Who's That Gal: Gianne Doherty of Organic Bath Co.
Winter is the time when our skin needs the most nourishing as we attempt to counter harsh winds and low temps, so we thought who better to catch up with than the eco-friendly bath and beauty company, Organic Bath Co.? Gianne Doherty, one half of the Organic Bath Co. duo, shared with us her experience of starting her own company with her beau, her daily beauty routine, and why it's important as a female to pamper yourself.
(Note for the image above: Gianne could not sum up her style in three words so we let her remain mysterious, but know that she is super stylish.)
Hi Gianne! We have to admit, we love your products! Could you please tell us (and our readers) a bit about Organic Bath Co. and how you got started?
It all started when I moved up from the New York area about two years ago. I moved in with my boyfriend, Jay, and his dog, Bruschi, and I started breaking out in hives. It coincided with turning 30 (eeek) so I didn’t know if it was age but I tried to blame it on the dog, haha. Jay, in a valiant effort to vindicate his dog, Bruschi, mentioned that my hives might actually be a reaction to the lotions I was using. On a typical day I am very low key in terms of make-up but I’ve always loved pampering myself. My mom taught me the importance of moisturizing, so I’ve always loved hydrating body scrubs and body butters. When Jay saw my hives he guessed it was either the fragrances or or preservatives in the lotions I was using that was bothering me.
A few years ago, Jay had a bath and body store on Newbury Street which is where he got his familiarity with natural products and ingredients. As an alternative to my favorite pampering lotions, Jay made an unscented body butter for me, that I didn’t have any reaction to. My skin absolutely loved it! That body butter was the first iteration of what is now our cornerstone product, Drenched. After seeing how quickly using pure, high quality natural ingredients like shea butter on my skin helped me, I started researching the beauty product industry and was appalled. There is very little regulation of this industry and women are using hundreds of potentially harmful ingredients on their skin everyday. As a reaction, I started making safe, luxurious, pampering products for friends and family and Organic Bath was born.
As a young business owners, what challenges have you faced?
Everything!!!! But being a small company in itself is a challenge. We’re currently in the middle of a really busy holiday season and it’s just the two of us, but we’re so happy that we’re busy. We’ve had events over the past couple of weeks at Urban Grape, West Elm, an event with Taza Chocolate and in between we’re handmaking product for our clients and retailers and attempting to have a personal life.
As a small business, we depend on word of mouth marketing. With no PR budget, we are so thankful to bloggers such as you lovely ladies as well as local companies Urban Grape, West Elm Fenway and Taza Chocolate who have invited us to do Pop Ups.
One thing we love about Organic Bath is that you guys give back. Can you tell us about your nonprofit/charity affiliates?
We both come from families that give back so that was important to us from day one. That goes down to our supply chain in our sourcing.
Our products such as our body scrubs are Fair Trade certified, and we don’t always look to get the cheapest ingredients, we look for quality and social and environmental responsibility instead.
We are members of 1% for the Planet, which is a membership organization for businesses and organizations to facilitate donating 1% of all proceeds to environmental causes. We also participate in the Global Soap Project. The Global Soap Project partners with hotels and soap companies to recycle and reuse soap products. By doing that they reduce waste and provide a hygiene solution for those in need.
How has starting your business in Boston affected your brand + growth?
It’s been fantastic. We’ve only been in business for a year but it’s been amazing in terms of what we’ve been able to do, who’ve been able to meet, and getting the word out about our brand. Our Java Jolt body scrub was featured in Boston Magazine and we recently we partnered with Taza Chocolate on our Spiced Cacao and Mocha Madness. These are amazing opportunities that I’m not sure we would have gotten in another city in our 1st year of business. Boston has a small town feel which is wonderful because everyone has been very welcoming and people truly want to form partnerships.
What are the pros and cons of starting a business with your sig fig?
