Boss Lady: Frances Thrasher

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Frances Thrasher, creator and founder of Kindred Skincare, a Wilmington-based company with 100% organic oil cleansing skincare products. Frances shares with us the journey that led to her passion for health, which ultimately became a successful skincare line.

Boss Lady: Frances Thrasher of Kindred Sknicare

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career?
I went to Georgia Tech and studied Textile Engineering. One summer I was overexposed to chemicals in a polypropylene plant, and this created a lifetime of skin sensitivities and allergies. The change in hormones during my pregnancies intensified the problems. By my second child, I couldn’t even use any soaps or shampoos. I was developing allergies to additives, thickeners, and foaming agents. I did some research and I started using olive oil.  I got tired of smelling like olive oil all the time so I took an online bio course and started playing around with soaps and moisturizers (all oil based). Eventually I created the Kindred Skincare line. I just made it for myself and then I realized that there was a big market for it. My plastic surgeon friend used the products during her pregnancy and saw amazing results. She, along with my mom and sister pushed me to create the line.

Where did your name and brand come from?
The name Kindred symbolizes the extension of family through kindred spirits and our universal interconnectedness. The look and feel of the packaging reflect both the science and the personalized customer care reminiscent of a classic neighborhood apothecary where the local practitioner knew the name and the families of the each and every person in need of effective holistic healing remedies.

What is a typical workday like?
There is no typical workday. I am a one-woman band so it really depends. It depends on the amount of orders I have, the amount of supplies I have to work with, and everything else that I have going on in my life. I hand batch everything and that takes a long time. I could also be in my shop dabbling in other products, delivering local orders to stores like Houppette, or I could be sending my products at the post office to my clients in Brooklyn, Florida, or Oregon. My family is incredible and helps me if I’m ever in a pinch.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
I get my inspiration from all over the place. I’m always taking in feedback from clients and trying to work with them to develop new ideas. I also love to go horseback riding in my free time and that is a big influence for me. Being in nature really inspires my whole lifestyle. One of my favorite practices is Shinrin-Yoku, a term that translates as “tree” or “forest bathing.” Research has determined that when you immerse yourself in nature by “walking through the woods,” the body responds, practically communing with the surrounding environment, giving way to a host of benefits: a reduction in both stress and blood pressure, an improvement in mood, energy and sleep as well as an accelerated recovery from illness or surgery. I believe in natural and organic approaches to caring for your body. Your skin is your largest organ, therefore what you put on your body Is just as important as what you put in your body!

Who is a Boss Lady that you look up to and why?
I can’t choose just one. I have so many. Everyday I meet such talented and passionate women. They’re in the stores I go to, they’re clients, and they’re all so different. They all have had completely different paths that I am just in awe of. I have really grown to love and have deep friendships with these women. To me, you don’t have to be a flag-carrying woman. We’re all little pieces of the bigger picture. We are all empowering with our shoulders back and our heads up. I have so much respect for these women that I interact with every single day. They’re all juggling a lot, and yet they are keeping a good attitude and just doing it well.

What is your best form of marketing?
I definitely use Instagram to gain traction with my company. I’m not super into Facebook or Twitter or even hiring a sales team. On Instagram I’m able to not only showcase my products but who I am as a person. I think it’s really important that people invest in that aspect as well. I can really show them that I live up to the lifestyle that I’m so passionate about. It shows a real-life aspect to my company so people know I’m not just a business tycoon. I’ll make cold-calls to people to get their input and throw my name out there. I also get a lot of business through my website and e-commerce. After people buy products they’re always telling their friends. Word-of-mouth has helped my business tremendously.

What do you think is in store for the future of your company?
I like the small, apothecary feel to my line. I’m a small business so I’m looking to build smart growth that won’t be too overwhelming. It’s a big market and I know the more I open people’s eyes to the magic of oil based skincare products, the more they’ll be all over it. I’m starting small with the Indie Beauty Expo in Dallas where I’ll show off my product. I want others to see the necessity and power of good oils. I am so excited for what the future holds because I really took a leap of faith with this line and it has given me so much.

