the story about how our business began here!
How we divide the labour
I had always had an interest in creating skincare products, specifically natural ones. They would be safe and gentle and made with ingredients I knew and trusted. About 10 years ago, I had started questioning the long list of unrecognizable names in the ingredients list of the products I used every day.
Excited by my research and the promising first formulations I developed, I began to envision a line of skincare that was made of exclusively of natural, recognizable and safe ingredients and packaged in benign, recyclable and green materials. Then the name came to me; it would be called Smith Farms in honour of the family farm that had inspired me.
Julia looks after everything inside the bottles: research, sourcing high-performing natural ingredients, developing product formulas, overseeing the manufacturing and shipping facilities, ensuring airtight quality control and consistently happy customer experiences.
When Julia approached me to design the website, in exchange for payment I suggested instead that we become partners and she wholeheartedly agreed.
With a background in graphic design and marketing, I set about putting our vision down on paper. We had a name, we needed a logo. Julia had started dabbling with a black-and-white design. I thought we needed a softer, more natural look that conveyed the green aspect of our line. I played with the logo, incorporating a deep brown for the text as well as a bright spring green. I also wanted our look to be predominantly white to portray the purity and cleanliness of our products but we were missing something. A tree, we needed a tree.
We played around with a couple designs and decided on the one we have now which resembled the apple trees growing in the orchard. It was perfect, not only did it pull in the green, but it also represented the countryside surrounding the farm and the walk that inspired it all.
Becky looks after everything outside the bottles: marketing, sales, business development, accounting; as well as product development.
To this day, the other 4 are still among our bestsellers!