We have been a fan of Jennifer and her growing brand of handcrafted beauty products for a long time. This month we have the pleasure of finally being able to introduce her organic concoctions and her brand Meraki Botanicals to you! Read on to find out more about her amazing startup journey :
Hi Jennifer! Welcome to Nourish Beauty Box! Can you please introduce yourself and how you started out on your beauty entrepreneurial journey?
I started creating beauty products in my kitchen when I was around 12 or 13 years old - using things like honey, olive oil, raw eggs, and aloe vera to soothe and nourish my skin and hair. I was inspired to start Meraki Botanicals as a passion project several years later after traveling around the country learning about herbs, essential oils, and the many ways plants can be beneficial to our skin, hair, and self care, vs the synthetic & problematic ingredients in most products.
“The word "Meraki" is a Greek word that means to do something with soul, love, and creativity, which is what I bring to each product that I make and every part of the business.”
Meraki Botanicals is a one-woman brand, with me being the owner, product developer, marketing specialist, customer service rep...the do-er and be-er of all the things. Thankfully my partner and mom step in to help often, and I have a special group of friends who help with testing products and cheerleading.
How do you differentiate your brand from all the other botanical brands out there?
Every product is handmade by me in small batches to ensure the highest quality and freshness. All the ingredients are vegan and cruelty free, and I'm mindful about buying local, organic, sustainable ingredients, as well as reusing packaging from my suppliers and encouraging reusing or recycling empty product containers.
“I have created each product to be multi-use, so that you can get the most out of one product and not need to buy the whole line for your desired outcome.”
My goal for 2021 is for the products to be 100% plastic-free and to create an efficient refill system!
We love how sustainable the brand is! What do you do in order to reduce your carbon footprint when creating or packaging your products?
I reuse packaging from my suppliers - boxes, paper, biodegrable peanuts - or recycled/recyclable items like newspaper or paper grocery bags. When able, I source most ingredients locally wherever I am - shea butter, essential oils, herbs, carrier oils, salts, and sugar.
What has been your biggest hurdles in creating your brand?
My biggest challenge with Meraki Botanicals has been time and finances. Running a business can be an expensive endeavor and takes persistent commitment - showing up every day for the business, my customers, and myself.
I'm lucky and grateful to have supportive family and friends who offer their time and resources to help Meraki Botanicals succeed.
“A big challenge in the early days of Meraki Botanicals was the logistics of ordering containers and supplies, creating batches of products, and shipping in a timely manner.”
The whole process can be a quick week, or a long month depending on supply availability, postal delivery, and my own schedule. Making detailed lists and staying on top of my inventory of products and supplies, as well as only offering for sale what I actually have on my shelves has been crucial for organization and delivery. I've also learned that, for me personally, it's best to get the basics down, launch the thing (website, product, new series, etc), and let time and experience iron out the details until it is "perfect". I can spend forever in the dreaming & planning stages, so I typically will lay out what needs to be done to get the offering out into the world and once I've gotten some feedback, make changes and updates where they are needed.
How important is social media in your business?
Somewhat - in the past, it has felt a lot more important than now to be very active on social media and to have all of the accounts. At this time, I only use Facebook and Instagram regularly, and I'm looking more for authentic connections and sharing what I know with others, rather than landing sales and press. Come connect with me at on Instagram and Facebook!
Do you support any charities or movements?
Yes! Each month, Meraki Botanicals donates 10% of all sales revenue to two organizations promoting equality and justice (5% for each organization). This is important to me because these organizations are doing work to ensure all people feel supported, safe, and able to meet their needs in life. See all organizations and more details here.
Do you have any upcoming launches or news you'd like to share with us?
I started Meraki Botanicals in 2014 and just recently rebranded and updated the products for a 2020 relaunch. They have generally been the same formula over the years, with additions of more nourishing oils and a recent focus on my favorite floral essential oils and hydrosols.
The updated products feel more complete, cohesive, and offer the ability for people of all ages and skin/hair types to use all over skin, hair, and body. I'm grateful and excited to be offering my products in Nourish Beauty Box this year!
I’d love to offer all subscribers the use of code "NOURISH" for 15% off of the entire order here!