It's not often I interview a colleague, but when I meet a person who (also) formulates compulsively and isn't afraid to admit she is downright giddy about her work, I move in for a closer look.
The lady with that fabulous smile up there is Deborah of Unfussed.com in Kansas, USA. Deborah has graciously offered to share her story - and was even kind enough to send me a few samples of her products.
Animal Rescue and All Things GreenDeborahs interest in 'all things green' started in the 1980's where she grew her own vegetables and started creating her own earth-friendly cleaning products for the home. However, it was her lifelong interest in folk medicines and herbal remedies that drew her towards skincare.
"In 2013, our animal rescue group needed to find a replacement source for an herbal salve that we all used. My keen memories of my grandmother's sticky brown, camphorous salve were my inspiration, so I decided to give it a go. From the moment I made my first calendula and olive oil infusion, melted in the beeswax and poured it into little jars, I knew I was home."
It wasn't long before Deborah had developed an entire line of pet-related products. Her website, Unfussed.com has a section for pets that offers a selection of salves, mists and more.
I asked her to tell me about some of the challenges of formulating for pets.
"Formulating for pets isn’t as straightforward as I initially thought it would be. Canine and feline skin is very different from that of humans in terms of cell turnover rate, cell thickness and sensitivity to topicals. Their hair and fur coat develop and shed differently as well. This is especially important when formulating shampoos and conditioners. For salves, ointments, balms and creams, which are the products I make for pets, the basic formulas are the same as for humans. The differences are with the addition or avoidance of certain botanicals, actives and essential oils – particularly for cats."
Her interest in animal rescue doesn't stop there. Unfussed.com offers a give-back program.
"Animal rescue is very important to me. I’ve been a volunteer at The Pet Connection, Inc since 2007. Most small rescues rely on fundraising and community support to continue their mission. To that end, once my company was established, I knew that I wanted to play a part in raising funds. A portion of every online sale of my SOS Salve and other pet specific products goes toward The Pet Connection. I also host DIY party fundraisers with a specific theme or focus on site and elsewhere in the community to raise money. I donate all my time and product and collected sales.
Body Butter - For People Skin
"Women want honest products that work – simple, effective skin care that is easy to use and gentle on the pocket book."
Above: a peek at the body butter Deborah sent to me (missing a bit in the middle because I had to try it out immediately).
I asked her to tell me a bit about this butter and why she chose it for me.
"This is my newest body butter created for very dry skin as well as pre and postpartum skin care. It contains several of my go-to oils and butters. This particular formula has a beautifully fragrant, satisfying skin feel that I think you will love."
LisaLise impressions:Whip it Into Shape Body Butter goes on smoothly, nourishes, and has a lovely fragrance. I've slathered it on my arms, legs, hands, and feet. It's definitely a winner!
(find a link to it at the bottom of this post)
Custom ProductsApart from offering selected hand-crafted products in her online shop, Deborah custom-formulates products and is getting serious about partering with local businesses.
"I can tailor almost any of my products to include or avoid certain carrier oils, essential oils, fragrance oils, butters, botanicals and actives. If I have it or have access to it, I am willing to formulate with it.
A local spa is carrying my lip products, the majority of my facial care line, a body butter, a body cream and a basic body wash & shampoo combo."
In The WorksFinally, I asked Deborah what was on her program for this year.
"I am planning to start making a simple, unscented, traditional buttermilk bastille bar soap, a peptide and active rich eye treatment, and a general purpose hair mask and conditioner. Soap is new to me, so we will see how that goes! The other products I’ve been formulating and trialing for a while now in anticipation of adding them to my product line."
Deborah's dedication and drive are downright inspiring. Thank you Deborah, for sharing your story, your products and your passion!
More About Deborah and Unfussed.comUnfussed.com
Whip it Into Shape Body Butter
Deborahs Give Back Program