It’s hard, but it’s great. I trust him 100%. I know he will do right by the brand and right by us, but the hardest part is it is hard to shut things off. I am guilty of asking him to tweak something on the website if I notice his computer is open at 11:30pm. :-) As we grow, we want to work on separating our work life and personal life and not let Organic Bath consume our lives outside of the office.
What is your morning beauty routine?
To be honest, my morning beauty routine is very low key. I wake up, shower, put my contacts in – not awake till I do that. I only splash my face with water because I try not to over wash my face. I’ll put on a toner - lately I’ve been using the Josh Rosebrook toner from Follain - and then I put on 2 drops of our Enhanced Face Oil. And, of course, I’ll apply a natural deodorant.
My more extensive beauty routine takes place in the evenings and helps me unwind for the night. In the evenings I double cleanse my face. This means I oil cleanse with our Rice Bran Cleansing Beauty Oil, hop into the shower, let it steam a bit before removing with a warm washcloth. Afterwards, I wash again with mild cleanser and then of course I tone and moisturize.
What ingredient in traditional bath products should we make an extra effort to avoid for the body?
Fragrance because there is so much that could be hiding in there. Parabens are also important to avoid. I always recommend my friends download the Think Dirty app and use it while shopping. Think Dirty rates personal care products and lets you know their “Dirty Rating” so you can shop clean.
Everyone takes a different path in the healthy beauty journey. I also tell my friends to think about what they use the most. Is it lotions? Foundation? Whatever you put on your skin the most, start there with going clean.
What Organic Bath product makes the best holiday gift?
One of our chocolate gift sets because it’s a treat for all the senses. We’re pairing up scrubs with Taza Chocolate. I’m partial to the Spiced Cacao Scrub which is smells like gingerbread and chocolate!
Any New Year’s resolutions for 2015?
More self care. As women we always take on so much. We do so much for friends, family, our relationships, and it is easy to forget to put yourself first. I’m in the business of pampering, but sometimes I forget to pamper myself! I’d like to do “self-care Sundays” at home more often.
As far as resolutions for Organic Bath, we will be releasing face balms next (a winter skincare must!) and hope to do more chocolate themed collaborations with Taza Chocolate.
What is next for Organic Bath? WELL Summit?
The WELL Summit stands for Wellness Empowerment Luxury and Learning. It’s going to be a 2 day summit with breakout sessions on all types of wellness including natural beauty, fitness, diet, and mind.
Since starting Organic Bath, friends are always asking me so many questions about makeup and beauty products. We have gotten used to so much unnatural stuff in all parts of our lives. In body products, for example, we’ve been trained that the more lather a body or face wash gives, the cleaner you are. Or a face wash that strips your face of all your natural oils and leaves your skin feeling dry and tight means clean. I get asked questions such as Why should I be using natural deodorant? Is there really aluminum in my favorite brand? Why should I my nail polish be “5 free”?
People want to learn about this, but it’s hard for so many busy women that work 9-5. It is hard to concentrate on food AND beauty AND fitness when so many other things are going on in our lives. So at the Summit we are going to have intimate breakout sessions with experts in each area and give participants the chance to learn or re-educate themselves and get tools to easily apply in their real their lives. Think healthy cooking demos, yoga, makeup lessons from top makeup artists committed to using clean makeup, DIY sessions and so on. We’re planning for 2 days in October 2015 in NYC. Stay tuned!
Favorite Fashion Must-Have of the Moment?
The Russian Trappers Hat - I just got a faux fur one from Banana Republic
Favorite Restaurant/Meal in Boston?
Lolita because that’s where I met Jay. I also read somewhere that it’s the #1 pick-up bar in Boston, haha!
Favorite Boston hangout?
Eastern Standard because I love a good cocktail.
Cheese or chocolate?
Coffee or tea?
Stripes or plaid?
And because we’re a bookclub, what was the last book you read?
The Escape by David Baldacci. I love reading and go through like 3 books a week!