There are many benefits to being a writer – you don’t need an office or support staff and can work from anywhere (which means you can never leave work at the office but who does nowadays?). And, when the words flow, there is a great satisfaction. When they don’t… well… in what other profession can you write off Chardonnay?
Plus, there are the occasional products one gets to sample, the best of which is the Farmhouse Fresh – http://www.farmhousefreshgoods.com – line of paraben, phthalate and sulfate free, all natural and Vegan products whose indulgent skin care line makes going au naturale au divine.
Shannon McLinden who heads the Texas based company, combines entrepreneurship, a dedication to doing it right and a touch of whimsy to the line of products that I can’t get enough of – and have to hide in order not to lose them to my daughter.
The latest, Rainbow Road hand and body creams, “are a great gift for someone going through a rocky patch in life, or travelling on a really rough road–it’s meant to bring happiness and lighten the spirit”, says McLinden. I can see why this supple blend of Shea and cocoa butters, jojoba seed oil, soybean oil, aloe and vitamins A and E would soothe a troubled soul as well as it soothes my dry skin. I smile every time I smell the uplifting blend of coconut and Bartlett pear and think about how all of the yummy ingredients are softening and improving my skin.
McLinden, a serial entrepreneur, created Summer Soles [http://www.summersoles.com/], in 2008 she won the “Make Mine A Million Dollar Business Award” from American Express Open & Count Me In, a leading national not-for-profit provider of resources and business education for women entrepreneurs. Her 1998 book, “The Me Nobody Knew: A Story of Triumph for All Girls” describes McLinden’s adolescent challenges, is sold in two languages: English and Taiwanese, and is used as curriculum in middle school, high school and college classes throughout North America. McLinden holds an MBA from Texas Christian University and lives in McKinney, Texas. She was gracious enough to answer a couple of my questions recently.
AS: How have your struggles with depression, body image and general adolescent angst influenced what products Farmhouse Fresh develops and how they’re sold?
SM: We design and develop [our products] by asking ourselves how we want someone to feel when he or she uses the product. Every scent takes you to a certain place in the mind. Our most recent launch of Rainbow Road was meant to uplift your mood and spirit with a sunny scent of coconut and Bartlett pear. So we really lead with emotion when we create.
AS: What advice would you give to your ‘tween’ self? What do you wish someone had said to you?
SM: Nothing is permanent. You will eventually pick where you live, who you live with, how you spend your day, what color you want your hair to be, whether you want to work out a few times a week and be muscular, or tan a couple times a week and be tan… all of it… you pick all of it… and it’s all changeable at any time. Nothing is as permanent as it seems!
AS: What was Farmhouse Fresh’s first product and how/when did you know it was a success?
SM: My first product was a set of sea salt scrubs – Sweet Cream, Whipped Honey and Citrus Grass. I designed them to keep cracked heels at bay if you use them just once a week. They were selected by Oprah for her O-list, and that’s the first time I really knew that my creations were not just something I loved, but something others did!
AS: I LOVE how Rainbow Road smells and get compliments every time I wear it. Any chance you’ll develop a perfume line and if so, when can I buy Rainbow Road perfume?
SM: Rainbow Road actually began [as] a perfume several years ago. We are redesigning the packaging, and until then, our creams are still available! Rainbow Road perfume should be back again within a year.
AS: What is next for you and Farmhouse Fresh?
SM: We just moved into our Corporate Ranch. We have a lot of work to do on the land to get it ready to be the forever home of some rescued farm animals. We also have a certified organic line launching late this year. We are very excited – it has been years in the making!
Amy Sommer is a Los Angeles-based writer.