Urban Oreganics: How It All Began

Before becoming pregnant, I considered myself to be fairly crunchy. Crunchy, ya know? Hippie. Tree-hugger. Granola. The whole shebang. I was eating healthy and bringing my reusable bags to the store. It never occurred to me that there was still so much more I could be doing - for my body, and the planet.

Being a typical first-time mom-to-be, I scoured the internet for nursery themes, baby names, and healthy pregnancy tips. That’s when I stumbled upon a shocking number: 26. 26 seconds is all it takes for the ingredients in your personal care products to enter your bloodstream. Ummm... what?? I was now sharing my bloodstream with somebody else, which made the ingredients I used on my skin even more important. I immediately took to Pinterest and started researching how to make my own vegan/non-toxic skin care products. As the months went on, I became well versed in the core ingredients, and was able to start creating my own clean formulas.

All of the sudden, I was preparing to go back to work from maternity leave. The dreaded mom guilt kicked in, and I got this crazy idea... What if I packaged my handmade skin care items and sold them on Etsy? People do that, right? It could totally work. It took me a few weeks to get everything figured out, and on December 24, 2013, Urban Oreganics (Oregon + organics) was officially in business! Within a few hours, I sold my first jar of cleansing grains (our now best-selling daily facial cleanser).

 

            

 

Fast forward a couple of years... a new job, another baby, multiple branding/packaging redesigns (if you need a good laugh, click here to see our packaging through the years), my own website, and in November 2016, Urban Oreganics became my full time career. (Well, as full time as possible, while working from home with two toddlers.) Right after that, we sold our first house and bought a brand new one - with an office! You guys... I have my own work space for the very first time! (Sorry, that still hasn’t fully sunk in yet.) Which means I’m no longer working at the kitchen table or storing products in the hall coat closet, pantry, and the boys’ bathtub. Yes, I’m serious. Their tub was filled with boxes of coffee scrub and rosewater toner for almost two years.

Four years ago I opened shop with only five products. I never in a million years imagined it would turn into what it is today. In addition to adding 20+ core products to the line, I also make new seasonal products every few months (pssst…. the holiday collection launches November 1st). Though Urban Oreganics has grown exponentially, everything is still handmade by me in small batches, using the highest quality cruelty-free ingredients, and packaged in reusable/recyclable glass. While I'd love to pass off some of my other roles (social media, shipping, photography...), that part will never change. So, whether you have been on this journey with me for the entire four years, or just four days, THANK YOU! Thank you for making this mama’s dream come true.

 

xo, Emily

 

 

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Because I didn't have enough on my plate already, I decided to add "blogger" to my job description. Lots of fun posts in the works: weekly vegan meal prepping, suggested skin care routines, eco-friendly household swaps, and so much more! Have something in particular you'd like me to post? Leave a comment below.

Check back next week for our holiday collection launch and gift guide. But in the mean time, take 15% off your urbanoreganics.com order with code "THANKYOU" (expires Oct. 31). Don't forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and join our VIP group for exclusive offers!


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11 comments

  • Oh and I forgot to mention in my first comment that you are a true beauty both inside & out Emily! You have inspired me to live a more eco friendly life through the personal care products, food choices and being more waste free! Keep on shining your bright light! :D

    • Kayla
  • So fun to see how you started Urban Oreganics! All the products that you make are amazing! Love all your core products and the seasonal ones! Can’t wait for your holiday gift guide! Super excited for your meal prep posts and other future posts to come too! :)

    • Kayla
  • The best and pretty much only products I use! Amazing work. So incredibly impressed with all your hard work.

    • Katie Rich
  • Love your products! Have you ever looked into making blush of some sort? Blush and lip butter are all that I wear. Looking for a nice natural cheek color. Keep up the good work!

    • Kathleen Moss
  • As someone who just started their own business, I really appreciate you sharing about your journey! It’s inspiring to know that dedication and passion will turn small beginnings into something great. What you do is making a difference; perhaps even more than you realize.

    • Kate
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