February 25, 2011

Featuring Clark Creations- Natural, Vegan Skin Care

I first met Pam, of Clark Creations, at a craft show that we were both vendors. Her commitment to quality products is unparalleled. I've tried the Dream Cream and am currently a tester for her new deodorant.  I asked her a couple questions to find out more about what makes her tick. So without further delay-here she is!

Clark Creations Oatmeal Soap

1) What inspired you to make your own body products?
The inspiration behind making my own bath products began when I had uterine cancer some 18 years ago. After all those chemo and radiation treatments and subsequently the doctors wanted me to go on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), I decided against it - I just never felt right. My skin became my enemy and I was sure it was linked to all the drugs I had taken when going thru cancer treatments for 2 years. I knew there had to be a better way - so I started small, learning all I could about essential oils that I could readily purchase and then more and more research into what I could make myself.

2) How do you decide what to make?
First, I started to make the things I needed for myself and after I began Clark Creations (in March 2008), I started listening to my customers. They have been my best critic and truth be told, I wouldn't keep striving to make new and different products, if my customers never ask, but I've discovered new and exciting bath products just by lots of experimentation and research and I am blessed to have some really great customers who are welcome to be my guinea pigs! LOL

3) How did/do you learn to make your products?
I learned to make my own bath products out of necessity and partially because I wanted to give my skin the chance to heal after what the doctors had done over my lifetime with topical prescriptions and oral medications. I got tired of the expense and the never-ending trips to the doctor just to "cure" one more irritation to my skin.

I have had no formal training. I've learned everything from books, the internet and talking to naturopath and/or homeopathic doctors (who are friends). I wish many of the forms of learning I experience now would have been more attainable when I was diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago, but you can't go back, can you? Anyway...I have enjoyed learning all I can and enjoy teaching others too, which is why I offer workshops in my home on essential oils, fragrance oils, soap, lotions, creams, lip balms...

4) Which products are your favorites? Why?
Clark Creations Dream Cream
 Hmmm....that's a hard one. If you would have asked me 18 years ago, I would have said my bath salt recipe (because I use cornstarch to soften the water and it leaves my skin silky), but now...well its hard to choose just one. The Dream Cream was my invention about 10 years ago, I guess (wow!) and its non-greasy and does an excellent job to soften and heal my rough, cracked hands and feet. And, there is the Oatmeal Fizzies that contain no fragrance, just natural goodness - great for kids, teens and adults who suffer from eczema or dry skin. I suppose my next favorite is the Massage Stick (made with Shea, Cocoa and Mango Butters) that some people would describe as a lotion bar without the mess! LOL. All of my bar soaps I just LOVE, love, love the scents/essential oil combinations and they are glycerin so they won't dry skin. And...currently, by suggestion from a repeating customer, I am testing out a new natural deodorant which I am LOVING the scent and the way it doesn't cause my skin to itch.

5) Which of your products do you recommend for people who are new to natural skin care?
Well, anytime a person is going to try a new product, I always tell them to use it sparingly at first and build up to using it daily, if they wish. Pregnant women should be careful about large amounts of peppermint or ginger (which can cause contractions to start early) and should talk to their doctor about starting any new regimen when essential oils are in the product. I list the ingredients in my products starting with what is the most to the least, so if there are any allergies to the natural ingredients, they are aware of how much is in it.

Example: Blemish Buster bar soap contains peppermint and orange essential oils and the crushed peppermint herb as well as crushed organic orange peel. The bar is made for those who have acne or skin irritations (mild rosaecea, blemishes). I use daily, but for those who have very sensitive skin, I ask them to start using the bar one time a week and slowly work up to every day, if that is the wish of the customer. After several weeks (6) the body or face will become accustomed to the new regimen and breakouts will be few and far between.

6) How do you think the handmade movement benefits you and your local area?
When I began making skin care as a business, I was not sure where I wanted to take it. After being in business almost 3 years (yeah!), I am sure that the niche of using no animal by-products sets me apart from most of the skin care providers in my area (Michigan). There are not too many vegan skin care companies and I also try to stay on the cutting edge of the fragrance/essential oil trends as well. Being a small Michigan based business, I listen to what the customers are asking for; see what my competition has to offer and try hard to keep costs down for new customers and those who are just getting into the natural way of life.

I try to be as open and honest about myself and the products as well as what I can give the customer. I work hard to provide every opportunity for the customer to contact me with any questions - and making (or manufacturing) my own products gives me an "edge" on what other "natural" companies are out there. I've spoken to several "natural" skin care representative from the larger guys and many of the representatives don't have any idea what is in the products. They don't have to list their ingredients - and I WANT to list every ingredient - I WANT my customers to know exactly what they are getting.

I want to thank Pam for answering my questions and for being such a great example to small business owners everywhere. Please visit Clark Creations website or Facebook page for more information and to try her great products!

A Clark Creations Gift Set


Celtic Cat said...

Thank you for introducing Clark Creations to us! Great feature!

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