Great pleasure to have you here, Lily! To begin, what brought you to natural cosmetic business and how Lily Farm Fresh Skincare was born? Thanks you for reminding me of the humble roots of Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care. As a teenager I struggled from severe acne. Having facial acne was painful – both physically and emotionally. Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care was born out of the necessity to clear up my skin! In that process I studied cosmetic ingredients to assess which products would work and how and what I learned was shocking! That most of the chemicals in the mainstream brands were not only toxic, but in no way would benefit my skin. I knew I could do better and help others with my newfound knowledge.
How does your typical day on Lily Farm Fresh Skincare grounds look like? There is no such thing as a typical day on a farm! Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care is not your typical skin care company. We are the only company on the planet where consumers can buy directly from the USDA Certified Organic grower.
So what do you grow on your organic farmland? We grow organic botanicals for use in our skin care line as well as organic produce for personal use – such as fresh salads and healthy shakes. Calendula, pumpkins, fennel, feverfew, hemp, borage, comfrey, chamomile, nettles… our farm is diverse.
Lily Farm Fresh Skincare holds three “USDA Certified Organic” certifications making it 100% organic company. What does it take to become USDA Certified Organic Farm, Product and Laboratory? Are they very rough on checking upon you? There are three separate certifications. It takes hundreds of hours of paperwork and compliance to be a USDA certified organic grower. And the laboratory where we hand-craft Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care also must conform to FDA and USDA regulations and standards. The product certification is tedious, but worth the efforts. We are audited annually and take the entire process seriously. It is time consuming, but it assures our customers of our authenticity… I understand completely why no other organic skin care company goes through what we do.
From your experience, what is the business climate in the U.S. for natural cosmetic companies? What would be your biggest challenges in creating and offering natural cosmetics? Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care pioneered best practices for this industry more than 33 years ago. We were a little company on a lonely shelf. Today there are too many johnny-come-latelies that toss around words like natural, but have no real skin in the game. Pun intended.
Lily, was there a certain moment you wanted to give up on keeping your business? Of course! I could have worked in non-profit management and used my college degree. Instead I choose to be an organic farmer with a loyal customer base. Each time I thought, “I am done,” a customer would tell me how much they love our products, and how grateful they are for our efforts. That would give me to energy to move forward. 33 years later we are going strong.
Why should we use beauty products made of natural organic ingredients? Because Mother Nature is the best cure for Father Time.
What are the ingredients you never-ever use in your products? What are reasons behind this decision? Since our inception every single bottle we sell boasts “NO SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS, EVER!” It is a mantra we embody.
Tell us a secret, how does a plant on farmland end up as an ingredient in beauty product? The secret is… farming is magical. Sow a seed in the ground, add a little water and soon a beautiful plant emerges to provide nutrients and beauty… a biological process so everyday we do not see how amazing it really is!
Then I harvest or pick the leaves, flowers, fruit of the plant, and for the most part, we tincture it in a solution of water and USDA certified organic sugar cane or grain alcohol. The organic alcohol has the ability to take all the good chemical constituents of the plant and put them in the solution. This is the way it has been done for hundreds if not thousands of years. Don’t let USDA certified organic alcohol concern you, it is the best methodology and pure and clean. It is also non drying, it has nothing in common with SD alcohol which is toxic, and synthetically or petroleum derived.
Name 3 most popular products in your shop currently in stock. And…what are some award-wining products of Lily Farm Fresh Skincare? Lily Farm Fresh Rejuvenating Enzyme mask is very popular and has won several awards as well as being recognized as one of Aspen Magazine’s Colorado’s best 20 products. This was a cross-industry award, meaning that that Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care is a trendy company that came out on top over craft-beer and cannabis!
I can’t really pick a favorite – I lovingly developed them all for different types of skin and customer preference.