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The A-List: February Obsessions

The A-List: February Obsessions

1. 7 For All Mankind “The Skinny” Jeans: “I love the skinny jeans at Ellie. They have different fits and different shades, and they’re super comfortable.”

2. Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment: “If you want the lip balm you’ve ever had, I’d definitely recommend Sugar lip treatment from Fresh. They have a ton of different flavors at Houppette and they leave your lips feeling luscious and moisturized.”

3. Ella Moss Jadeynn Top: “This lace top from Ellie is fun and flirty, and super lightweight. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any day after in the Spring because it’s so bright.”

4. My Not So Perfect Life Book: “Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors. She writes very entertaining romantic comedies which is perfect for this month! I’m excited to read her new book.”

5. SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest, And Hand Repair: “In this dry winter weather, my hands get so cracked. I need to stay moisturized and SkinCeuticals works wonders. They have this product and so many others at Houppette.”

6. Kate Spade Glitter Heart Key Fob: “Kate Spade has cute, and quality-made accessories. I love the bling in this key fob and it will go perfectly with Valentine’s Day.”

7. Unisa Adivan Over The Knee Boot: “The over-the-knee boot trend is very hot right now. They’re stylish and make your legs look a mile high. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair.”

8. Dean Davidson Faux Leather Leaf Choker: “Chokers are the “it” trend right now. I love this one because it’s simple and elegant at the same time.”

9. Kevyn Aucoin’s The Celestial Bronzer:Houppette carries this bronzer and it’s perfect for this time of year to make yourself look less ghostly.”

10. Gorjana Power Gemstones Bracelet: “I’m always looking for new jewelry and No.109 has some really cute bracelets in stock. Their Gorjana bracelets come in several different colors and they’re perfect for stacking.”

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Mill Talk with Rich Roat

This past Thursday evening, we were fortunate enough to hear from the co-founder of House Industries, Rich Roat, at The Mill’s latest “Mill Talk” in Wilmington. House Industries is world renowned for their eclectic font collections and American graphic designs. Their work can be found in collaborations made for Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, Hermès, and The New Yorker, to name a few.

Mill Talk

Roat spoke so passionately about the history of design and left us with some food for thought. There are 7 basic principles that he likes to follow to do his best and long-lasting work.

First, The Process Is The Inspiration.

House Industries

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He doesn’t like to get hung up, over-thinking about what to make for each client. He has a great team and together they get started on an idea and roll with it. They aren’t afraid to make changes and come up with crazy ideas in the middle of the process. Second, Bring Your Hobbies To Work. He is fortunate enough to be one of those people that LOVES what they do. Roat can be seen riding his custom bicycle engraved with the House Industries logo back and forth to the House studio in Yorklyn everyday. If that’s not bringing your hobbies to work, I don’t know what is.

Third, Sweat The Technique. You’re not crazy if you know how you want to do something and you won’t settle for anything less than just that. He stresses the techniques of his projects and ends up falling in love with each and every piece he makes. Fourth, Get Your Hands Dirty. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to use a material you have never used before. Jump in and give it your all, no matter how messy it might get. Fifth, Make New Friends. Roat probably mentioned 50 different names throughout his presentation, and you could tell they all meant a great deal to him. He even teared up talking about some members of his team that have been around since the company’s inception. He say’s that they’re so good at what they do, it makes him want to be better. And with each project he gets, he sees it as an opportunity to enrich his life with new ideas and new people.

Sixth, Tell It Like It Was. This one might sound like a bizarre sentiment, but is in fact very important. He was referring to the rich history of graphic design and even of the entire world. He uses not only new ideas, but old ideas and themes of the past to create his best work. Sure, the industry has grown and improved in many areas, but there’s something about simply picking up a paintbrush that no computer can ever truly mimic the control and beautiful texture of. Lastly, Embrace The Chaos. He says that life will come at you and certainly not in the order of his principles. It will be overwhelming at times and that’s when it’s most important to remember why you’re doing what you do. You love it. Work with the rushing water of the river you’re in; don’t try to fight it. In the end, you’ll have a piece of art so beautiful that it reflects every night’s sleep you lost over it, every drop of sweat and blood, and every tear. And that’s the kind of art that makes Roat say, “art can change the world”.

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