Morro Bay, California
Industry: Consumer & Lifestyle
Products: Skincare products
Owner Caroline Duell created a natural healing salve to sell in local farmers markets. It's taken her on an unexpected journey.
With a background in botanical medicine, Duell saw her All Good Goop salve gain in popularity and started Elemental Herbs in 2006. With the help of her husband, Ryan, who jumped in two years later, the success of the salve led to the development of additional products, and the team changed the name to All Good Products.
While the company now reports having approximately 45 SKUs within categories such as moisturizers, sore muscle sprays, sunscreens, lip balms, deodorants, and healing salves that are shipped across the country and globally, it's the fact that they are all made under the extremely strict guidelines of B Corp Certification that makes the company unique in the market.
"Meeting the requirements and audits for environmental impact, organic work practices, impact on the local economy, proper work environments, and more is exhaustive," says Duell. "But we've been this way since the beginning and have grown together with our workers and farms so that over time, we've eliminated the challenges that face other companies who don't bother going this far to ensure the transparency of their products."
Duell points out that a Certified B Corp maintains the right to choose environmentally conscious methods over the bottom line. "That sounds like a losing proposition for investors, but it's not a bad thing," says Duell. "If you start this way from day one, you figure out how to absorb the higher costs and for us, we want to be a truly organic and environmentally conscious skincare product company that people can trust and know where their product comes from."
Sourcing from local farms (including her own), Duell says that it helps the company stay on top of their environmental and natural guidelines. "We grow raw materials on our farm, such as the calendula flower," says Duell. "This medicinal flower is dried and infused into our product. We control measurement on everything from the microbiome to the integrity of the soil and land."
The products nicely align with a booming niche. "The market for natural skincare is exploding," says Duell. "Our products are consistent with growing consumer awareness and growth towards living a balanced lifestyle with nature and knowing where products come from. The hot topic is focused on sunscreens where there is a lot of misinformation. We're wanting to educate people on the damage that chemical sunscreen products actually can do to your skin, as well as environments like the coral reefs."
The messaging is working, and according to Duell, retailers are also following suit, making more shelf space for the demand for natural products. "There's a growing awareness from retailers who are discovering a consumer interest in brands that have an authentic aspect to them," says Duell. "In the example of sunscreens, they have historically been a commodity and an impulse buy. We're working to change that and explain to people the dangers from the sunscreen that they purchased. I formed a group, The Safe Sunscreen Council, made up of 12 brands working together to elevate the importance of minerals, not chemicals, in sunscreens. We're bonded in pursuit of growing that market against the large corporations and brands out there. It feels fun to be a disruptor in the market, but we do it in a good and conscious way. In doing so, we're seeing more doors opening for us."
Challenges: "There's a lot of misinformation out there that consumers need to navigate through," says Duell. "On the one hand legislation has passed banning the use of some sunscreen chemicals, but they're being replaced with other chemicals that we don't know how they breakdown into the skin. The downside of legislation has unintended consequences so we're challenged to get passed that somehow."
Opportunities: Duell says that the Internet provides an amazing opportunity for the company. "We haven't fully embraced it as much as we need to but selling direct to the consumer gives us a chance to educate and bring awareness," she says. "It's also great for us to engage with customers and learn from their experience with our product."
Needs: "We need better packaging and are looking for some solutions," says Duell. "We also need to simply keep growing our brand awareness and educating customers to choose our brand for the right reasons."