Flourish: to grow in a healthy, vigorous way, especially as the result of a favorable environment
This definition on the Flourish Natural Body Care homepage speaks not only to the meaning of the word, but of the story and heart behind this growing brand. Founder, Kirsten, demonstrates a passion for natural products and ingredients that you don’t see within many brands. With her roots in soap making, she first owned a small shop in Vermont, which specialized in handmade soaps. To say soap making inspired her is an understatement – she would dream of new formulations and it was her love for creating that led her to experiment with making products other than soap.
All of the Flourish products are handmade in small batches using original recipes and formulated from completely raw ingredients, (never pre-made bases) and wildflower infusions they grow themselves. Yes, you heard that correctly! They have chosen to grow and harvest their own wildflowers to create truly unique scents for their products. How incredible is that?! Scents have a way of making us feel something special, and with these one of a kind fragrances, you will definitely notice something exceptional! Read more about why they have chosen to use wildflowers from their own farm HERE.
From her beginnings in soap making, Kirsten has expanded her product line to now include shampoos and conditioners, hair styling products, body washes, body scrubs and moisturizers, all of which come in five incredible scents – Lavender Mint, Honey Blossom, Lemongrass, Rosewood Infusion, and Patchouli Tangerine.
Kirsten’s deep understanding of ingredients is reflected in her offerings. Using ECOCERT standards, she ensures her products are not only effective, but of the highest quality and safety which means you will be receiving a superior product. We had the pleasure of speaking with Kirsten, and she is on the blog today sharing more about how she got her start in formulating products, her ingredients, as well as what one product from her line she cannot live without!
The Greenly Guide: When did you start Flourish and what prompted you to do so?
Kirsten: Flourish has been a natural transition from a little retail shop that I used to operate in Woodstock, VT where the main product was handmade soap. I was completely in love with making soap-like I would actually dream about it and figuring out so many things about formulating soap inspired me to try to create other products as well. I was able to teach myself to make a whole variety of skin care starting with the simple recipes like scrubs, body oils and balms and then moving to the more sophisticated formulations like lotions and cremes and liquid soap. Eventually, every single thing that I used on my face and body I was able to make myself. But one day in the shop, someone asked me about what I used on my hair and I hit a stumbling block because I was still using mainstream shampoo and conditioner. I had yet to make the switch to natural products because I wasn’t happy with how they performed and I had tried and failed at formulating them myself.
The Greenly Guide: What have been some of your struggles in creating all natural bath and body products?
Kirsten: Haircare was tough because as a soap maker I felt that soap was “pure” and that everything else was harsh detergents. My failures with soap based shampoos and the fact that I was determined to figure it out led me to better educate myself about what all the ingredients were and why they were used at all. Sadly, when I was starting out 15 or so years ago, I used EWG as a guide to choosing my ingredients because it was important to me to choose “good” “natural” cleansers and other ingredients what I was formulating. After I had been working with a really great recipe for several years and had ordered thousands of labels and was selling to WholeFoods and other stores all around New England my husband told me that he was not going to use or make the shampoo any more because he was reacting to it. I told him it wasn’t possible because these were all super clean ingredients, but when I went to prove it on EWG all of the original information had changed and ingredients like coco betaine were no longer rated as well and there was new information about it being sensitizing and reactive for many people.
This became an ethical decision for me, because I didn’t feel that I could continue to promote my products as “clean” and “natural” knowing that people were asking for a certain standard that I now knew had changed. So I decided to reformulate again and I came up with an even better shampoo and conditioner which we’ve been using for years. Being transparent about ingredients is deeply important to me. And so is helping people to understand what is in their hair and body care. There is a tremendous amount of greenwashing happening out there.
Being transparent about ingredients is deeply important to me. And so is helping people to understand what is in their hair and body care. –Kirsten, Founder of Flourish Natural Body Care
The Greenly Guide: Tell me a little about the ingredients you use and any particularly unique ingredients in your formulas that really stand out?
Kirsten: When we realized that the old shampoo formula we were using wasn’t as green as we originally thought and I decided to reformulate, I took a long look at the entire line. One of the standout features has always been our unusual scent combinations. One day while I was in my garden, I read a description of the plant Angelica. The description was exactly the same as how I described our Rosewood Infusion essential oil blend. I then became really intrigued about adding a whole other energetic layer to our formulas. But I wasn’t interested in buying buzzword ingredients from warehouse shelves. So I worked with a local herbalist to find local plants that would compliment the feeling already present with the essential oil blends we were using. Now our entire line includes Vermont grown wildflowers that we grow, harvest and use for our formulas. It makes our formulas very special.
The Greenly Guide: I know you use ECOCERT ingredients in several of your products, can you explain a little more about what exactly that means?
I chose to follow Ecocert standards after getting burned by researching my ingredients through EWG. When I formulated my recipes years ago I didn’t have as solid of an understanding of ingredients as I do now. I just knew that I wanted them to be safe and green and all that. Here in the US, we don’t have actual standards. When I researched Ecocert, they set standards for all of the things that are important to me and that I want my products to represent. Ecocert works with organic farms and looks at the whole picture of how ingredients are processed ethically and environmentally. Something isn’t good one day and then not as good some time down the road. There aren’t hidden nasties like GMO ingredients, animal testing, etc. You can’t make a cleanser out of genetically modified beets and still have it be considered “eco”. You can’t have ingredients produced in China where animal testing is required and call it a “green” ingredient. When you know better you do better and to me, Ecocert is clearly a better choice.
The Greenly Guide: Which product of yours could you personally never live without?
I can’t live without my Ginger Elixir+Arnica Oil! The scent just makes me swoon. I have rheumatoid arthritis so I use lots of arnica for aches and pains and I really wanted something that would be like a beauty treatment instead of something medicinal. The warming, flowery scent always makes me feel good! For everything else, I switch around too much to have an actual favorite!
Natural Hair Care + Giveaway [[CLOSED]] Congratulations to the winner @melissambas!
Finding all natural hair care that actually works can be a difficult task! Flourish offers something for every hair type and concern, from adding volume and boosting shine, to smoothing and strengthening, you will certainly find something to give your hair the nourishment that it needs!
We are so thrilled to offer one of you the chance to try some of the Flourish hair care products! The Greenly Guide has partnered with Flourish to give away a hair care set, which includes a shampoo, conditioner and styling product of your choice!
Head on over to our Instagram page HERE or see below to find out how to enter! Good luck!!
Giveaway is open to US residents only. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Giveaway will run from Sunday, October 30, 2016 to Monday, October 31, 2016 at 11:00 PM EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced at the bottom of this post as well as over on our Instagram feed on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. No giveaway accounts please. This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram.
HOW TO ENTER:
–Comment on the Instagram giveaway photo tagging three friends
–Leave a comment below telling us which scent you would choose if you were the winner! (make sure to include your Instagram username in your comment here so we know it’s you!)
***OPTIONAL–Receive 5 extra entries by reposting our giveaway photo on Instagram (make sure to tag us in your repost!)