And just like that, Botnia is two. Starting a business is like having a baby, and there are so many ways to look at the birth of Botnia. The idea was born out of my true desire to help my clients’ skin with integrity and control. The application of that dream took years of trials and tribulations in my treatment room at Skin Remedy and in the lab. I first brought my remedies for skin to the clients at Skin Remedy. At that time I had three amazing estheticians working with me,Katie Woods (now Ritual Skincare), Tarren Brooks (now Goldenseal Skincare), and Julie Osborn (current esthetician at Skin Remedy) they gave me critical feedback while developing the line around our clients. I am so grateful to all three of these women for their help and inspiration in the early years helping me create better skincare.
The first major challenge and milestone was creating a preserving system for our skincare that was effective but also healthy for the skin and completely nontoxic. I worked tirelessly on Sundays with my dear friend and plant biologist, Clayton, to create a preservative and ensure each formulation was safe and effective. I am forever grateful for his guidance and scientific lens; he made Botnia truly science-based and went on to found Somatik, his own company with his partner. It was at that point that I gave my skincare line a name–this was just like when I named my daughter . . . When the name came to me I knew it was right. Bot, for botanicals, and Nia, for land.
One of my best friends, Perla, spent months trying different iterations of our logo, designing the packaging, and building me a beautiful website. Together we focused on the plants–the heart of our products–to create our new branding. And on February 13, 2017, Botnia was born. At that moment of birth, I remember feeling a deep sense of gratitude for friends who helped me along the way, for myself for pushing past obstacles, and for my clients who trusted me with their skin. Since our launch, every day has been spent farming, making, marketing, training, giving facials, and sustaining while also dreaming big about our future ( more on that in another blog post) . We have grown from a dream of bringing my clients’ truly effective skincare to teaching other estheticians just like me around the country, offering them a true solution.
In year one I hired Sara, who was the first full-time hire for Botnia and is now my right hand; Sara does everything from operations and Instagram to manufacturing our skincare, and I am so grateful to have her by my side. Last summer I added Jonathan for shipping your orders and communicating with you about tracking numbers and lost packages, and Susie, who does everything from picking chamomile to making our skincare in the lab. Plus our farmer, David, who brings his amazing plant knowledge to our little micro-farm and keeps our soil and plants healthy. And now there’s Dani, Amanda, and Julie, all in San Francisco at Skin Remedy offering Botnia facials in the exact form I dreamed of. They give me valuable feedback on how our facials are performing and where we need to develop new ways of treating skin. I am so proud to have 50 spa partners across the country who find joy every time they walk into their treatment room looking at the botanicals we grow, make, and source for them. We now have farm partners like Single Thread Farm and Inn (a three-Michelin-star restaurant), and Wild Women Farms: both female-run farms. Most importantly I had the support and physical strength of my husband, Chris who build Botnia a micro-farm and stayed with our daughter while I worked late into the night, who stands by my side because he believes in me and my dreams. And you, our clients and community who requested better skincare. Last year Botnia grew 300 percent, and it’s in this moment on our second birthday that I say thank you. Our birth is a success because of you. I have launched 20 retail products and 21 back bar products that were all inspired by the skin that I saw on my treatment table. None of this would have been possible without the community of amazing people that helped me get here today. Happy Birthday, Botnia! You are well loved and I could not be more proud!