Stephanie Reynolds (35) President/Founder of Hothouse Botanicals
Tell us about how you chose your career/business and what your responsibilities include?
My mother and aunt both survived breast cancer and in 2007 Hothouse Botanicals was born. I decided to create a line of bath and body products that are free of harmful preservatives, toxic ingredients, and synthetic fragrances/perfumes and colors. All of our products contain simple natural ingredients, pure natural essential oils, are 100% Vegan-friendly, and are housed in recyclable containers. My responsibilities include formulating new products (I just launched a new aromatherapy scent for Summer: Tangerine Creamsicle body butter and organic perfume), sourcing ingredients, making products, and working on marketing and accounting.
Tell us about the company you own?
Our mission at Hothouse Botanicals is to create effective aromatherapy bath and body products that contain natural and organic ingredients – no synthetic fragrances or colors. We promote giving back to the Earth by using sustainable ingredients and recyclable packaging. For example, in our candles we use only U.S. grown soy and recycled glass containers. We openly divulge all of our ingredients and find it incomprehensible that the ingredients used in most products are not disclosed to us, since what we put on our skin is just as important as what we eat. We have recycle-friendly PET packaging on all of our bath and body products and use environmentally friendly cornstarch peanuts for our packing filler (not only biodegradable, but it dissolves almost instantly in water).
What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have been involved with so far?
It has been very fulfilling to donate products to the following organizations:
Anne Rita Monahan Foundation
Farm Sanctuary Gala 2008
Red Wing Area Coalition Women’s Center
Farm Sanctuary Winter Wonderland for the Animals
My Sister’s Place – women’s shelter
Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?
I would love to meet Mandy Aftel. She creates perfumes and they sound amazing! I would have loved to meet Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, since she supported numerous causes and believed that businesses could be run ethically. Sadly, Anita passed away in 2007.
What are some of your favorite ways to network?
I am an Indie Beauty Network member and can chat with other Indies online; their website is a great resource for information. Hothouse was just invited to participate in the Eco-Fabulous event at the Arizona Science Center on August 8th, which will showcase eco-friendly companies in Arizona. We are also planning on having a booth at Arizona’s Ultimate Women’s Expo October 17th-18th to connect with women and businesses from the area.
Do you have a mentor?
No, I taught myself how to make the products by reading books and searching for information online.
What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened to you so far in your career?
The great feedback I’ve gotten from our customers/friends/family has been amazing. We have a lot of loyal customers who come back time after time for the products they love and also recommend us to their friends and family. I am proud of the fact that I created products that not only smell great and are good for you, but are really effective as well. When you try the products they speak for themselves; you can’t help but love them.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I love to read, take aromatherapy baths, and go get pampering massages when I can. For fun I like to go motorcycle riding with my husband and go on adventures with him.
Any parting advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. Take classes on subjects you’re interested in and read, read, read! You can never have too much information. The hardest part is getting started, but make sure you take the chance; if you don’t you’ll never know the impact you could have had on the world.
How can our readers connect with you?
My website: http://www.hothousebotanicals.com
My blog: http://blog.hothousebotanicals.com
WEBSITE URL: http://www.hothousebotanicals.com