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Member Profiles

Nancy Newsom: Botanic Organic

Academy Of Handmade

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Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I'm Nancy Newsom, founder of Botanic Organic. We create a holistic line of organic facial care products crafted with unrefined, whole plant-based ingredients to restore skin to optimal glowing health.

I initially created these formulas for personal use to stop doing harm to both my body and to the wider environment, however, the improvements to my skin from using raw, plant-based oils and traditional herbal remedies, convinced me that these natural gifts from nature do a better job of caring for my skin than the mainstream products I had been using my entire life, and so began my journey. Our line works equally well to balance young, blemish prone skin, sensitive and reactive skin and to nourish and repair mature, environmentally damaged skin.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?  I love to work with the finest oils, extracts and plant distillates that I can source. There are a great many fabulous and natural ingredients that can be used in skincare products in place of the harsh, chemical ingredients that are so commonly used. Nature offers us complex and powerful botanicals that deliver their beneficial effects when the plant is used in its entirety.

Our carrier oils are extracted from fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, giving them color and scent and packing them full of phytonutrients that can deliver wonderful benefits to our skin. Our organic plant distillates are are artisan distilled from fresh, organic plant materials rather than dried, giving them these wonderful floral and herbal aromas. It is terrifically satisfying to work with these amazing ingredients and my workshop always smells divine!

Q: Who inspires you?  Anyone who makes beautiful and creative objects that make the world a more interesting and pleasing place to live in. Amazing creativity is such a gift and I'm always in awe of it.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:

1. High quality dark chocolate
2. Playing solitaire (it's such an utterly unproductive thing to do and yet I find it relaxing)
3. Spending more than I should on other maker's offerings at maker events! At least this makes me feel good about supporting the maker community. ;-)

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers?  Wow, such an interesting community to mix with and I also love meeting the people who come to these events. It's all very social.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Documenting my processes, hand's down! There's so much paperwork to do but it's very important to keep excellent records when you're making skincare products. It's not the most satisfying part of the job but it's very necessary.

Q: What drives your creative process?  My own skin's needs and also the needs of my customers. I love to research and learn about herbal remedies that have been used to heal skin over long periods of time and across cultures and then to find ways to incorporate these remedies into my skincare products. I know that "technically" we're not allowed to call skincare products "healing" unless we want the FDA knocking at our door, but I am constantly amazed and excited by the potency of seemingly simple plant-based oils for skin care.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?