Marie Lynn Skincare by Sara Frank
How did you get started?
I began using essential oils in 2014, around the time my last baby was born. They were a gateway into the world of natural health and specifically, skincare. My daughter had some persistent dry + irritated skin issues and I was dealing with a major blemish problem. I was looking in the mirror at the biggest, longest breakout I had ever experienced. I was over 30 and I felt so insecure and stressed about my skin. I knew I needed a change in skincare but I also began to realize that I needed a whole perspective shift. My skin is not my enemy and blemishes do not make me an ugly person. I started to listen to my skin; to study it and research to find the triggers and solutions. That's when I walked into the realm of DIY skincare. There were LOTS of ups and downs and trial and error. I spent countless hours studying and researching and making and crying. Slowly things began to solidify and I handed out little bottles to friends and family. From there, with their encouragement, I opened an Etsy store in August of 2015. And this year I rebranded, opened my online store and began some coursework on aromatherapy and skincare.
What influences you and where does your inspiration come from?
I think I would have to say that my biggest influence and inspiration is aromatherapy. My products are created around the essential oils that are in them. I fully embrace the lovely scents that can be made with essential oils, but my main focus is their therapeutic value. I use lavender in my shea butter salve not because it smells divine; but because it has anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. Rosemary can be found in the beard oils because it promotes healthy hair growth and shine; the fact that it has a masculine, almost minty aroma is a bonus. And to be sure; I draw much inspiration from other makers. I am a firm believer in community over competition and I think there is room for all of us. I appreciate seeing beautiful branding and photography; social media marketing + networking is my secondary passion. So, connecting with and following other creative entrepreneurs on Instagram is a large part of the joy for me.
How do you maintain work life balance?
This is an ongoing process for me. I have 4 children and I work from home; so there is always the temptation to let them watch too much TV or neglect connecting with them. Mom guilt is a legitimate struggle; but I'm realizing that ALL THE MOMS deal with it. Even the ones who devote every waking (and sleeping) moment to their children feel like it's not enough. So, I try to find that balance that is OUR family and navigate those waters, instead of the comparison tightrope that is looking at THEIR family. Lately I have tried to be more self-aware. I read once that all frustration or anger can be traced back to a goal that was sabotaged, and I find this to be very true. I am happy to listen to my son's story from school while I am making supper and feeling totally caught up on all the laundry. But that same son and same story is somehow incredibly inconvenient and stressful when I'm trying to fill and order or type an email. Honesty, grace and flexibility help to keep my perspective in a good place. And my husband is so good for me in this realm. He works full time outside our home, and me starting a home-based biz definitely shook things up for us. It has pushed our relationship to new levels of honesty and friendship this year and I am super thankful that he is walking this with me.
Where do you see your brand going in the next five years?
I go against the grain a bit in this way. All the entrepreneurs would say that short term and long term goal-setting are essential to business success. I can't disagree; but I also have to honestly say that I do not have a clear vision of where this brand is going. I think I get that from my dad. He is a plodder; just keep putting one foot in front of the other and don't worry too much about the circumstances you might find yourself in. This doesn't equal laziness or apathy; on the contrary, it keeps me grounded in times of doubt or insecurity. I believe God has given me this business to run and I will do so until I'm directed otherwise. That said; I do look down the road and have hope when I round the 5 year corner that Marie Lynn Skincare will have grown and changed and be in the homes and lives of many more people. I want to help and encourage others in their journey toward natural skincare for a long time!
How do you stay motivated?
The honest truth is that I don't always. I have cloudy days where I let the success of others diminish my perception of my own. I walk through seasons of discontent and insecurity thinking maybe I should throw in the towel. I let likes and social media engagement be a gage for my own self worth and often come up short. And before you melt into a big puddle of depression, reading those sentences let me say... that IS how I stay motivated, eventually. Walking through those unsteady things makes me look for something sure to stand on. And always, always Jesus confirms what I said in the previous question: just keep going. On the other side of doubt is a renewed joy, and on the other side of insecurity is a solid yes. Oh. And pouring a big batch of warm shea butter salve that smells of lavender and honey? That can cure just about any of the blues.
What has been your biggest hurdle with your brand?
From start to end, I do it all. I don't have employees or a social media consultant or a VA. I AM my business and I feel the growing pains the most. Feeling inadequate or under qualified or just plain tired can derail my vision at times. So, I think just being a small business is my biggest hurdle; but also ... There's no amount of money that can give a person the kind of character growth that hard work can give. So I welcome the life education, the bigger picture and the next step. It's all part of my story.
Make sure to stop by http://www.marielynnskincare.com/ and check out their beautiful products!
Also all District of she readers save 10% off with code
We'd like to thank founder Sara Frank for creating such a beautiful line and partnering with District of She.