Today, we bring you the story behind Maven Made, a small-batch apothecary business here in Richmond. Bethany Frazier of Maven Made is co-hosting our next GOOD VIBES ONLY workshop on September 14th. Bethany will guide our class through creating a custom facial serum and room spray for each person's unique preferences. Tickets are limited so make sure to reserve your seat by September 12 at midnight!
We also asked the expert blending artist to share her thoughts and secrets behind essential oils, what local products she loves, and what her advice is for others looking to grow their own small business.
Can you share the story of how Maven Made came to be?
I used to struggle with acne - hormonal, cystic, sweat-related, all of it. My dermatologist urged me to go on Accutane for the second time (the first time was pretty rough) and I declined and left the appointment. My intuition led me down a different path of holistic wellness and I went to see an aromatherapist for my skin issues. After our appointment, I started doing research on fatty oils and essential oils - how they could help cease my acne. I purchased (rather invested at that time) oils to create a facial serum (the same one I still sell today) that has transformed my complexion. When I realized the power of these substances, I started creating more products geared towards wellness, launched an Etsy shop and started pitching the product line to local stores and markets. So really, my own personal quest created the foundation for Maven Made.
What is it about essential oils that make them so special?
When it comes down to it, through plant-based metabolism, essential oils are produced and play a vital role for plants, trees & flowers to flourish. Extracting these powerful oils for human application, we in turn receive their amazing benefits from nourishing skin tissue to calming anxiety or fighting infections. We've been so conditioned that chemical-based cosmetics, cleaning agents and medicines are "be-all end-all" when in fact oils and plant-based solutions have been used for thousands of years for these same uses... and smell way better.
What are your favorite oils and products?
Clary Sage essential oil is my go-to. Its woodsy smell is right up my alley, but it truly works in harmony with my body to help me get better sleep, calms my nerves and works wonders to rid my cramps. I'm a huge fan of local makers, this city truly creates amazing artisanal goods. I adore Na Nin's Willin' fragrance (think Juniper, Cedarwood and Cannabis), Kate Jennings and her store convey such comforting energy and her products reflect just that. I'm also obsessed with pieces from Drift Riot, Brittanny Chanel & Maslo Jewelry.
I know that Maven Made collaborates with nonprofits a lot, tell us more about that.
I make the conscious decision to be aware of what is happening in our community and our world. For me, part of awareness is taking action. For example, I've created mini versions of the Headache Remedy and Sleep Serum for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House (personal note, my brother had leukemia and this organization was amazing to my family), concocted custom pregnancy and birth-inspired blends for a local doula and this month I'm matching all product sales and donating that amount to animal shelters & organizations impacted by the Louisiana floods. Maven Made allows me to do good in some unique ways - making custom products or using my profits to support something that touches my heart.
What are you most excited about for Maven Made's future?
Really, it's seeing everything fall into place the way it's supposed to. I'm such a Virgo and have to constantly work on letting things just flow without controlling it, Maven Made has been a huge teacher and reminder to let things just be (hell, let's be real, I'm still learning). I know what I desire for the future - for Maven Made (& my other side business, You.Are.Venus.) to be my full-time thing, but more so to make great products that connect people with mother earth. More stores, distribution, exciting events and a storefront will be part of that path. I just have to let that path ride!
Any advice for other small businesses out there?
Follow your intuition, always. I've made some mistakes, I've had to make hard decisions and have some uncomfortable conversations, but in the back of my mind, I know it would only propel me forward. Speaking your truth is part of that intuition. Taking the backseat, cloaked in comfortability or clinging to "I don't want to make things awkward" is so easy to do. From my experience, not allowing your voice to be heard is damaging to your small business and also your personal growth. Another bit of advice? Moleskine notebooks are glorious and a small business must-have.