SARA FRANK OF MARIELYNN SKINCARE.
1 // Hi Sara! Welcome to the Journal. Tell us about yourself & what you #waketomake:
I'm a stay-at-home mama to 3 handsome boys and 1 beautiful baby girl. My husband is a musician by heart and a teacher/music store salesman by trade.
I make almost all of our skin care products. It all started with my mom, an essential oil membership and some annoying skin issues. My daughter has incredibly sensitive skin and when she was very little she had persistent eczema that could not be helped by any of my current over-the-counter products. Additionally, because of hormonal changes during breastfeeding, I had developed a bad case of adult acne.
To make a very long story short, I began to look into our toxic load, specifically: what we were putting on our skin. After months of research and trial-and-error, essential oils have replaced almost all of our health and beauty products. I have customized some tried and true recipes and we use essential oils mostly in the form of organic, homemade products. Though not all of these are available to purchase from me, for my family I make: body lotion, face oil, mouthwash, room spray, chap stick, body scrubs, hand sanitizer, bug spray, salves, and perfumes, to name just a few. Even dryer sheets have been replaced by wool dryer balls (rolled by hand by yours truly!), refreshed by a drop of essential oil now and then when I miss that "fresh laundry" scent.
My mom introduced me to essential oils and she was the thoughtful mind behind the name "MarieLynn" (a combination of our middle names). We work together to educate others about healthy lifestyles and essential oils, and we branded ourselves as such.
2 // What makes you want to create? What keeps you going?
What started as an attempt to heal my baby's skin naturally has became a passion. I love making things that I used to purchase at a store. I value knowing exactly what is going on my family's skin and therefore into their bodies. My own journey with troubled skin has intensified this passion, as I learned more and more about healing acne naturally. The fact that my daughter no longer struggles with eczema and I only occasionally have a breakout has spurred me on. It is both empowering and humbling to be able to care for my family and our health issues with a natural approach. I no longer just grab an item from a store shelf because of the promise on it's label. I pray more. I read more. I ask more. I am in a constant state of growing in knowledge yet being fully aware that I know less than nothing when it comes to my own Maker. Jesus is our Healer and He delights to give wisdom when we ask.
3 // What has been the most challenging part of your business?
The most challenging part of my business has been finding a niche. I love to make natural products, but my first desire is to educate and encourage other people (mamas in particular) that they have the resources, options and grace to adopt a simpler, more pro-active lifestyle. Making my own skin care products has been MY pathway into this lifestyle but it's the lifestyle as a whole that I wish to pass on to others. It's not singularly about essential oils, healthy eating, or organic skin care. It's about living intentionally and sharing your lifestyle with others. This is difficult to put a price on and difficult to market.
4 // How can people follow you and keep up on your business?
People can check out my blog, www.marielynnskincare.wordpress.com and follow me on my skin care Instagram @marielynnskincare in addition to my personal/lifestyle Instagram, @marielynnjourney. My official Etsy launch is this Sunday, so follow me on Instagram to get the latest updates! Instagram is the space I use to provide snapshots of the lifestyle I'm growing into and my store will be where I actually sell product. I post about essential oils, skin care, fair trade or handmade accessories and offer encouragement for other mamas in the area of raising children to know and love Jesus. Questions and conversation is always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org and my mom and I have a health/beauty Facebook page devoted to our essential oil journey: MarieLynn
Starting out on Etsy, I will have all organic: salves, lip balm, natural bug repellent, clay facial masks, essential oil roller ball blends.
5 // What advice do you have for other, perhaps newer, makers?
I am, myself, a new maker so offering business advice seems presumptuous. My heart-cry is: "Lord, what do you have for me? What do you have for your people, through me?" I would encourage other new makers: If you are in a place of suspension, a place of unsure footing or hidden answers, neglect the temptation to find resolution in the making but rather seek the Yes and Amen from the One who is THE MAKER. Embrace a time of uncertainty and let your heart find it's footing on the only sure Foundation.
Special thanks to Sara for joining us today for #waketomakefeatures! Her simple and holistic approach to business and life makes us want to breathe in some oils and rest easy in our making. Want to be featured as a maker? We are currently accepting submissions for makers for the months of October & November! See our Submission Page for details.