What are some ingredients or products you cannot source from your own farm and how do you ensure their quality? We buy USDA certified organic Kukui oil from Hawaii, USDA certified organic… If it is USDA I know I can trust it, if they go through the same rigorous screening we do. In our newest product – The Tuckered Farmer – the salt is from Kansas, just 400 miles away from our production facility. We try our hardest to stay local!
You are based in Colorado where winters are no exception. Do you stock herbs for winter to keep you going or how does it work? We tincture freshly picked herbs to ensure year-round quality and freshness.
What are your personal favorites among your skin care line products? (Would be great to include recommendation for customers who fall, for example, into your age group. Owners word to customers ears! My favorites are the Seaweed Cleanser, the Balancing Toner and the Seven Rejuvenating Oils…and our Colorado Extreme Cream, and our Kissable Lips…
It is interesting, I do use two products from the Balancing line, which is for younger women. I can do this because the ingredients in Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care are multifaceted, for example, lavender has over 10,000 use, hemp has over 25,000. Synthetic ingredients are designed for single use purposes, such as sodium lauryl sulfate…it only reduces surface tension.
Where can we find Lily Farm Fresh Skincare products and follow you online? You can get our products at www.lilyfarmfreshskincare.com Natural Grocers in CO carries our full line.
What changes (or trends) have you noticed in the healthy beauty movement over the last decade? In your opinion, why do beauty brands have trouble going natural? I spend a lot of time in Natural Grocers in Colorado, they have a very sophisticated, well-educated, savvy customer, and I would say that is the trend. Mainstream skin care products are only concerned about the bottom line, you have to care about so much more when you are even just natural, and a whole heap more if you want USDA certified organic status and quality. The big companies have to put synthetic chemicals in their products to give them the 10-year shelf life, to sit in factories, warehouses, and then on shelves.
Most people say that natural cosmetic products are too expensive. How do you usually respond to that? The products I see at Natural Grocers are not any more expensive than the department store brands and they are for the most part going to be a better products. The way to get the absolute best organic skin care is to make your own fresh. In our busy lives, most folks can’t do this. So I do it for them and infuse a little love in every product!
You have written and published a book “Beauty, Health and Happiness: A Way of Life”. How did you come up with this idea and what can we find in your book? Before the internet research was a tedious endeavor. I spent hundreds hours in the library at Denver Botanic Gardens to gain the knowledge needed to write my book. I wanted to give other organic enthusiasts a short cut to learn what seemingly took me forever. My mom designed the cover art, I am very proud of that. Farming is a family tradition.
What would be your 3 wellness tips for women stay healthy and naturally beautiful? Make yourself happy, no matter what you need to do to make it happen. 2.) Get outside and bike, hike, ski, everyday! 3.) Do yoga everyday, stretch, use it or lose it. Beauty, Health and Happiness-Really is a way of life, the way you chose to live.
What would you say is the most satisfying part of your all-hard work? I get to meet very interesting people, I really love that aspect. As a 7th generation American grower, some days I take great pride in how proud my parents would be of me for being a grower. Customers who call or email saying how much they love our products, that is what gives me the most satisfaction.
Share your wildest story from your farm life. I grew up on an apple farm. My dad instilled farm knowledge, the value of hard-work and a sense of accomplishment into my psyche at an early age. Nothing too wild happened – at least nothing that I can tell you!
What is something you’d like to do but have not done yet? There are so many things, I want to come out with a complete line of CBD productsfrom my own hemp, I want to teach finance/investing, and money matters to underprivileged youth, I want to provide a home for kids transitioning out of foster care at 18, I want to go to another 70 countries, speak Spanish fluently, abstract paint, do more tai chi, yoga, do the Baja on a motorcycle, too many things to list…
Tell one surprising fact about yourself please. I came to Colorado at 16 years old, by myself with a pair of skis, $133.00 and a pocketful of granola bars. Now I keep 250+ acres of Colorado farmland pristine and open. That is my greatest accomplishment.