Back to Nature Skincare with Birchbabe: Kelsey Irvine

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Bon Echo-based BirchBabe Naturals is owned and operated by Debbie, and her two daughters Kelsey and Lindsay. This trio has the skills to make the perfect team creating beautiful self-care products. Nothing beats a family-owned and women-operated company, and their products are vegan, almost entirely plastic-free, and ingredients sourced from nature. Their store covers all your needs from skincare to makeup and haircare. 

You can treat yourself to a spa day at home with Birchbabe Naturals skincare line. You can keep reusing your cute containers forever. You won’t be missing out if you don’t live in Ontario, Birchbabe ships all over North America. I spoke to Kelsey to tell me more about this exciting growing skincare line.

When did your team start becoming aware of eco-conscious consumption?

Our Birch Babe journey started with our mom Debbie! Four years ago, Debbie hiked solo from the southern tip of Patagonia to the Northern tip of Chile. On this trip, she saw much waste in Argentina and Chile; however, she noticed that everyone was super conscious about their waste because they were remote in Patagonia. Even while volunteering at Torres del Paine, she saw a hike-leader who smoked and he would put the butt in his shoelace until he found a garbage off-trail. 

It made Debbie realize that while she was a conscious consumer before the trip, she could do so much more to help make a positive impact in the world. So when she came home, she immediately retired, moved to the cottage, and started making all-natural soap and body products for friends first, then she went to a few festivals, and fast forward Birch Babe is now in over 80; stores across North America with a growing online community!

What was the main reason for your team to center Birch Babe around sustainability?

The whole reason we started Birch Babe was to create a product that was not only better for our bodies but also the environment. That means making products with 15 or fewer ingredients that are all-natural, organic, vegan, ethically sourced, and being plastic-free whenever and wherever possible (“because why wouldn’t you be if you could be,” Debbie says in the video).

Our products are also safe for kids and marine safe, and everything is made by hand near Bon Echo Ontario. Our family has the luxury of being connected and immersed in nature every day, and so our mission is to help connect people back to nature through skincare and that minor changes, minimal ingredients, and less packaging make a big difference.

How do you choose your ingredient list for Birch Babe products?

The most important thing is ensuring all components are high quality, ethically sourced, and always using essential oils, and getting an organic and fair trade. Our ingredients are hand-picked by Debbie, who is a certified Organic Skincare Formulator. All our products are also certified All Natural by CertClean. As a team, we have a core list of “go-to” premium quality ingredients that we love to use as much as we can!

These include premium quality cacao butter, shea butter, rosehip oil, avocado oil, grapeseed, and castor oil. We’ll spend much time perfecting the recipes with what we like to call ‘play’ for our product lineup. Some products take more time than others. For example, the deodorant and mascara took years and 100’s of iterations until we were delighted with them.

What inspired your team to create Birch Babe special kits, and what does it include?

We wanted to create a series of kits that accommodated different consumer needs and would help get them started on their sustainable journey with clean skincare, beauty, and Birch Babe. For example, The Organics Kit contains some critical essentials for skincare like the Hydrating Face Cream and Natural Glow Face Serum. It also has a Lip & Cheek Tint in ‘Fabulous’ to add a pop of healthy color to the lip, cheeks, and eyelids pre zoom meeting!

The Clean Makeup Kit is all about clean beauty and comes with an All-Natural Mascara, Reusable Plastic Free Wand, a Lip & Cheek Tint in ‘Fireside Temptation’, and Lip & Cheek Balm in ‘Skinny Dipper’ (which can be used on cuticles or dry skin areas). We’ll also be re-launching our Essentials Kit with some fundamental everyday clean hygiene essentials and a few other cool kits! In addition, we’re going to be launching “Bundles” on the site so consumers can invest in the color, scent, and type of product(s) they like and combine it with an item it goes well with! For example, the choice of Shampoo & Body Bars will soon be able to be purchased as a bundle with the Organic Leave-In Conditioner.

How has the pandemic impacted your business, if at all? How did you overcome it?

The pandemic brought us together as a family and made us stronger as an amazing and growing business. As a business, we’ve been developing with new retail stores and our direct-to-consumer base a bunch which we were so grateful. Our community on Instagram and Facebook (and soon Tik Tok, Pinterest, and YouTube) has been supportive and inspiring. We connect with them every day, respond to questions, listen to suggestions, and believe that we’re doing this together.

This sustainable movement and desire to live a cleaner lifestyle for our bodies and the planet’s future is more critical than ever right now. As hard the pandemic has been on people and businesses, it’s also helped us connect, listen, focus on what matters, and be such a blessing to be a part of that.

Are there new releases or projects planned for 2021?

Oh yes, there sure are!! Without giving too much away, we can share that we will be launching a few new items we’re so excited about! In our skincare collection, our two popular Organic Face Creams: Hydrating Face Cream and Rejuvenating Face cream, will be available with Hyrulanic Acid now included in the ingredients to add even more benefits to your skin.

As part of our Package Free Collection, we will also be releasing a Lotion Bar Our very anticipated new Deodorant recipe and plastic free packaging will be released in July! There are a few others, but you’ll have to sign up for our email on birchbabe.com to get the latest (You’ll also get 15% off your first order when you sign up)

Resources:

https://birchbabe.com/

https://www.instagram.com/birchbabe/

https://www.facebook.com/birchbabenaturals


Kayla Stephens
Kayla Stephens

Author: Kayla Stephens, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: – [email protected]

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