Leafyhead Lotions & Potions (http://www.leafyhead.com/pages/Home.cfm), founded by Tricia McCauley in 2009, uses locally grown herbs and plants to create creams and lotions.
The ingredients for the products are home-grown by McCauley or sourced from two Oregon companies: Mountain Rose Herbs and Horizon Herbs, according to McCauley. She sells face and body creams, lip balms and body salves, beard oil for inflammation, insect repellant, and more online through Etsy or by email and at certain D.C. crafts markets that can be found on the Leafyhead website.
“I love connecting people and plants,” McCauley said. “So when I get to talk to someone and tell them about a plant they haven’t ever heard about before, that’s really exciting to me.”
McCauley, who holds a master’s degree in herbal medicine, created her first product after learning how to make lip balm at graduate school. Because she had a list of food sensitivities, she created cilantro lip balm using cilantro essential oil so she didn’t have to worry about ingredients in outside products, according to the website.
“I had all these crazy sensitivities … I couldn’t do soy, gluten, or oats at the times,” said McCauley. “When I learned that I could make [products] for myself, that’s what really inspire me to make them.”
From then, most of the products were created to meet specific needs of her friends (although she found many could be applied to other uses), including Boobie Balm for a friend who was breastfeeding and Peppermint Foot Cream for a friend who spent the work day on her feet, according to the website.
The products use a variety of oils and butters (including coconut and almond oil), essential oils, and herbs (including aloe vera, black walnut, chamomile, and plantain).
McCauley said she is not sure whether she will expand the company in the future but that using Etsy in the past year to year and a half to sell more of her products has already been a “huge expansion” for her.“There are a lot of people that have been with me for many years, so they purchase from me every year,” said McCauley. “But I am getting more and more and more strangers from around the country purchasing from Etsy.”
About the Author
Seema Vithlani is a junior multi-platform journalism major and French minor at the University of Maryland. This spring she is also an editorial intern for Washington Gardener Magazine."Local First Friday" is a weekly blog series profiling independent garden businesses in the greater Washington, DC, and Mid-Atlantic region. Washington Gardener Magazine believes strongly in supporting and sourcing from local businesses first!