ETF Studio visit with Oakland shop GoodStock November 10 2014

Sarah and Marina came into GS shortly after I opened- I remember it sort of felt like having celebrities in the shop : ) ETF was one of the first skin care lines I carried- it was my introduction to oil- based products. Since then, I have never looked back. Haley Golden did such a lovely job capturing them in the different elements of their work. These two are our go-to local herbalists. Their line has received national as well as international attention. We are lucky they are a part of our extended shop family –Dana
WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING BACKGROUND? HOW DID YOU BECOME HERBALISTS?
Both of us were pulled to become herbalists for many ethical, environmental and personal health reasons. It can be succinctly summed up that the healing power of nature that continually amazes and inspires us drew us to become herbalists.
 
 
 
 YOU HAVE AN OIL BASED LINE. SO MANY PEOPLE ARE STILL FEARFUL OF USING OILS ON THEIR SKIN BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID OF BREAKOUTS OR CLOGGING. WHAT’S THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION THAT DISPELS THIS MYTH?
We have learned, incorrectly, that all oil is bad for our skin and will clog pores. In fact, it’s toxic oils and creams that are bad for skin. Oils that are rancid or synthetic do not hydrate our skin properly.
Another problem is that many moisturizers on the market contain both water and alcohol, two of the most drying ingredients. While our skin may feel moisturized right after we use them, in the long run, they actually dry it out and create oil imbalance and inflammation. If we use a cleanser or moisturizer that strips our natural oils, our skin begins to overproduce. This creates a cycle that can include overly oily skin, acne and other issues.
Organic, cold-pressed oils like sesame, olive, jojoba and coconut are actually incredibly good for the skin. They are even helpful for acne-prone skin, as they help control eruptions and neutralize toxins that develop both on the surface and inside the pores. In fact, it is becoming quite popular to cleanse the skin with oils, using them to wash the face. These compounds really nourish us.
Virgin coconut oil is a favorite of mine that is growing in popularity. It is a protective and hydrating oil that can limit the damage caused by excessive sun exposure (making it ideal as an after-sun treatment). As a rich source of revitalizing minerals and nutrients, it nourishes thirsty skin. It contains Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are fatty acids whose esters absorb quickly, helping transport nutrients directly to cells.
Acting as an emollient, it has a softening and soothing effect too. After virgin coconut oil is applied, small wounds—caused by acne or pimples—can soften and heal more quickly thanks to this and its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Actually, almost 50 percent of the fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, which can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. It is also high in naturally occurring vitamin E, which lends additional antioxidants and scar reducing benefits. Many see it as a cure-all solution for most skin issues.
Oils, like virgin coconut, are literally food for our skin.
 
IF YOU WERE ONLY GONNA DO ONE THING FOR YOUR SKIN DAILY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Moisturize with oils!
 
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCT TO MAKE? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLANT TO GROW? WHY?
We grow our own Lavender, Calendula and Rose Petals- which are some of our favorite & most-used plants for skincare. We grow many other plants for use in our limited edition seasonal product, medicinal teas and internal medicines. We hope to start harvesting our own beeswax that we use for ou r Botanical Perfumes in the future . Our favorite materials to work with are essential oils and raw plant materials, which include flowers, roots and leaves. Also dirt! We love working in the garden, getting our hands in the dirt is the most fun and rewarding part of the process. It is impossible to choose a favorite product to make because they are all so different and variety is good but probably working with the garden flowers is the most aromatically rewarding.
 
 
 
YOU GUYS SEEM TO WORK REALLY WELL AS A TEAM- HOW DO YOU APPROACH YOUR BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE STARTING A BUSINESS WITH ANOTHER PERSON?
It must be a past life thing – because it is so easy and it was not something either of us was looking for, expecting or envisioning. Everything about this company and business partnership happened organically. We work REALLY well together. Having common goals and working for bigger ideals (in our case the health of the planet) allows us to collaborate and above all retain open minds to hear each other’s input on things. We respect each other and the way in which each of us thinks. Additionally we are similar enough and different enough to allow things to flow. But the glue is that we make each other laugh all day long which helps us thrive during the natural ups and downs of owning a business and it helps us keep things in perspective.
For young entrepreneurs:
Don’t be afraid to let your heart guide your business decisions. Think about all aspects of what you want to create, where ingredients come from and how things are made. We can change the world for the better . Its not always easy but the rewards are infinitely greater when you really follow what you know in your heart to be right.
Live your personal truth. We all have unique gifts to bring to the planet and it is important that we all step into our power now and be of service to the earth we share.